The New York Mets (29-23) kick off a ten-game road trip this weekend beginning in the Sunshine State against the Miami Marlins (28-25). This three-game series will be important as the Marlins could take second place in the NL East if they take two out of three. The fish did just that in the last matchup between these two teams. The Amazin’s will look to enact revenge on a division rival to set the tone for this long streak away from home.
7:10 PM Friday: Noah Syndergaard (5-2, 1.84 ERA) v Tom Koehler (3-5, 4.50 ERA)
Syndergaard made headlines in his last start as he was the culprit who finally went at Chase Utley after his infamous slide last postseason. Throwing a fastball behind Utley’s back during an at-bat, the home plate umpire immediately tossed Syndergaard to end his night after two and a third innings. To keep him on his toes, Manager Terry Collins used Syndergaard in relief on Tuesday where he threw a scoreless seventh inning.
Koehler ended his two-game losing streak on Sunday beating the Braves in Atlanta. He went seven strong allowing three hits for two earned runs. He did, however, walk five batters making it now the fourth start in a row that he has allowed five to take their base. Koehler will have to find the strike zone against this Mets lineup.
Pitching Edge: Syndergaard is itching to throw the innings he missed in his last start. Look for him to take advantage of them.
4:10 PM Saturday: Bartolo Colon (4-3, 3.39 ERA) v Justin Nicolino (2-3, 4.50 ERA)
Colon had to go against Clayton Kershaw in his last start, and he most certainly held his own. He earned a no-decision allowing two earned on seven hits in six innings. Continuing to show quality innings, the 43-year-old has been as reliable as they come. He will face the Marlins for the first time this year Saturday afternoon.
Promoted from Triple-A New Orleans, Nicolino earned two quick wins to solidify his spot in the rotation. Since then, he hasn’t been so lucky earning a loss or no-decision in five straight. Against Pittsburgh in his last start, he allowed three runs on six hits to earn his third loss of the season. He will try to turn the tides against the Mets.
Pitching Edge: Colon continues to impress and he shows no intention of slowing down. He gets the edge with Nicolino struggling.
1:10 PM Sunday: Matt Harvey (4-7, 5.37 ERA) v Jose Fernandez (8-2, 2.53 ERA)
Has Harvey finally found the answers to his pitching problems? He certainly made a case for it in his last start where he absolutely shined against the White Sox. In seven masterful innings, The Dark Knight allowed only two hits while striking out six to blank the Sox in front of the home crowd. With Fernandez on the mound for the Marlins, Harvey will need to throw more of the same as fans hope he has ended this funk.
Fernandez holds the same streak as the Mets’ Steven Matz winning seven consecutive starts. Pittsburgh was no match for him as he allowed three scattered hits in seven innings of work. During this impressive streak, Fernandez has struck out at least six in every starts while accumulating double-digits in that category three times.
Pitching Edge: Fernandez gets the edge as he has been extremely consistent. Don’t be surprised, though, if Harvey keeps up with the young righty.
More About This Series:
David Wright might be taking a trip to the disabled list as he as a herniated disk in his neck. When this will happen is still up in the air as Collins is using every precaution in the handbook to make sure Wright definitely has to take a leave from the team. The star third baseman visited a second doctor Wednesday and will rehab his injury Thursday. Without Wright in the lineup, the Mets have many options to replace him until he is fully healthy. As of now, Ty Kelly hasn’t done well in his replacement starts. Collins could possibly use Dilson Herrera or Eric Campbell to kick off the Miami Series.
In other news, Yoenis Cespedes would be starting in the MLB All-Star game if the voting ended today and Zack Wheeler will be throwing a bullpen session for team officials as he travels from Port St. Lucie to Marlins Park sometime this weekend.