While the New York Mets appear to have a good chance to win the series finale with Matt Harvey on the mound, the Miami Marlins have found ways to pull out victories when facing the All-Star.
Harvey and the Mets look to win three of four to take the series from the lowly Marlins for the first time since the opening week of the season Thursday in Miami.
Following a pair of New York victories, Jake Marisnick hit his first major league home run and Henderson Alvarez pitched into the eighth inning as the Marlins (41-65) bounced back in this four-game set with Wednesday’s 3-2 win.
”It felt good,” said Marisnick, hitting .179 (5 for 28) in his first eight games before the homer. ”It was the first at-bat where I really slowed everything down.”
Marisnick and Alvarez were acquired, along with shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, in November’s trade that sent Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio to Toronto.
“I think you realize how good of players we got in that trade and how much those guys are going to be a big part of not only this team this year, but the future,” manager Mike Redmond said. “These guys can play.”
The Mets (48-57) have dropped nine of 14 in the season series and haven’t won a set versus NL-worst Miami since taking two of three at Citi Field from April 5-7.
They’ll attempt to change that and salvage a split of their eight-game road trip behind Harvey (8-2, 2.11 ERA).
The right-hander has limited opponents to three runs or fewer in eight of his last nine starts. He’s 3-2 with a 2.03 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 62 innings over that span.
Harvey also hasn’t allowed an earned run in 15 innings after giving up one unearned run over eight frames before leaving without a decision in Friday’s 2-1 loss at Washington.
Harvey has been tough to beat on the road, where he is 5-0 with a 2.23 ERA in nine starts.
The Marlins, though, have won both his outings in Miami, including a 4-3, 15-inning win April 29. They also pulled out a 2-1, 20-inning victory in Harvey’s start in New York on June 8.
Harvey has yet to earn a decision versus Miami despite striking out 18 and posting a 3.12 ERA in three starts. The Marlins, however, are hitting .333 against him this season.
Miami seeks its seventh win in 11 games as it gives the ball Tom Koehler (2-6, 4.67).
He looks to continue a recent outstanding stretch by Miami starters, who have a 2.64 ERA in the last 10 games and haven’t allowed a homer in their last eight.
After going 2-0 with a 2.74 ERA in his previous four starts, the right-hander allowed five runs - three in the first - and nine hits over five innings in a 7-4 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
It was the third time Koehler gave up at least three first-inning runs in six starts, but that might not be a concern against a New York lineup that hasn’t scored in the first in its last six games.
Koehler is 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA in two career starts against the Mets.
Daniel Murphy is 3 for 8 with a home run in this matchup. Teammate Marlon Byrd struck out in his only at-bat against Koehler, but he’s 7 for 17 in his last four games overall.