The Mets head to Miami off of a poor showing in the Bronx against the cross town rival Yankees. The Mets came into the series riding high off of an 11 game winning streak against NL East foes and hop a plane to Miami with questions and concerns regarding their defense and focus, or lack there of. After a blowout in game 1 and a bounce back in game 2, the Mets and their fans were hoping for a statement game in the rubber series and instead put up an embarrassing display, led by Murphy’s poor defense and a lack of focus on the base paths by Campbell. Many will point to Niese giving up 6 runs (4 earned) but everyone is entitled to a bad start, and that was only his first of the season.
All that being said the Mets will still be landing in Miami to face the Marlins sitting in first place in the NL East with a 4.5 game lead on the Atlanta Braves and 6 games ahead of the third place Marlins. The Marlins are entering the series winners of 5 straight and coming off of a sweep of the Washington Nationals.
Can the Mets bounce back again tonight in game 1 against the Marlins? The Mets, thanks to their great starting pitching to start the season, have done well with avoiding any extended losing streaks. Not that two games would be an extended streak but it would be nice to have another statement game from the boys in blue and orange to show their fanbase and the rest of baseball that yesterday’s showing was more of an aberration then a fall back to mediocrity.
Will the Mets be able to contain Giancarlo Stanton? Since Miami visited Citi Field, it seems like Stanton has been otherworldly. He hit a home run over the weekend that still hasn’t landed yet. It is important that they do all that they can to not let him beat them, because looking up and down at the rest of that lineup, there is no real threat. Yes, they have a few solid hitters in Prado and Morse, but those guys don’t strike nearly the same fear as a Giancarlo.
Can the bullpen continue their dominance that have showed the first month of the season? Whether it has been Gilmartin, Blevins, Montero, A. Torres, C. Torres or especially Familia, this bullpen is deep and powerful. They finally have multiple lefty options and a shut down closer and essentially turn games into 6 inning affairs. Once the starters fully build their stamina and go deeper into games (ala Harvey versus the Yankees) Collins will really have some fun toys to bewilder opponents late in games.