Preview: Marlins look to begin July by sweeping free-falling Mets
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 12:30 p.m.
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins spent June engaged in methodical but fruitful climb out of the basement in the National League East. The New York Mets can begin July by cementing their unimaginably rapid descent to the bottom of not just the division but the entire Senior Circuit.
The Marlins will look to move into sole possession of fourth place in the NL East Sunday, when they look to complete a sweep of the free-falling Mets in the finale of a three-game series at Marlins Park.
The Marlins came back from an early two-run deficit Saturday to earn a 5-2 win over the Mets and their ace, right-hander Jacob deGrom. The win completed the best month of the season for Miami (34-50), which went 14-14 while winning five of nine series.
“That’s how you climb is continue to win series, continue to win series,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters Saturday. “Hopefully somewhere in there, you throw an eight- or 10-game winning streak together to really take a chunk out of something.”
The Mets (32-48) are doing the exact opposite. New York went 5-21 in June, during which it lost eight of nine series and split the other. It was the third-worst month in franchise history behind/ahead of only July 1963 (4-25) and August 1982 (5-24).
In the process, the Mets went from five games out of first place and eight games ahead of the Marlins to tie for last, 14 1/2 games out of first. The two teams are tied for the worst record in the NL, though Miami is technically percentage points ahead of New York heading into Sunday.
The Mets are 21-47 since opening 11-1, the best 12-game start in franchise history. Only the Baltimore Orioles have a worse record since Apr. 13.
The Mets have not been in last place in the NL East after July 1 since 2005, when they had a 77-77 record while occupying fifth place on Sept. 24. This squad appears far more likely to flirt with 100 losses than with .500, but rookie manager Mickey Callaway said he will continue to remain patient.
“We just have to keep on having daily conversations to try and right the ship,” Callaway told reporters Saturday. “It’s difficult right now. I know the players are feeling it. I know the fans are feeling it. We’re going to continue to do everything we can with the staff, the organization and the players to try and get in a better spot than we are. Because this isn’t acceptable to anybody.”
Straily earned the win in his most recent start last Monday, when he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings as the Marlins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-5. Matz didn’t factor into the decision last Tuesday, when he gave up three runs over seven innings as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.
Straily is 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. Matz is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts against the Marlins.