THE New York Mets (2-1) will take on
the Marlins for the first time since they broke our hearts for the
second straight season in a three-game series in Miami this Easter
Florida (3-0) are off to their best start to a season in more than a
decade and they have came out of the block hitting, pitching and
Offensively, they lead the NL in runs (26), batting average (.313) and total bases (59), while on the mound they league the lead in strikeouts (31) and earned runs allowed (11).
From their first series against the awful Nationals, Emilio Bonifacio
is 8/12 for four steals and Jorge Cantu is 4/9 (.444) with a pair of
All three starters recorded wins against the Nats and the fish will
continue with their four-man rotation when they host the Mets.
Ryan Church has started 5/11 with three doubles and Carlos Delgado is 5/12 with a home run and six RBI.
On the mound, their new bullpen duo of JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez
have given up a combined one run and one hit in four innings of work,
picking up two holds and two saves.
On Good Friday, John Maine will face fellow righty Anibal Sanchez
Maine, who struggled to a 6.65 ERA in the Cactus League, is 2-0 with a 3.22
ERA in four career starts in Florida.
He has pitched well against All Star Hanley Ramirez, who is hitting
just .188 (3/16) against him and Dan Uggla who is 3/15 with seven
Jeremy Hermida has had the most success against Maine, going 5/11.
On Saturday, former Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez will face the present-day Florida ace Ricky Nolasco.
According to MLB.com, Hernandez made 70 starts for the fish between
1997 and 1999 at what is now called Dolphin Stadium where he has a 3.86
Nolasco was 1-2 in six starts against the Mets last season, but overall he is 2-5 in 11 starts with a 6.27 ERA.
On Opening Day against Washington, Nolasco gave up five runs on six innings with six strikeouts to pick up the win.
The Mets will finish their series with Johan Santana on the mound against Josh Johnson in what is sure to be a pitchers’ duel.
Johan shut down the Reds on Monday, allowing just one hit but giving up four walks in five innings of work.
He was 3-0 against the Marlins in 2008 with a 1.96 ERA and he is a perfect 5-0 against them lifetime.
Dan Uggla (1/14 with 8 Ks), Hanley Ramirez (2/12) and Jorge Cantu (5/23 with 8 Ks) have all struggled against Johan.
Johnson pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Nationals on
Tuesday, giving up seven hits while striking out eight and walking
none. Johnson was 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA
against last season.
Johnson has given the heart of the Mets lineup huge problems in the
past and David Wright, Carlos Belgado and Carlos Beltran are a combined
2/33. No active Met has hit a home run against Johnson either.