Johnson (12-7, 3.20 ERA) looks to take over the team lead in wins and continue his domination of the Mets when the teams meet in the middle game of a three-game set at Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday night.
The right-hander has won both his starts against New York this year, throwing 12 innings and allowing three runs—all unearned—while striking out 13 and allowing only four hits.
Johnson, 22, should be happy to face the Mets after struggling in his last start against Philadelphia on Thursday. He walked four and gave up a season-high five runs and nine hits in just 4 2-3 innings of a 14-8 loss.
“Fastball location and my slider was kind of spinning out there,” Johnson said. “When my change-up is my best pitch, that’s not good for me.”
Johnson, who had a three-game winning streak snapped in his shortest outing since Aug. 5, is tied with Scott Olsen for the team lead in victories.
The Marlins hope for another big performance from Cody Ross, who tied franchise records with three homers and seven RBIs to power the Marlins (73-71) to a 16-5 win over the Mets on Monday, moving Florida within two games of wild-card leading San Diego.
“A lot of guys don’t want to see those guys in the playoffs,” Mets left fielder Cliff Floyd said of the Marlins. “They’re feeling pretty good about themselves.”
Florida is 17-5 since Aug. 20.
“There’s a lot of games left,” Cabrera said. “The most important thing right now is winning.”
The Mets (88-55) will send Oliver Perez (3-11, 6.58) to the mound Tuesday looking to build on his best outing of the season.
The 25-year-old left-hander pitched his first shutout in more than two years Wednesday, holding Atlanta to five hits in an 8-0 win.
“That was the game that was needed,” Perez said. “I know I was having a lot of problems. This game is very good for me.”
The shutout was Perez’s first since April 25, 2004, when he was with Pittsburgh. New York acquired him from the Pirates on July 31 with reliever Roberto Hernandez in exchange for right fielder Xavier Nady.
Perez has lowered his ERA with the Mets from 13.50 to 6.35 over three starts.
“We just need to make sure we keep (Perez) in a nice little rhythm and a good frame of mind,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “That’s as good as it gets.”
The Mets seek to reduce their magic number to three as they look to secure their first NL East title since 1988.
New York leads the season series with Florida 7-6.