Behind Pablo Lopez, Marlins look to even series vs. Mets

MLB Baseball

Saturday’s game between the New York Mets and the host Miami Marlins will be a contest of attrition.

The Marlins used every reliever they had — 10 of them — on Friday in a 6-5 loss to the Mets in 12 innings.

Had the game gone to 13 innings, Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he would’ve used backup catcher Chad Wallach on the mound.

“I think we’re going to have to,” Mattingly said when asked if his team will recall pitchers from the minors to have some fresher arms for Saturday’s game. “Our group was in the office before I got there (after the game), knowing that we will have a number of pitchers who won’t be available (Saturday).”

New York used eight pitchers, including a true starter in Marcus Stroman.

That leaves both teams in a bad spot for Saturday, and that may be especially true of the Mets, even though they used three fewer relievers. That’s because the Mets have not announced a starter for Saturday.

In today’s world of Major League Baseball, that means it’s designed to be a “bullpen day.” Ideally, the bullpen is rested for those types of occasions.

That won’t be the case on Saturday.

At least the Marlins are set up with a true starter on Saturday as right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-3, 3.12 ERA) is due to pitch. He is 2-2 with a 5.27 ERA in five career starts against the Mets, but he hasn’t faced them this year.

Lopez has been good at home. In 26 career starts in Miami, he is 7-9 with a 2.92 ERA.

For his career, Lopez has been better against right-handed batters (.655 OPS) than lefty swingers (.776 OPS).

Another thing to watch for on Saturday is a possible start for ex-Marlins pitcher Jordan Yamamoto, who has spent most of this season in Triple A but was recalled on Friday.

With the Mets this year, Yamamoto is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in his only appearance, beating the St. Louis Cardinals on May 5.

Beyond the pitching issues, the Mets are beat up in their batting order, and they added Pete Alonso to their astonishingly lengthy injured list on Friday.

Alonso, MLB’s home run leader in his rookie year of 2019, was put on the IL on Friday due to a sprained right wrist. Of the projected 26-man Mets roster, there are now 16 of them out due to injuries.

“Since I got (hit by a 98-mph fastball on May 5), I haven’t felt normal,” Alonso said. “We did a lot of treatment. We got most of the swelling out. But I want this (injury) to completely go away. I need to listen to my body.”

The Mets brought up veteran Brandon Drury to play first base, which means that seven of New York’s nine Opening Day starters are on the injured list.

Miami, meanwhile, is relatively healthy. The only missing starters from the batting order are center fielder Starling Marte and catcher Jorge Alfaro.

Marte could be back during this seven-game homestand.

“I think I need two or three days to see velocity,” Marte said. “I have to see some pitches and feel comfortable at the plate.”

–Field Level Media

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