Monday, August 29, 2011

Preview: Double Header - Games 131/132 - Marlins at Mets


Florida Marlins (59-72) at New York Mets (62-68), 4:10 PM / 7:40 PM -  Double Header

Probable Starting Pitchers: Game 1: Florida - Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 4.01) New York - R.A. Dickey (5-11, 3.72)

Game 2: Florida - Ricky Nolasco (9-9, 4.30) New York - Dillon Gee (11-5, 4.37)

Both the New York Mets and Florida Marlins had their schedules altered this past weekend due to the impact of Hurricane Irene and will begin a five-game series today with a doubleheader at Citi Field.

The Mets had their last two games of a weekend series with Atlanta postponed because of inclement weather and the Marlins' three-game series in Philadelphia was cut down to one game as well.

New York has won two straight games since a five-game slide and defeated the Braves, 6-0, last Friday at home. Lucas Duda had three hits, two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Angel Pagan and Ruben Tejada recorded three hits apiece for the Mets, who had a 14-2 advantage in hits and received a stellar showing from starter Chris Capuano.

Capuano tossed a two-hit shutout and fanned 13 batters. It was his third career shutout and fourth complete game.

"I think it has to be (one of the best starts of my career)," said Capuano. "I've had a couple of shutouts before, but this one at this point of the season and after a rocky last month and a half or so certainly feels like one of the best."

Capuano's previous career-high in strikeouts was 12 against Cleveland on June 16, 2006, when he pitched for Milwaukee. He hadn't reached double-digits in strikeouts since June 2, 2007 when he had 10.

Mets shortstop Jose Reyes is expected to continue his quest for a batting title tonight and has been sidelined since early August with a strained left hamstring. He worked out the kinks with Double-A Binghamton. Meanwhile, outfielder Jason Bay has been out since Wednesday with a shoulder ailment and is expected to return tonight.

"I played Wednesday, it was pretty sore. I just thought I would get the off- day," Bay said on the team's site. "I got here, it was still sore. So we ran to the hospital and got an MRI really quick just to make sure."

The MRI revealed no structural damage.

R.A. Dickey gets the call for the Mets in the opener of this twinbill and is 5-11 with a 3.72 earned run average in 27 games (26 starts). He is 0-3 in his previous five starts and has recorded two straight no-decisions, including a 6-2 loss to Milwaukee last Sunday. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball.

Dickey is 3-2 with a 5.63 ERA in seven career games (5 starts) against the Marlins. The knuckleballer is only 1-8 in 14 home starts this season.



Dillon Gee will toe the rubber for New York in the second game and is 11-5 with a 4.37 ERA in 24 games (21 starts). Gee has lost two of his previous three outings and took the loss in last Monday's 1-0 setback at Philadelphia in which he surrendered eight runs in 3 2/3 innings.

The righty faced the Marlins for the first time in his career on July 24 at Sun Life Stadium and did not record a decision in the 5-4 loss. He gave up three runs in five innings of work.

Florida has won two of three games since losing six straight and posted a 6-5 victory over the Phillies on Friday.

The Marlins made a winner out of starter Clay Hensley, as he allowed three runs over 5 2/3 innings and scattered three hits for his second win of the season (2-5). Steve Cishek gave up a run in the ninth before posting his third save.

"It's scary. We keep it entertaining. We make it an interesting game every night. Thank God we were able to hold on," said Florida manager Jack McKeon.

John Buck hit a grand slam in the sixth inning and Greg Dobbs went 4-for-5 with an RBI double against his former team.

Anibal Sanchez will toe the rubber for Florida in the first game and is 7-6 with a 4.01 earned run average in 26 starts. He is 1-0 in his previous two outings after going 0-5 with a 5.31 ERA in 11 starts from June 15-Aug. 10.

Sanchez, a right-hander, did not figure into the decision of a 4-3 loss at San Diego on Sunday, as he gave up three runs and six hits in five innings. He has faced the Mets 10 times in his career, going 4-4 with a 4.61 ERA.

Ricky Nolasco gets the nod for McKeon's club in the nightcap and is 9-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 27 starts. He is 1-2 over his previous four outings and did not record a decision in Tuesday's 8-6 loss versus Cincinnati. Nolasco yielded four runs and nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

The right-hander is 5-6 with a 5.26 ERA in 20 games (18 starts) lifetime against the Mets.

Florida has won seven of 10 meetings with New York this season and is unbeaten in the past six games at Citi Field.
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