The New York Mets (40-50) didn’t have a memorable first half, meaning the start of the second is once again about playing out the string. After a dreadful June all but buried the Mets in the National League, the team has a lot of games left to play to try and salvage something out of another lost year. That run begins tonight with a nine-game road trip to kick off the second half, starting with a weekend series against the only team worse than the Mets in the NL, the Miami Marlins (33-55). First pitch for the opener is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. at Marlins Park.
The Mets will send left hander Jason Vargas (3-4, 3.77 ERA) to the mound tonight. Vargas was decent in his final start of the first half, giving up three runs in 5.1 innings against the New York Yankees on July 3, but was still stuck with his fourth loss of the year. The Marlins will counter with talented young lefty Caleb Smith (4-4, 3.50 ERA). Smith struggled in his first back from the disabled list last Saturday, giving up four runs (three earned) in six innings against the Atlanta Braves, but still emerged with his fourth win of the season.
New York Mets Lineup:
- The Mets are 5-3 against the Marlins so far this season, but they were swept in a three game series in Miami when the teams last met in May.
- The Mets are 3-3 at Marlins Park so far this season.
- Vargas’ first start of the season came against the Marlins, giving up two runs in five innings to pick up his first win back on April 2.
- Smith faced the Mets in Miami back on April 1, giving up two runs in five innings of work, and didn’t factor in the decision of a game the Marlins went on to lose 7-3.
- Curtis Granderson (8 for 17, 3 2B, RBI) and Starlin Castro (5 for 13, 3 2B, HR, 2 RBI) have good numbers against Vargas.
- The Mets have designated Wilmer Font for assignment. Chris Mazza was recalled from AAA Syracuse to take Font’s place on the active roster.