Miami Marlins at New York Mets series primer

BY foxsports • April 16, 2015

Fresh off their first series win of the 2015 season, the Miami Marlins continue their 11-day trip with a four-game series in New York against the Mets.

New York (6-3) is tied with the Atlanta Braves for first in the National League East entering the season's second weekend. Miami (3-6) is in a three-way tie with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

Last year, the Mets took 11 of 19 games from the Marlins and finished tied for second in the division with the Braves. Preseason predictions for this year called for Miami and New York to compete for second behind Washington.

In the series opener, righty Jarred Cosart gets the start. His lone mistake in his 2015 debut came on Evan Longoria's RBI single. Over six innings, he allowed one run on three hits. Righty Dillon Gee, who has thrown five or more frames in an NL-leading 47 straight starts, faced trouble when five of seven batters reached in the fifth.

With Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list, righty David Phelps will get the nod in his place. Phelps, whose wife gave birth to a son earlier in the week, has surrendered four runs on four hits with two walks in one inning of work over two relief appearances. In 2014 with the New York Yankees, Phelps went 5-5 with a 4.38 ERA as a starter. Veteran Bartolo Colon has consecutive quality starts to open the season. Over 13 innings, he has held opponents to nine hits and four runs.

Right-hander Mat Latos bounced back from a career-worst start in his Marlins debut, though a pair of rain delays shortened his second outing to just four-plus frames in a loss to the Braves. He gave up three runs (two earned). Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom tossed 6 1/3 scoreless against the Phillies and has an 11 1/3 shutout innings streak against the Marlins.

To close out the series, Miami will turn to righty Tom Koehler, who helped the ballclub snap a 1-6 record to begin the season and became the rotation's first starter to notch a victory. In soggy conditions, he allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Matt Harvey makes his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery. After six scoreless against the Nationals, the Phillies mustered three runs over six frames in Harvey's second straight win.

Here's a look at the upcoming Marlins-Mets four-game series:

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO'S HOT

SS Adeiny Hechavarria (Marlins): After opening the season 1 for 22, Hechavarria went 7 for 11 with four runs, a double, a homer and three RBI in the Braves series. His average jumped from .045 to .242. His two-run homer on his birthday was his first since Aug. 27, 2014.

1B Lucas Duda (Mets): Duda has multiple hits and RBI in his past two games, including multi-hit performances in four of the past five. He leads Mets regulars with a .353 average, going 12 for 34 with five runs, four doubles, one homer and seven RBI (second on the club).

WHO'S NOT

C Jarrod Saltalamacchia (Marlins): Saltalamacchia is 2 for 22 (.091) with two runs, a double, a homer, an RBI and three walks. He has struck out 11 times. Not helping matters is the impressive 2015 debut of prospect J.T. Realmuto, who went 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs on Wednesday.

SS Wilmer Flores (Mets): Through his first eight games, Flores has just one extra basehit -- a double -- with no RBI, two walks and seven strikeouts. He is 4 for 25 (.160) with three runs. On defense, Flores has already committed three errors.

STORYLINES

50: Stolen bases away from last year's total for the Marlins. They have already swiped eight through nine games, good for fifth in the majors. Dee Gordon has six of them.

16: Homers for Giancarlo Stanton against the Mets in 65 games, second most against an opponent

2.65: collective ERA for Mets pitchers through nine games, fifth in the majors (third in the NL)

4: Starts against the Marlins for Jacob deGrom during his rookie season in 2014. He went 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA.

QUOTE BOARD

"After the inning I asked him where he had those pitches. I've had Alan Porter as an umpire before. He's really good. He's one of those umpires you can talk to. Sometimes guys get mad if you talk to them and they think you are showing them up, but I've always appreciated being able to talk to guys. So I just asked him where he had them. He said they were close. I told him I was going to stay right there, keep pounding it. After a while he was calling them (and I) got into a good groove. I think he saw I was throwing a lot of strikes and he started calling pitches." -- Right-hander Dan Haren on his discussion with Wednesday's home-plate umpire after close pitches were called balls

"I think everybody forgot about that. When we were 1-6, a positive thing came out of that. Guys were sick and tired of hearing people talking about us being 1-6. I think that rubbed off on some guys. We were sick and tired of losing." -- First baseman Michael Morse on whether the losing ways are done

"Since the season started a week ago I had uncomfortable swings. I was hitting the ball hard, but it wasn't until this series I felt better at the plate. I think making good swings and looking to drive up the middle has helped me." -- Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria on breaking out of his slow start

LOOKING AHEAD

Following an offday, the Marlins conclude their trip with a three-game series against the Phillies.

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.


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