Preview: Marlins get set to host red-hot Mets for 3 games
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
MIAMI — When it comes to Monday night’s matchup between the host Miami Marlins and the New York Mets, both teams are surely looking forward to being back in a warm-weather locale.
The red-hot Mets (7-1) are coming off a sweep of the Washington Nationals, the reigning NL East champions. The Mets beat the Nationals 6-5 in 12 innings on Sunday as Yoenis Cespedes had the game-winning RBI single.
New York’s bullpen, which has been brilliant so far this season, allowed just four hits and one run in seven innings. Seth Lugo, who pitched three innings, and Robert Gsellman, who got six outs, will probably be unavailable on Monday.
But the Mets have shown great depth so far, and that’s what closer Jeurys Familia said to the New York Post on Saturday.
“Everybody is happy with how (new Mets manager Mickey Callaway) is using the bullpen,” said Familia, who was rested Sunday and should be ready to pitch on Monday. “Everybody is doing the job every time they get an opportunity to go out there.”
Miami (3-6) beat the host Philadelphia Phillies 6-3, spanning a four-game losing streak in which they were outscored 36-6.
Temperatures were in the 40s for most of the weekend for the Mets and Marlins, who will now play in roughly 80-degree weather at Marlins Park.
Speaking of heat, Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard will be bringing it on Monday night. Syndergaard, whose fastball routinely hits 100 mph, has struck out 18 batters in 10 innings so far this season. He is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA. Against the Marlins last year, he was 1-0 with a 1.38 ERA.
Syndergaard showed in 2016 that he has the stuff to be perhaps the most dominant starting pitcher in baseball, going 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA. Last season, he was injured and limited to just seven starts (1-2, 2.97), making 2018 an opportunity for him to bounce back.
Miami will counter Syndergaard with right-hander Jose Urena, who is 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA this season. Urena, who throws his fastball in the range of 95 mph, has nine strikeouts in 11 innings.
Last season, Urena started the year in the bullpen but emerged as the Miami ace, going 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA. Against the Mets last season, he was 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five games, including three starts.
Urena bounced back from a poor start in his first start of 2018, when he allowed five runs in four innings against the Chicago Cubs. In his second start, last week against the Boston Red Sox, he allowed just one run in seven innings.
Similarly, Urena’s Marlins team has showed their resilient nature, bouncing back from that 20-1 drubbing.
“Baseball is a tough game,” Marlins rookie third baseman Brian Anderson said after hitting a two-run, tie-breaking double in the eighth inning on Sunday to beat the Phillies. “If you let one or two bad games drag you down, it’s going to be a long season.
“Our job was to wash it clean and come out ready to play.”
In addition to Anderson’s heroics, Marlins veteran backup catcher Bryan Holaday — who pitched a scoreless inning during Saturday’s rout — added an RBI single in the eighth.
Four Marlins relievers — Chris O’Grady, Odrisamer Despaigne (2-0), Drew Steckenrider and Brad Ziegler — combined to pitch five scoreless innings. Ziegler got the save, the first for any Marlins pitcher this season.
The Marlins snapped a four-game losing streak in which they were outscored 36-6. Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas, with just four career homers in 872 at-bats entering Sunday, went deep in the first inning on Sunday, pulling a solo shot to left, a line drive that cut through the wind.
“After that loss on Saturday, we knew we had to put it behind us,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It was good we got on the board early. Then we hung in there, and our bullpen did a nice job.”