The Miami Marlins will attempt again to pick up a victory on this road trip as they face the New York Mets in the second game of a three-game set. Yesterday, the Fish suffered an ugly, late-innings defeat that was extremely frustrating to watch. Tonight, they look to avoid another frustrating defeat by throwing out their soft-tossing lefty Mark Buehrle, hoping that he will continue to dominate as he has in three starts this season. Not to be outdone, the Mets send out their own soft-tosser, and theirs has a particular trick to his game: the dreaded knuckleball.Pitching Matchup
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The Marlins are sending out Mark Buehrle after his most successful start as a member of the Fish. In his last start against the Chicago Cubs, Buehrle went eight innings and recorded five strikeouts and no walks, allowing only one run. It was the second straight start in which he did not walk a batter, and so far he has only allowed two free passes all season. All of this is very prototypical of Mark Buehrle, so it is good to see that the Marlins are getting thus far what they paid for this past offseason.
The Mets send out R.A. Dickey, the knuckleball artist. Since Dickey moved to the Mets, he has become a highly efficient pitcher, having put up a 3.08 ERA and 3.71 FIP during that time period. In terms of strikeouts and walks usually allowed, Dickey and Buehrle are actually fairly similar, with Dickey recording a few more strikeouts and walks in his time in New York when compared to Buehrle's career numbers. One thing of interest is that he has gotten hit harder this season, especially when it comes to allowing home runs. In 17 1/3 innings, Dickey has allowed five homers, and while he posted ground ball rates above 50 percent in each of the last two seasons, his rate is down to just 42 percent this year.
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The Marlins will throw out this lineup against the righty Dickey tonight. There has been some talk of further movement around in the lineup, particularly at the top due to to Jose Reyes's current struggles to start the year. It would only further cement the idea that Ozzie Guillen manages based on hot and cold streaks and that he thinks that minute lineup changes make a long-term difference in games when they really do not. Moving Stanton back up to the fifth lineup slot will not result in too many extra runs in the long run despite the fact that it definitely is the mathematically correct move.
- It was interesting to hear the reception for Jose Reyes last night. While there were some mixed responses, he did receive a mammoth share of boos in his PA last night in his return to Citi FIeld. Sounds like Reyes did not mind either way.
- This will actually be Buehrle's first time facing the Mets. Here's hoping it's the first of many successful beatdowns of that team.
Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Mets 5-2