Series Preview: New York Mets @ Miami Marlins


Even though David Wright and the Mets will have a worse record than the 2011 version of the Amazins, Terry Collins will not see his club fall into last place in the NL East thanks to the huge disappointment that is the Miami Marlins. The Mets have lost their last two games while dropping their most recent series to the Braves, but are 7-3 in their last 10 games and currently sit six games in front of the Fish with a 73-86 record.

How the opposition is doing:

The Marlins have continued their season-long slide, as they’ve secured their spot in the basement of the division. Not only have they lost their last two against the Phillies, they have dropped nine of their last ten ballgames. At 67-92, they are currently 29 games out of first, 19 games behind the last Wild Card spot, and are by far one of the biggest disappointments of the 2012 MLB season.

Sep 9, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes (7) and Miami Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) celebrate after the final out against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Ruggiano leads the way in the batting average department with his .313 mark. Donovan Solano will be looking to get over the hump for a .300 season, as he currently sits at .299. Jose Reyes was trying to do the same for the second straight season, but he won’t be able to as a late-season downturn has him at .285. However, Reyes does still lead the way in runs scored (84), doubles (37), triples (11), and stolen bases (38). Ruggiano has a strong lead in the on base department (.374), with Giancarlo Stanton (.361) second on the depth chart. Not surprising, Stanton is holding down a healthy lead in all of the power areas, as he is looking to add to his 36 homers, 85 RBI, and .610 slugging % this week.

On the mound, Mark Buehrle leads the staff with 13 wins, while Ricky Nolasco is the only other pitcher with double digit wins (12). Dan Jennings and Steve Cishek are the two relievers leading the way, both boasting an ERA below 3.00. Despite his year-long struggles, Heath Bell‘s 19 saves is most on the staff, while Cishek’s 14 is a close second. Buehrle’s 202.1 innings pitched is the highest total, and his 1.17 WHIP is lowest among the starters.

Probable pitching match-ups:

Jeurys Familia (0-0,  8.64 ERA) vs. Josh Johnson (8-14, 3.81 ERA)

Although it’s likely his long-term role with the Mets will be in the bullpen, Familia will be getting his first start in the Major Leagues after 7 appearances and 8.1 innings out of the bullpen since he was called up in the beginning of September. In 28 Triple-A starts, the young right-hander went 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA. He will be looking to get ahead in the count more often; when he throws strike one, he hasn’t allowed a run, but when he throws ball one, his ERA sky rockets to 7.20. Meanwhile, Josh Johnson is on the verge of a 15-loss season despite having a very respectable WHIP and ERA. He’s hoping for some more luck at home; his 6-6 record and 2.96 ERA at Marlins Park is much better than what he’s done on the road this season (2-8, 4.94 ERA).

R.A. Dickey (20-6, 2.69 ERA) vs. Jacob Turner (2-5, 4.94 ERA)

Fresh off his 20th victory in a 128-pitch performance in the Citi Field season finale last Thursday, R.A. Dickey is looking to finish his season on a high note as he hopes to secure the NL Cy Young award. He’s looking forward to facing the Fish, as he’s gone 5-0 against them in 2012. The knuckler has been incredibly consistent all year, and it shows in his home and away splits, as he’s compiled a 10-3 record and 2.59 ERA in Flushing, while also going 10-3 with a 2.81 ERA while on the road. Turner lost the to Mets back on September 21st, and is hoping for a better result this time around. The one positive for him is that he sports a 2.93 ERA when there are two outs in the inning. Even though his ERA with no outs and one out is hovering around 6.00, once it gets towards the end of the frame, he gets everything under control.

Jeremy Hefner (3-7, 5.32 ERA) vs. TBD

Hefner gets the honors of starting the last game of the season for the Mets, as he’s hoping to build on what was his best start of the season his last time out, three-hitting the Pirates over seven shutout innings. It’s been an up and down season for the young right-hander, but heading into the winter, Hefner is trying to leave a lasting impression on the front office as they start to formulate their plans for 2013. At the time this post was published, Ozzie Guillen had not announced his starting pitcher for Wednesday’s finale.

The Mets want to end this year on a high note, and build upon their 11-4 head-to-head record against the Marlins in 2012. Enjoy this last series of the year, because we won’t be able to watch New York play games that mean something until next April… Let’s go Mets!