The New York Mets begin a two-game series with the Florida Marlins tonight at home. Winners of three straight series and seven of their past 10 games, the Mets will not have a very easy series against the Marlins and their great pitching and young, upcoming offense.
Theoretically, the with their No. 1 starter, Mike Pelfrey, on the mound, New York should have the best chance to win tonight. With a 5.74 ERA and 1.61 WHIP, though, times have been better for Big Pelf. Sure, he's been a little bit better lately ... but right now he's far too hittable and he doesn't really strike out enough guys to be a huge threat.
With Cy Young contender Josh Johnson on the mound for the Marlins, the Mets could have a tough time scratching enough runs across if Pelfrey lets them down. Johnson has a 1.63 ERA and 0.90 WHIP on the year -- with one of the best fastballs in the game -- despite being just 3-1. In his eight starts this year, he has allowed more than one run just twice -- five earned against the St. Louis Cardinals and two earned on Opening Day against the Mets -- and he's not given up an earned run three times. He's lasted at least seven innings in his past six starts to boot.
It's easy to see that it's not going to be an easy game for the Mets. Looking at the pitcher versus hitter data on Johnson and the current Mets, Jason Bay has gone 4-for-9, but everyone else with at least nine at bats is stuck in the .200's or below.
But let's not be too pessimistic. This Mets team has played some great baseball lately. A good series against the second-place NL East Marlins would go a long way to quieting some doubters.