Sunday, September 30, 2012
The New York Mets have won seven straight over the Miami Marlins, and have not lost when they have faced Josh Johnson this year.
Johnson has received very little support all season heading into his final start of 2012 on Monday night in Miami.
New York (73-86) is completing its fourth straight fourth-place finish in the NL East while Miami (67-92) is capping its third consecutive losing campaign and worst since the 1999 Marlins went 64-98.
These clubs split their first eight meetings before the Mets took the last seven by outscoring the Marlins 33-13. Three of those victories were by 20-game winner R.A. Dickey, who is set to pitch Tuesday.
New York doesn't have a great history against Johnson (8-14, 3.81 ERA), but has won all three games against him this year. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 2.18 ERA in those outings, receiving five total runs of support from one of the majors' worst offenses.
Johnson's 2.92 run support average is baseball's lowest mark.
He's still 8-2 with a 2.58 ERA in 17 career starts against the Mets, and has limited David Wright to a .216 average (8 for 37) and Ike Davis to .143 (2 for 14).
The Marlins haven't scored in Johnson's last two outings. He fell to 1-7 with a 3.72 ERA over his last nine after yielding three runs over six innings Wednesday in a 3-0 defeat at Atlanta.
The veteran doesn't want to use the Marlins' makeshift lineups down the stretch as an excuse for his inability to win.
"That's part of it," he told the Marlins' official website. "You've got to do whatever you can to get outs, and get wins."
Miami has scored more than three runs just once in a 1-9 stretch, losing 4-1 at home to Philadelphia on Sunday.
The Mets are closing stronger as winners of seven of 10. They have dropped six of nine on the road since sweeping three games in Miami from Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
New York will give rookie right-hander Jeurys Familia (0-0, 8.64) his first major league start.
Familia went 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo this year in 28 starts. He hasn't fared well in seven relief appearances since his big-league debut Sept. 4, and the Mets are eager to see what he can do as a starter before he goes to his native Dominican Republic for winter ball.
"I want to see him start," manager Terry Collins told the Mets' official website. "I really like what I've seen out of the bullpen. I just think to cross all the t's and dot the i's, I need to see him start."