Syndergaard faces Chen in rubber game between Mets, Marlins

MIAMI -- We may be seeing a little less of New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard the rest of this season.

Syndergaard, who will face the host Miami Marlins on Sunday in the finale of a three-game series, could soon be part of six-man rotation instead of one of five starters.

"We've talked about it a couple of times," Mets manager Mickey Callaway told "We want to monitor guys like Noah and Zack Wheeler."

In other words, a six-man rotation would put less innings on the right arm of Syndergaard, who is 7-2 with a 3.17 ERA in 15 starts this season.

For his career, Syndergaard is 31-20 with a 2.95 ERA over parts of four seasons. However, he has been injury prone of late. After throwing 150 innings as a rookie and 183 2/3 in his second year, he pitched just 30 1/3 frames in last year.

This season, he has pitched 88 innings, and the Mets want to make sure he is healthy going into 2019.

As for Sunday's start, Syndergaard has to feel good since he is 4-0 with a 1.62 ERA in six career starts against Miami.

He will be opposed by Wei-Yin Chen (4-8, 5.48 ERA), who has struggled for the third straight season since signing a five-year, $80 million contract with the Marlins.

But Chen has pitched better of late, compiling a 3.92 ERA in his past seven starts. He is also 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA in three career starts against the Mets.

The most curious aspect of Chen's 2018 season is his road-home split. He has a 10.27 ERA on the road but a 1.94 ERA at home.

His home ERA is the fifth best in the majors.

Sunday's contest will be the rubber game of the series after the Marlins defeated the Mets 4-3 on Saturday night.

Backup catcher Bryan Holaday pulled an RBI double down the third-base line for a walk-off win in the 11th inning.

"It's the best feeling in the world," Holaday said after his game-winner. "It's a great night."

Both teams will enter Sunday's game with tired bullpens. Seven Marlins relievers -- including winner Javy Guerra (1-0) -- combined to pitch 6 1/3 scoreless innings on Saturday.

New York used four relievers to cover 4 1/3 innings.

Neither team is going anywhere in the standings. The Mets are 48-66, good for fourth place in the National League East.

The Marlins are 48-70, placing them last in the NL East.

At least for the Mets, there might be a silver lining.

Third baseman David Wright hasn't played in the majors since May 27, 2016. On Sunday, he is scheduled to play five innings for high Class A St. Lucie.

"I feel like there's a very good chance 1/8of Wright reaching the bigs 3/8 now," manager Mickey Callaway told Newsday. "He's got to really buy in and believe he feels good every single day. We'll lean on him a lot for his feedback. ... I know that he's going to do everything he can and push through everything he feels like he can push through to try to get back."

The Mets captain has dealt with a series of injuries since 2015 when his career was put in jeopardy by lumbar spinal stenosis. Then came a herniated disc and surgery in 2016.

A year ago, a rehab assignment was cut short after three games because of pain in his shoulder.

"The goal is to come back as strong as ever," Wright told last week. "It's kind of baby steps. We'll do the rehab process. Then we'll get into a more strenuous rehab process and see how my body responds, and hopefully start revving it up baseball-wise."
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