Marlins Series Preview June 27-29

After dropping all four in Los Angeles against the NL West-leading Dodgers, the Mets (34-41) rebounded by sweeping the lowly Giants at AT&T Park over the weekend. New York never trailed in the three-game set in which they set a franchise record for home runs in a calendar month. They look to carry some of that momentum into South Beach to face a Marlins (34-40) club that sits a half-game ahead of New York in the standings.

Don Mattingly’s team took two of three from Washington to kick off their current homestand, followed by a series split against the defending champion Cubs despite scoring a total of ten runs over four games.

It has been widely reported that the Mets are now open for business, listening to offers on a number of their key players, and hopes of a prolonged winning streak to climb back into playoff contention are rapidly dwindling. A poor showing to wrap up this road trip could signal the final nail in the coffin, even for the most resolute of the Flushing faithful.

When and Where

Game 1: Tuesday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 2: Wednesday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Game 3: Thursday @ 7:10 p.m. EST (TV: SNY; RADIO: 710 WOR, ESPN Deportes)

Baseball Weather

Note that these conditions are only applicable if the retractable roof is open.

Tuesday: Scattered thunderstorms with a low of 78F and winds between 5-10 mph; Chance of rain 50%

Wednesday: Cloudy with a low of 77F and winds between 5-10 mph

Thursday: Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible and a low of 79F; Chance of rain 50%

Probable Pitching Matchups

Tuesday: RHP Robert Gsellman (5-5, 6.04 ERA, 6.91 DRA, .322 TAv, -1.1 WARP) vs. RHP Dan Straily (5-4, 3.43 ERA, 3.11 DRA, .230 TAv, 2.3 WARP)

After pitching effectively in four consecutive outings since returning to the rotation, Gsellman was rocked in his last two starts to the tune of a 13.50 ERA. The long-haired rookie was tagged with the loss in both games, allowing 20 hits, 5 walks, and 6 home runs in just 9.1 innings. Gsellman is 1-1 with a 6.14 ERA in three starts against Miami this season.

Straily has been impressive in his first year with the Marlins, particularly of late. He matched up against reigning Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer at home on Wednesday, pitching six frames of one-run ball in a 2-1 Miami victory.

Wednesday: LHP Steven Matz (1-1, 3.60 ERA, 4.39 DRA, .257 TAv, 0.3 WARP) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (0-3, 5.70 ERA, 5.88 DRA, .278 TAv, -0.1 WARP)

Matz faced some control issues in LA on Thursday, walking five Dodgers in six innings. The Stony Brook southpaw worked his way around the wildness for the most part, and was charged with three runs over six innings while striking out eight. Matz did not factor in the decision in an eventual 6-3 Mets loss. The 26-year-old has had success in two career starts at Marlins Park, where he is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA.

Locke has lasted only four innings in each of his last two starts, allowing eight runs over that span. He saw his ERA rise over a full run on Thursday against the Cubs, a game which Miami went on to lose 11-1.

Thursday: RHP Seth Lugo (2-1, 3.72 ERA, 5.96 DRA, .296 TAv, -0.1 WARP) vs. RHP Jose Urena (6-2, 3.33 ERA, 5.87 DRA, .256 TAv, -0.3 WARP)

Lugo earned the win Friday night in San Francisco despite a mediocre outing in which he allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks over 5.2 innings. He fared well against the Marlins in his rookie season, going 2-0 with a 3.55 ERA in three appearances (two starts).

Urena has won five straight decisions, including six shutout innings against the Cubs on Friday. Now in his fourth year with Miami, the 25-year-old Dominican native is in the midst of a career-best stretch.

Who’s Hot?

Mets OF Curtis Granderson (10-for-21 (.476) with 3 home runs and 5 RBIs since Wednesday)

Mets C Rene Rivera (2 homers on Sunday)

Mets 1B Lucas Duda (5-for-14 (.357) with 4 extra-base hits in the Giants series)

Who’s Not?

Mets OF Michael Conforto (.206 BA with 1 home run in June)

Marlins offense (.185 BA (39-for-211) on seven-game homestand)

When We Last Met

The Mets took two out of three at Citi Field on May 5-7, scoring 19 runs before being blanked by Urena and the Marlins’ bullpen in the series finale.

It’s Literally a 10-Day DL

Mets: LF Michael Conforto (bruised left wrist) left Sunday’s game early after being hit by a pitch. X-rays were negative and he is considered day-to-day. RHP Zack Wheeler (biceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is eligible to come off of the 10-Day disabled list to start on Saturday, although the team has not confirmed that he will do so.

Marlins: SS Adeiny Hechavarria (left oblique sprain) had been on a rehab assignment and was set to be activated for this series. The Mets will not see the slick-fielding Cuban any time soon, however, as he was traded to Tampa Bay on Monday evening for two minor leaguers. RHP Brad Ziegler (right back strain) was placed on the 10-day DL on Thursday. An MRI of the veteran sidewinder’s back did not reveal any serious damage. Ziegler has been dealing with intermittent discomfort in that area since spring training.

Notable Quotables

“He’s a good pitcher. Once he got over the little blip he had, I think he’s going to continue on and I think he’s going to have a real big year.” – Mets manager Terry Collins on Jacob deGrom, following the right-hander’s third straight outing of eight-plus innings pitched

“It’s come to the point now where I’m always wondering if he’s going back out for the ninth inning to finish the game and that’s something that’s really, really special. You don’t get that from a lot of guys and, in my opinion, he just continues to kind of cement himself as that ace guy that you can really count on.” – Mets outfielder Jay Bruce on deGrom’s recent success

“It’s just nice having him back. You know you’re getting a baseball player from the standpoint, the mentality. Knows where to be on the field, always prepared, brings just a little different tone to our club.” – Mattingly on third baseman Martin Prado, who returned to action Friday after missing almost seven weeks with a strained right hamstring

Photo credit:  Jasen Vinlove – USA Today Sports

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