Monday, April 5, 2010

Series Outlook: Florida Marlins @ New York Mets 4/5 - 4/8

April 5, 2010


Game 1
1:05 PM ET, April 5, 2010
Citi Field, New York, NY
Josh Johnson (0-0, 0.00) vs Johan Santana (0-0, 0.00)

Game 2
7:10 PM ET, April 7, 2010
Citi Field, New York, NY
Ricky Nolasco (0-0, 0.00) vs John Maine (0-0, 0.00)

Game 3
7:10 PM, April 8, 2010
Citi Field, New York, NY
Nate Robertson (0-0, 0.00) vs Jonathon Niese (0-0, 0.00)

When the Marlins step on to the field on Opening Day, they will do so with all their intended starters. The Mets cannot say the same.

The injury bug plagued New York last year and it looks like it has followed them to 2010. The Mets will start the season with SS Jose Reyes and CF Carlos Beltran on the 15-day disabled list. They will also be without RHP Kelvim Escobar.

Cody Ross was questionable for the start of the new campaign with a strained right calf, but was cleared to play on Sunday by the team.

After completing a string of three minor league games over the weekend, Ross told manager Fredi Gonzalez he is able to go nine innings without a problem. That was enough to convince his skipper. Scott Cousins, who was traveling with the team as a precaution, was optioned to AAA New Orleans.

The Marlins are looking to get off to a fast start as they did last year when they began the season 11-1. What they are trying not to do is repeat what happened thereafter, as they lost  23 out of next 33. The Marlins were never able to recover. They remained in the hunt for the Wild Card spot until the last two weeks of baseball, but ran out of steam down the stretch.

First for a Few
  • Josh Johnson will make his first Opening Day start of his career. There is no better team to do it against than the Mets. Johnson is a perfect 7-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 9 games against New York. That includes a 2-1 Complete Game victory on April 12 against Johan Santana.
  • Chris Coghlan might be reigning NL Rookie of the Year, but he is still a rookie when it comes to Opening Day. Coghlan started last season in the minors before being called up on May 12. 
  • This will also be a first for Relief Pitcher Tim Wood. The end of Spring was a hectic one for Wood. He was in line to start the season in the bullpen until the Marlins acquired Nate Robertson from Detroit. The acquisition bumped Clay Hensley to the bullpen which left no room for Wood. Wood was optioned to AAA New Orleans. On Friday, pitcher Brian Sanches injured his hamstring while warming up and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Wood was first in line to get the call. "It's unfortunate it had to happen to Brian the way it did," Wood said. "You don't wish injury on anybody. I'm very thankful I was the first one they called."
  • First Baseman Gaby Sanchez received some playing time at the end of last season, but not enough to qualify as a rookie. Sanchez will experience his first Opening Day and the start of his rookie campaign tonight.
  • Long Reliever Burke Badenhop has three years of major league experience with the Marlins but has never started a season in the majors.
Last Minute Change

Fredi Gonzalez made a last minute change to his starting rotation on Sunday. Anibal Sanchez, who was slated to be the number three pitcher, was flipped with Nate Robertson.

"We didn't want Nate Robertson to not pitch in 10 days," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Another thing is this splits those right-handers with a lefty. But the major thing was for him to not have him go 10 days without pitching."

Some can suggest that Sanchez's poor play factored into to this decision.

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