MIAMI (AP) — After the Miami Marlins surprisingly swept the New York Mets last weekend, Tropical Storm Andrea could wash out the teams’ meeting Friday night at Citi Field and a scheduled matchup of two of the best young pitchers in baseball.
Jose Fernandez and the Marlins try to avoid matching a dubious team record, while Matt Harvey looks to help the Mets gain a measure of revenge.
Miami (16-44) owns the worst record in baseball and has won three times over its past 15 games. All of those victories came last weekend at home against New York (23-33), which had won a season-high five in a row.
The Marlins have won six of nine matchups this year, but the weather may keep them from adding another victory.
A tropical storm is expected to dump rain on New York until Saturday morning, putting the first two of this three-game set in jeopardy.
The Mets have already been impacted by the storm after their finale of a three-game series in Washington was rained out Thursday. They ended a four-game skid with a 10-1 win Wednesday.
If the weather holds up, Fernandez (3-3, 3.34 ERA) will face the Mets for the fourth time in his rookie season. The 20-year-old right-hander is 1-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 16 innings against them, yielding three hits and striking out eight in seven scoreless innings Saturday in an 8-1 victory.
“I’m going to tell you something, if he throws like he did (Saturday), I don’t care if you see him 30 times, he’s going to get you out,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Fernandez, though, is 2-3 with a 5.68 ERA over five road starts since making his major league debut at Citi Field on April 7. He allowed one run and fanned eight in five innings while not getting a decision in a 4-3 loss.
Harvey (5-0, 2.17) will be matched up against Fernandez for the second time. He allowed one run and struck out seven in 5 1-3 innings, and Fernandez gave up two runs and fanned four in four innings of the Marlins’ 4-3 win in 15 at Miami on April 29.
That appearance is part of Harvey’s eight-start stretch during which he’s been backed by three runs or fewer seven times. He’s 1-0 with a 2.83 ERA in that span after winning each of his first four outings behind a 0.93 ERA while receiving 23 runs of support.
The right-hander, though, got plenty of support Sunday at Miami, leaving with a two-run lead after allowing a season high-tying four runs in five innings only to watch three relievers give up seven runs in an 11-6 loss.
“I’m not happy about the start at all,” said Harvey, who allowed a career-high 10 hits. “I’m excited to face them again on Friday.”
Miami may share that sentiment as it tries to avoid an 11th straight road defeat that would match the single-season franchise record set May 29-June 17, 1998.
The Marlins dropped nine in a row as the visitor to conclude last year and started this season by getting swept in a three-game set at Washington.
Their issues on the road continued with Wednesday’s 6-1 defeat to Philadelphia, and they were outscored 20-6 while being swept in that three-game set.
Rookie right fielder Marcell Ozuna had three hits – two doubles – in that series, and he’s 9 for 19 with two doubles, one triple, five RBIs and four runs in five meetings with the Mets. His only hit in three at-bats versus Harvey was a two-run triple in the opening inning Sunday.
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)