Series preview: Mets at Marlins

May, 10, 2012
5/10/12
9:57
PM ET

US Presswire
The Mets face (l to r) Mark Buehrle, Ricky Nolasco and Carlos Zambrano this weekend in Miami.
METS (18-13, third place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (16-15, fourth place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Johan Santana (1-2, 2.61) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (2-4, 2.83), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (4-1, 3.76) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-0, 2.72), 1:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jon Niese (2-1, 4.01) vs. RHP Carlos Zambrano (1-2, 1.98), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• With Heath Bell having blown his fourth save in seven chances last Friday, manager Ozzie Guillen turned closing responsibilities over to 25-year-old right-hander Steve Cishek. Bell, who signed a three-year, $27 million deal as a free agent, since has appeared in one game -- the 10th inning on Wednesday at Houston, after Cishek blew the save in the ninth. Bell had a scoreless frame, and Miami ultimately won in 12 innings.


Debby Wong/US Presswire
Ex-Met Heath Bell has been deposed, at least temporarily, as closer after blowing four of his opening seven save chances.


Jose Reyes -- who had a quiet, 1-for-12 series at Citi Field, except for the booing directed at him -- has started to get into gear. In his past 10 starts, Reyes has a .400 on-base percentage and four steals in five attempts. For the season, the ex-Met still is hitting a paltry .233 with a .321 OBP and eight steals. Reyes has started 30 of 31 games at shortstop. Guillen used Emilio Bonifacio for three games in the leadoff slot in late April before restoring Reyes to his customary position.

• Bonifacio is 15-for-15 in steals attempts, tying Chuck Carr (1994) for the most successful steals to open a season in Marlins franchise history. Dating to last season, Bonifacio has swiped 16 straight. That is one shy of matching the franchise record, held by Carr. However, Bonifacio -- who is hitting only .238 -- was dropped to seventh in the lineup Wednesday after otherwise exclusively hitting first or second.

• The Marlins have won eight of their past nine games after an 8-14 start.

Carlos Zambrano tossed a three-hit shutout against the Astros in his most recent start, slicing his season ERA to 1.98 and picking up his first win in six starts as a Marlin. It was Zambrano’s fifth career shutout, and first since Sept. 25, 2009 at San Francisco.

Similarly, Mark Buehrle tossed a complete game Saturday in a 4-1 win at San Diego. The former White Sox southpaw has only a 2-4 record because of the lack of run support and bullpen difficulties that also have depressed Zambrano’s win total. Marlins starting pitchers, fueled by Ricky Nolasco’s early dominance, have completed at least six innings in 25 of 31 games.

• After going homerless in his first 19 games of the season, right fielder Giancarlo Stanton has gone deep six times since April 29. Stanton’s 97 at-bat homerless drought had been the longest of his career.

• This weekend, the Mets get their first glimpse of the Marlins’ new stadium, which is located in Little Havana, at the former site of the Orange Bowl. The ballpark has a capacity of 37,442 and features a retractable roof. It has spacious outfield dimensions (l to r): 344, 386, 418, 392, 335. There have been an average of 1.18 homers per game at Marlins Park. That is the fifth-fewest in the National League, trailing only the home ballparks of the Giants (0.67), Padres (0.96), Cubs (1.11) and Nationals (1.13).

There has been an average of 1.19 homers per game at Citi Field, despite the reduced dimensions.

Matchups

Santana vs. Marlins (career: 6-1, 1.46 ERA)
Gaby Sanchez .625, 1 RBI, 1 K, 8 PA
Giancarlo Stanton .333, 1 K, 3 PA
John Buck .222, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 20 PA
Omar Infante .190, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 10 K, 45 PA
Jose Reyes .143, 7 PA
Emilio Bonafacio .133, 6 K, 15 PA
Austin Kearns .133, 3 K, 15 PA
Hanley Ramirez .130, 3 BB, 8 K, 26 PA
Logan Morrison .000, 2 K, 3 PA
Donnie Murphy .000, 2 K, 3 PA

