Now mired in their longest skid since 2007, the Marlins look to regroup against a struggling Mets team Monday night in the opener of a three-game set.
Florida (11-7) began the season 11-1, including two wins in three games against New York (8-10) from April 10-12, but has since dropped six in a row. It’s the Marlins’ longest losing streak since an eight-game slide from Aug. 15-22, 2007.
“We’re not an 11-1 team, and we’re not an 0-6 team—we’re somewhere in the middle,” Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The Marlins had perhaps their worst performance of the season in their latest defeat, losing 13-2 to Philadelphia on Sunday. With the game out of hand, Florida outfielder Cody Ross pitched a scoreless ninth inning.
Poor pitching has been largely to blame for Florida’s struggles, posting a 7.10 ERA during the losing streak. The Marlins had a 3.24 ERA over their first 12 games, including a 2-1 victory over the Mets on April 12.
On Sunday, four Florida pitchers combined for 11 walks, two hit batters and a wild pitch before Ross came in.
Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 2.50 ERA) will get the next turn on the mound for the Marlins. He pitched five scoreless innings against New York on April 10, allowing four hits and striking out five in a 5-4 Florida win.
The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA in four starts against the Mets.
In his last outing, Sanchez gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings as Florida lost 3-2 to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night.
New York right fielder Ryan Church is batting .538 (7-for-13) with a home run and three doubles against Sanchez.
Church is batting .357 on the season, but he couldn’t provide a spark at the plate in the Mets’ 8-1 loss to Washington on Sunday. He went 1-for-3 to give him at least one hit in four straight games, but the five players ahead of him in the lineup combined to go 3-for-18 (.166) as New York went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
David Wright struck out three times en route to an 0-for-4 game in which he committed a run-scoring throwing error from third base. The All-Star has fanned 23 times in 70 at-bats this season after setting a career high with 118 strikeouts last year.
Wright hit .231 (3-for-13) in this season’s first series with the Marlins, striking out six times in 13 at-bats.
New York manager Jerry Manuel was asked if Wright needs a day off.
“I think I need one,” he said.
New York had trouble at the plate Sunday after scoring 12 runs in winning its first two games of the series. The Mets lost four straight before facing the Nationals.
Though New York has had a slow start, it has managed to settle down at Citi Field. The Mets are 4-2 at their new home after losing two of their first three.
John Maine (0-2, 7.47) will make his second start at Citi Field in this series’ opener. He has lost two straight starts since matching up with Sanchez on April 10, allowing two runs in five innings.
In his last outing, the right-hander gave up five runs and seven hits while walking five in 5 2-3 innings as New York lost 5-2 to St. Louis on Wednesday night.
Maine is 3-1 with a 2.85 ERA in seven starts versus the Marlins.