The New York Mets, who have won their first two series of the season -- both on the road -- will go for a three-game sweep of the host Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
New York will pitch its ace, reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom (1-0, 0.00 ERA) against Marlins changeup specialist Trevor Richards (0-0, 1.50).
Besides starting deGrom, the Mets will also welcome back closer Edwin Diaz and setup man Jeurys Familia. Both relievers were unavailable on Tuesday due to their heavy workload the past few games.
The good news for the Marlins is that they were tougher on deGrom than any team in the majors last year. DeGrom went 0-2 with a 3.12 ERA and two no-decisions in four starts against Miami in 2018.
Against the rest of baseball, deGrom was simply filthy -- a 1.51 ERA and a 10-7 record that was mitigated by a historic lack of run support.
Overall, deGrom led the majors with a 1.70 ERA. His ERA was the third-lowest of any pitcher (minimum 30 starts) since MLB lowered mounds following the 1968 season.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said that lack of offense during deGrom starts largely explains what happened last season against the Marlins.
"I don't think there's anything to the Jacob thing," Callaway said. "The 0-2 (record) is just us not scoring runs."
It's an even smaller sample size, but in two starts at Marlins Park last year, deGrom went 0-1 with a 5.25 ERA.
Overall, DeGrom led the majors last year by allowing just 0.4 homers per nine innings. Yet, the Marlins -- who were last in the majors last season with just 128 homers -- jacked two baseballs out of the park in the four games against deGrom.
DeGrom's first start against the Marlins last year resulted in an 8-6 Mets win in Miami. He allowed four runs in six innings and left with a no-decision.
That was the last time deGrom -- against any team -- failed to pitch a quality start (at least six innings with three or less earned runs). In fact, if deGrom pitches a quality start on Wednesday, it will be No. 26 in a row for the Mets ace, tying Bob Gibson's major league record.
"I've faced him a lot," Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas said of deGrom. "He doesn't just throw hard. He commands his fastball. He can go away and in. Then he starts mixing in that slider, and it's devastating. You don't see guys with that mix very often.
"We try to attack him early and don't let him get comfortable. That's one of the things that I feel works for us.
"But, at the same time, it's kind of ... luck."
The Marlins haven't been very lucky against the Mets so far this season.
Both of New York's wins in this series have been of the "tightrope over Niagara Falls" variety.
On Monday, Miami lost 7-3 but loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the ninth before failing to score. Diaz struck out the next three batters -- all swinging -- to work out of his own jam.
On Tuesday, New York's 6-5 escape ended happily for the Mets, but only when Rojas lined into a double play, crushing Miami's two-on, one-out rally in the bottom of the ninth.
Mets shortstop Amed Rosario made the catch on that play, and Lewis Brinson was doubled up at second base.
"We saw ... a young player on the bases," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Brinson. "We're trying to score a run there, and he's wanting to get a jump. It's just a read."
On Wednesday, the Marlins will try to get a read on deGrom, something they have done better than anyone else of late.
--Field Level Media
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