NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — For being division rivals, the Mets and Marlins haven’t seen each other much this season.
That’s about to change.
The Mets and Marlins will square off seven times over the next 17 days, beginning with a makeup game Monday night at Citi Field.
“Just win. It doesn’t change. You go back to when we played them before,” Mets manager Terry Collins told the team’s official website. “If you add that game onto the series, it decides who wins or loses the series. We’ve got to come out tomorrow and just approach it as another game.”
New York (47-47) opened the season with a three-game series in Florida, winning twice. The teams then met in Queens for a two-game set in mid-May, but only got in one game because of a rainout.
While facing the Marlins just four times, the Mets have combined to play 29 games against their other NL East rivals Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington.
They’ll become much more familiar in the coming weeks, meeting again for a three-game set at Florida (46-49) this weekend before a series in New York to begin August.
The teams enter this makeup from May 17 apparently heading in opposite directions.
The Mets, who lost to Philadelphia 8-5 on Sunday, have dropped four of five, while the Marlins, 7-5 winners Sunday over the Chicago Cubs, have won eight of nine.
Daniel Murphy is doing his best to carry New York’s offense in Jose Reyes’ absence, batting .410 with 10 doubles and 16 RBIs in his last 20 games. The infielder is also hitting .313 with six doubles and five RBIs in his last nine versus the Marlins.
Reyes (strained left hamstring) is eligible to come off the disabled list for this contest, but isn’t expected to return until Tuesday against St. Louis.
Hanley Ramirez is leading Florida during its surge, batting .397 with five homers and 20 RBIs in his last 16 games. He is also hitting .368 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 17 career games at Citi Field, but is 1 for 12 lifetime against scheduled starter Chris Capuano (8-8, 4.12 ERA).
Capuano takes the ball for the first time since allowing two runs, four hits and four walks in six innings of a 3-1 loss at San Francisco on July 9. That snapped a three-start winning streak for the left-hander, who is still 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA in his last seven outings.
This will be Capuano’s first appearance against the Marlins since permitting a run and three hits while recording two outs in relief April 3. He is 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA in eight career starts versus Florida.
The Marlins counter with Clay Hensley (0-2, 3.60), who is expected to be activated from the DL to make his first start in nearly three years.
Hensley appeared in 20 games out of the bullpen before a sprained right shoulder landed him on the DL on June 3.
With the starting rotation burdened by injuries, the right-hander is getting the chance to make his first start since July 24, 2008, with San Diego. Hensley made 40 starts over four seasons for the Padres, going 13-15 with a 4.35 ERA.
“My heart has always been in the rotation,” he told the Marlins’ official website. “To get the opportunity to do this, and throw in the rotation, it’s almost like getting to start over again.”
In a rehab start for Double-A Jacksonville on Wednesday, Hensley allowed a run and five hits while striking out seven in 4 1-3 innings. He threw 72 pitches.
If things go well against the Mets, he could work his way into the rotation more permanently.
“We’ll see how far he can go,” manager Jack McKeon said. “What we’re doing is trying to find somebody for that fifth spot.”
What’s your prediction for Monday night’s game? Let us know in the comments below…
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