After taking two of three games from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Miami Marlins have already clinched a winning homestand. Miami is 5-1 on what will be a nine-game homestand as they get set to host the New York Mets for three games.
Miami took the series from Los Angeles in dramatic fashion on Sunday. After A.J. Ramos blew a save in the top of the ninth, Jeff Baker came through with a shot off the wall to score Adeiny Hechavarria and give Miami a 5-4 win and its second walk-off victory of the year. Dodgers’ right fielder Yasiel Puig was slow to get up after attempting to rob Baker, but walked off the field under his own power.
The New York Mets did not fare as well in their recent series against the Colorado Rockies, but did take the finale on Sunday to avoid being swept over the four games. The Mets have been fueled thus far by their starting pitching as both Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee have ERAs under three. Niese will pitch the series opener against Miami on Monday.
The Mets and Marlins enter the series in South Florida separated by half a game. With a record of 16-14, New York is in third place in the National League East, just a game back of the first place Atlanta Braves. As one of baseball’s early surprises, Miami is 15-14 and tied for fourth in the N.L. East. The Marlins sit a game and a half back of Atlanta, but have gained five games on the Braves in the last six days.
This week’s series in Miami will be the first visit for the Mets to Marlins Park this season. The Marlins and Mets will open the series with night games on Monday and Tuesday before concluding it with an early afternoon start on Wednesday.
New York leads 2-1. The New York Mets were able to take two of three from Miami when the teams met at Citi Field less than two weeks ago. The Mets took the series opener by scoring two runs in the ninth to snap Miami closer Stever Cishek’s streak of 34 straight converted saves. After Miami rallied from four runs down to take the middle game, a dominating pitching performance by Dillon Gee gave the Mets the series.
Stanton Grabs N.L. Lead in Home Runs
Miami Marlins’ outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued to produce on Sunday as Stanton had his first multiple home run game of the season. After a two-run blast in the first inning gave Miami an early lead, Stanton broke a 3-3 tie with a rocket shot to left in the sixth inning. Stanton now has three home runs on the homestand his two-homer effort on Sunday surpassed Adrian Gonzalez, who was one of Stanton’s opponents on Sunday for the Dodgers, for the National League lead. Stanton now has 10 home runs on the season and is well ahead in the RBI race with a MLB-high 36 on the season.
Home, Sweet Home!
Don’t look now, but the state of the art Marlins Park has finally given the Marlins a home field advantage. After struggling to gain attendance in each of the last two seasons, the Miami Marlins have the best home record in baseball just over a month into 2014. Miami is 14-5 at home and has won every home series thus far. The Fish have taken on two of the National League’s best teams on the current homestand in the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. Against those two teams, Miami went 5-1. The bad news for the Marlins is that while they’ve won every home series, they have yet to win one on the road and own just a 2-10 overall road record.
Monday – Jonathon Niese (NYM) 2-2, 2.20 ERA vs. Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 2-1, 2.58 ERA
Tuesday – Bartolo Colon (NYM) 2-4,, 5.65 ERA vs. Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 1-2, 3.28 ERA
Wednesday – Zack Wheeler (NYM) 1-3, 5.13 ERA vs. Tom Koehler (MIA) 3-2, 2.41 ERA