Dickey vs. Marlins (career: 6-2, 3.57 ERA)
Omar Infante .480, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 27 PA
Gaby Sanchez .333, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 22 PA
Hanley Ramirez .333, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 19 PA
Austin Kearns .333, 1 K, 3 PA
John Buck .231, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 14 PA
Logan Morrison .214, 2 BB, 5 K, 16 PA
Greg Dobbs .200, 3 K, 10 PA
Brett Hayes .167, 1 K, 6 PA
Emilio Bonifacio .154, 1 BB, 4 K, 14 PA
Donnie Murphy .143, 3 K, 7 PA
Giancarlo Stanton .100, 1 BB, 5 K, 11 PA
Jose Reyes .000, 3 K, 9 PA

Niese vs. Marlins (career: 1-4, 5.13 ERA)
Logan Morrison .429, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 PA
Gaby Sanchez .250, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 19 PA
Hanley Ramirez .214, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
Emilio Bonifacio .200, 6 PA
Brett Hayes .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Omar Infante .190, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 22 PA
Austin Kearns .167, 6 PA
Giancarlo Stanton .143, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 9 PA
Jose Reyes .000, 3 PA
John Buck .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Donnie Murphy .000, 3 PA

Buehrle vs. Mets (career: 0-1, 2.57 ERA)
Scott Hairston .500, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA
Ronny Cedeno .444, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Daniel Murphy .333, 3 PA
David Wright .333, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 PA
Rob Johnson .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Lucas Duda .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Andres Torres .250, 4 PA
Ike Davis .000, 3 PA
Kirk Nieuwenhuis .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Nolasco vs. Mets (career: 5-7, 5.03 ERA)
Kirk Nieuwenhuis .667, 3 PA
David Wright .386, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 15 K, 60 PA
Andres Torres .333, 5 K, 11 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 6 PA
Daniel Murphy .300, 1 RBI, 3 K, 21 PA
Ike Davis .214, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 15 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 3 K, 9 PA
Ronny Cedeno .000, 1 K, 6 PA
Mike Nickeas .000, 1 K, 4 PA
Jordany Valdespin .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Rob Johnson .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Zambrano vs. Mets (career: 6-3, 3.34 ERA)
Daniel Murphy .300, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 11 PA
Ronny Cedeno .273, 3 K, 11 PA
Scott Hairston .200, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Ike Davis .167, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 K, 6 PA
David Wright .125, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K, 29 PA
Andres Torres .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 PA
Justin Turner .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 1 BB, 2 K, 3 PA
Mike Nickeas .000, 2 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 3-0, at Citizens Bank Park, April 24-26 (AP game recaps)

Mets 2, Marlins 1: Jose Reyes went hitless in his return to Citi Field and Lucas Duda lined a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning that caromed off reliever Edward Mujica. Johan Santana and Josh Johnson zipped through the first six innings in a crisp pitchers' duel between healthy-looking aces. Santana, coming off the shortest start of his career, struck out 11 for the Mets while Johnson whiffed nine. Both working on six days' rest, each pitcher was charged with one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings. Santana and Johnson both threw 67 strikes.

Mets 5, Marlins 1: David Wright hit a two-run homer to become the Mets' career RBIs leader and R.A. Dickey outpitched Mark Buehrle in a crafty duel. Jose Reyes singled in the eighth inning for his first hit against his former team in eight at-bats, eliciting yet another chorus of lusty boos from the crowd that once adored him. Wright's homer gave him 735 RBIs and broke a tie with Darryl Strawberry for the team lead. In contrast to the matchup of aces Johan Santana and Josh Johnson in the opener, Dickey (3-1) and Buehrle (1-3) rarely reached 85 mph on the scoreboard radar.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Justin Turner drew a bases-loaded walk in a sensational 13-pitch at-bat and Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning as the Mets rallied past Heath Bell and Miami. Pitching for the first time in a week, and working in a steady drizzle, Bell (0-3) couldn't find the plate. The All-Star closer walked four and threw a whopping 46 pitches. The Mets trailed 2-1 when David Wright drew a leadoff walk in the ninth. One-out passes to Ike Davis and Josh Thole loaded the bases for Turner, a pinch hitter. Turner fell behind in the count 0-2 and later fouled off seven pitches before his walk made it 2-all. After a forceout at the plate, Nieuwenhuis hit a one-hopper off the right-field wall. Before Nieuwenhuis' hit the Mets were 0-for-16 with two walks when batting with the bases loaded this season. The Mets finished off a three-game sweep on Bell's third blown save in five chances. Ramon Ramirez (2-1) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.301 9 53 73
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .856
WB. Colon 12
ERAJ. Niese 3.47
SOZ. Wheeler 148