A surprising five-game winning streak has changed the mood of the New York Mets.
The last-place Miami Marlins certainly aren't enjoying themselves.
The Mets go for their longest winning streak in more than two years as they attempt to deal the Marlins a 10th straight defeat Friday night.
New York (22-29) is on the verge of its first six-game win streak since April 21-27, 2011, and the current surge has been wholly unexpected following a 3-12 stretch in which the Mets posted a 5.39 ERA.
"I tried everything that I knew to try and it wasn't working: the pats on the back, the 'hang with them,'" manager Terry Collins said. "So you just had to say, 'Hey look, it's got to be now. It's got to be stepped up right this minute,' and they did it."
The Mets did it in stunning fashion, compiling a 1.80 ERA during the winning streak and holding the Yankees to seven runs while sweeping the four-game Subway Series, capping it with a 3-1 victory Thursday.
"It's a lot more fun to come to the ballpark. Guys are smiling, laughing, having a good time, playing a little more loosely," third baseman David Wright said. "When you go out there and you feel like you have to play perfect to win games, that's when you get a little tense and start making some silly mistakes."
Wright went 5 for 14 over the past four games, and might have a good chance to continue that hot hitting in this three-game set. He's a .356 hitter at Miami in his last 12 contests there.
The Marlins (13-41) have batted .209 while losing nine in a row, falling 5-2 to Tampa Bay on Thursday. They haven't endured a longer slide since dropping 11 straight from June 11-20, 2011.
Shaun Marcum (0-5, 5.77 ERA) will try to take advantage as he looks to avoid becoming the first Met to start a season with six straight losses since Mike Pelfrey was 0-7 in 2007.
Marcum seemed headed for that elusive victory Sunday. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings and struck out a career-high 12, but left after giving up two runs in the seventh in a 4-2 win over Atlanta.
Marcum has gone 0-1 while allowing six runs in 7 1-3 innings over two games versus the Marlins - both in Miami. He was charged with a 4-3, 15-inning loss to them April 29, giving up two runs in the final inning.
Jacob Turner is set to make his season debut for the Marlins after going 3-4 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 starts for Triple-A New Orleans.
The right-hander was 1-4 with a 3.38 ERA in seven starts for Miami last year after being acquired in a five-player trade with Detroit in July.
"Obviously, he was a guy in spring training that we anticipated being in the rotation, and it didn't work out," manager Mike Redmond told the team's official website. "So we're looking for him to come up and be a spark and take advantage of this opportunity. Hopefully, he's pounding the strike zone, and he'll go out there and log some innings for us and give us a chance to win."
Turner pitched 7 2-3 innings of one-run ball in a 4-3 victory over the Mets on Oct. 2, though he didn't get the decision. He has a 2.84 ERA in two career starts versus New York.