NEW YORK (SportsDirect Inc.) — The New York Mets used a surge over the final six weeks last season to take the National League East crown and advance all the way to the World Series.
The NL East might be out of reach, but the Mets are advancing toward a playoff berth again and will go for a four-game sweep of the visiting Miami Marlins on Thursday.
New York has won nine of its last 11 games to pull within 1 1/2 games of the St. Louis Cardinals for the second NL wild card spot and has outscored Miami 14-7 over the first three games of the series.
The Mets got a home run from Wilmer Flores and three RBIs from Kelly Johnson in Wednesday’s 5-2 triumph and are spreading the offense around while averaging 5.9 runs over the last 11 contests.
Miami began the series ahead of New York in the wild card race but has dropped five straight and finished 10-18 in August.
The Marlins have managed eight runs in their last five contests and will not get a break from opposing pitchers with Jacob deGrom scheduled to go for the Mets on Thursday and a three-game series at AL Central-leading Cleveland beginning on Friday.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), SNY (New York)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Jose Urena (2-5, 5.83 ERA) vs. Mets RH Jacob deGrom (7-7, 2.96)
Urena pitched well in each of his last two starts but was let down by his offense in a loss to San Diego on Saturday. The Dominican Republic native allowed one run on four hits and a pair of walks over 5 2/3 innings but Miami could not push across a run in the 1-0 setback. Urena was in a similar spot against New York on July 24, when he yielded one run in six frames but took the loss in a 3-0 final.
DeGrom was skipped the last time through the rotation after two poor starts in which he was ripped for a total of 13 runs and 25 hits in 9 2/3 innings. The Stetson product was expected to return Friday against Washington but was pushed up a day when it was determined that left-hander Steven Matz would not be able to take his turn. DeGrom is 4-2 in nine career starts against the Marlins but was ripped for five runs and 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings by the Marlins on July 23.
1. The Mets announced after Wednesday’s game that 2B Neil Walker will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a back injury.
2. Miami CF Marcell Ozuna left Wednesday’s game with a wrist injury and is day-to-day.
3. New York RHP Jeurys Familia set a franchise record with his 44th save on Wednesday.
(© Copyright 2016 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)