Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
Santana, a four-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young Award winner, received a no-decision in his last outing. And in the start before that, the southpaw was hammered for 10 earned runs in a loss to the Phillies, a result that raised his ERA by more than two runs (from 2.08 to 4.50). For his career, Santana is 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA in eight starts against the Marlins.
New York wasn’t able to steal a base on Wednesday, breaking a five-game streak in which the Mets had at least one theft. New York has stolen 33 bases this season, good enough to rank fourth behind the Padres, White Sox and Rangers. The Mets have only been caught eight times, the fewest of any team with 30 stolen bases, to log an 81 percent success rate. Jose Reyes is tied for the team lead with eight stolen bases, and he’s taken four of those bases in the last six games. Reyes, who started the season late due to precautionary treatment for a thyroid condition, is hitting just .175 in his last 11 games. The Mets need him to get going, because they’ve logged a 259-107 record since 2005 in games in which he scores a run
Marlins(courtesy of mlb.com)
Chris Coghlan, last year’s National League Rookie of the Year, is slowly beginning to pick up his game. Florida’s left fielder hit just .125 (7-for-57) in his first 13 games, but he’s rebounded to hit .309 (17-for-55) over his last 16 games. Coghlan has just one extra-base hit in his first 30 games, but the Marlins have continued to slot him at the top of the order.
The Marlins have gotten solid starting pitching this season, logging a 13-11 record and a 3.98 ERA through their first 34 games. Florida is 2-2 in its last four series, though, and is hoping to establish some continuity against New York.
“We have to keep going out there and playing,” said Johnson. “The starters have to go deep into the game. We have to have timely hitting and play defense. That’s how it is. It’s not easy, but we’ve got to keep grinding it out. We have to find a way to do it.”
“When you’re out there, you always get a little more amped up, but it’s pretty much the same,” Johnson said. “He’s been doing it for a long time now. He’s consistent. That’s pretty much the name of the game. Those are the guys you want to be. That’s how you want your career to go. … The way he attacks hitters is impressive. He’s always attacking hitters.”
Johnson has done well to apply those lessons to his own craft, and he’s completed at least six innings and allowed three earned runs or fewer in five straight outings. Johnson, who earned his first National League All-Star berth in 2009, had to overcome a pair of injury-riddled seasons to reach his peak, and he can remember being inspired by a Santana outing a couple years ago.
“One of the best games I saw him pitch was in ’08, when he came back on three days’ rest,” said Johnson of a late-season start. “That was unbelievable. It stunk because it was against us. But it was fun to be there and fun to watch. He was always putting hitters on the defense. He was always getting ahead. That’s always what you want to do — put the hitters on the defensive.”