Game Preview: Mets @ Marlins

Saturday’s game hurts. The Mets offense has struggled for swaths of the season, so losing a game after scoring nine runs from 15 hits almost feels unfair. Losing it because of the bullpen, which was the Mets greatest strength from start of the season adds another layer to that unfairness. But Saturday’s game is just one game of 162. A win today allows the Mets to avoid the sweep and try again to start a winning streak tomorrow.

Sean Manaea looks to lead the Mets back to the win column this afternoon. Over eight starts and 41 1/3 innings this season, Manaea has a 3.05 ERA, 3.26 FIP, 1.306 WHIP and 127 ERA+. Manaea is coming off of a strong start against the Phillies where he held them to one run over six innings from four hits and one walk. It was his third time in his last three starts that he allowed one run or less. More importantly though, it was his second straight start only walking one batter, allowing him to finish six innings for two straight starts. The Marlins have the following career numbers against Manaea:

  • Jazz Chisholm Jr. 0-3, K
  • Bryan De La Cruz 1-3, K
  • Nick Fortes 2-2, 2 HR
  • Emmanuel Rivera 1-3, HR, K

The Mets bats will get a look at Sixto Sánchez this afternoon in Miami. Sánchez was a highly touted prospect that impressed over seven games back in 2020, posting a 3.46 ERA, 3.50 FIP, 1.205 WHIP and a 132 ERA+ over 39 innings. Injuries have derailed his career, keeping him off the diamond completely in 2021 and 2022. He was able to pitch one inning in the minors last year.

This season the Marlins have used him both as a starter and as a reliever. Over 11 games he has pitched 22 2/3 innings with a 5.96 ERA, 4.60 FIP, 1.632 WHIP and a 72 ERA+. As a starter he has tossed 15 1/3 innings over four games allowing 13 runs, 10 earned (5.87 ERA) while striking out 10 batters. His last start was the deepest he has gone in a game going 4 2/3 innings holding the Tigers to three unearned runs. It was the first time this season he hit 80 pitches. There is no one on the current Mets roster who has faced Sánchez in a major league game.

Three Things To Watch For:

  1. J.D. keeps hitting, so we’ll keep watching. J.D. Martinez went 2-for-5 at the plate Saturday with a double. This should feel familiar as it was the fourth time in his last six games that J.D. recorded at least two hits. Over this six game stretch Martinez has gone 10-for-24 at the plate with four extra-base hits slashing .417/.462/.667. The difference on Saturday was that the rest of the lineup around Martinez also hit, so he was able to knock in a couple of runs too.
  2. Can Saturday’s breakouts turn into hot streaks? Starling Marte went 3-for-4 at the plate Saturday, it was the third time in the last five games that he has recorded at least two hits. This feels like Marte is breaking out of the slump he was mired in. Mark Vientos went 2-for-4 at the plate Saturday after going 0-for-6 in the previous two games. Jeff McNeil went 2-for-4 at the plate and now has hits in four of his last five games. The lineup feels so close to all clicking together.
  3. Francisco Lindor: The only starter who didn’t get into Saturday’s hit parade was Francisco Lindor who went 0-for-5 at the plate (but still recorded an RBI and a run). Lindor is the heart of the team. When he starts to breakout we’ll see this offense going on all cylinders.

Let’s Go Mets!

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