Apr 13, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; FOX reporter Allison Williams interviews Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) after the Marlins defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
The Miami Marlins will have just their sixth chance on the season to start their first winning streak of the season. It looks like Giancarlo Stanton‘s bat is finally heating up, as he was able to clobber three home runs in the final two games in the series with the Chicago Cubs.
The Marlins next opponent, the New York Mets, are one of the few select teams that can brag about a loss to the Marlins in 2013. The Marlins defeated the Mets 7-5 on April 5th before dropping their the next two games and the series with the Mets. Be sure to check out the series preview article I posted this morning, giving you some in-depth insight on the pitching matchups.
To preview the series between the New York Mets and the Miami Marlins, I had an email chat with Daniel Abriano, the editor of Rising Apple, the Fansided Mets site. Daniel and his staff do an excellent job of covering everything Mets related. Be sure to check out their great site for all Mets-related news and updates.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Daniel:
Ehsan Kassim: The Mets started the season playing well, what has gone wrong since then for the Mets to drop 4 straight and fall 3 games below .500?
Daniel Abriano: A combination of poor hitting, bad bullpen management, and two very costly late game fielding miscues have led to these losses. The Mets might have gone 2-2 over these last four games if Ruben Tejada had been able to field a would be double play ball against the Phillies late in Saturday’s game (the Phillies instead blew the game open after Tejada botched it) and if John Buck had caught a foul pop-up that would’ve ended yesterday’s seventh inning (he dropped it, the Phillies blew open a 1-1 game). I don’t think anyone expected the Mets to be much more than average this year, but I also don’t think now is the time to kick dirt on them.
Former Marlin is thriving in his role with the Mets, of not being a Marlin. Luckily, Miami’s basketball team took care of Buck’s family by sweeping them out of the playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Ehsan: John Buck is off to a fast start with 8 homers for the Mets, but has he been a better player than team captain David Wright to this point? Can Buck sustain his early success?
Daniel: Buck absolutely has not been a better player than David Wright. He’s largely cooled off since his insanely hot start (see his .279 OBP). Buck may be able to continue to pop one out of the park once a week, but I think by the time catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud heals from his broken foot and gets his timing back (in 5 or 6 weeks), it would behoove the Mets to promote him and play him nearly every day.
Ehsan: Ike Davis is off to a slow start to the season with an ugly slash line of .176/.262/.351 with a strikeout rate of almost 30%. Is there a big concern about Davis going forward or will he get better as the season moves along?
Daniel: It’s almost impossible to believe, but Davis was worse last year. Part of his problem is his stubborn refusal to move closer to the plate. That refusal results in his inability to hit pitches just off the outside corner, and often leads to Davis being behind in the count – not a situation you want to be in if you strike out as often as Davis does. With that said, I think it’s only a matter of time before he snaps out of his funk. He eclipsed 30 homers and 90 RBI’s last year, and I expect him to do the same this year.
Ehsan: Monday’s pitching matchup features Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez, what are you looking forward to most in this one?
Daniel: I feel that the entire team has a different type of focus whenever Matt Harvey takes the hill. I of course look forward to watching Harvey pitch, but I’m interested in seeing if – after 4 straight losses – the team maintains the swagger they’ve had when Harvey is the one with the ball in his hand.
Ehsan: Make a bold prediction for the series, which Met pitcher will have a huge series? Which Met hitter will heat up in Miami?
Daniel: I think Matt Harvey will be tremendous tonight, and I can see Jeurys Familia being a big contributor out of the pen if Terry Collins allows his role to grow. As far as which hitter will heat up…I’ll go with David Wright. He’s been very good thus far, but he only has 2 homers. I expect that to change this week in Miami.
Ehsan: Giancarlo Stanton has three home runs in the past two games, how many do you believe he will hit in this series?
Daniel: Jeremy Hefner is starting for the Mets on Tuesday. I think his problem allowing homers will merge with Stanton’s hot streak. Let’s leave it at that.
A big thank you to Daniel for taking his timeout to talk to us. We at Marlin Maniac wish all Mets fans the best of luck in the upcoming series. If you get a chance, please check out Rising Apple for some of the best Mets content on the internet.