National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, April 24th
(All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (7-8) at New York Mets (8-8), 7:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Josh Johnson (0-2, 5.94)
New York - Johan Santana (0-2, 3.97)
(Sports Network) - During Jose Reyes' nine-year career with the Mets, he made
four All-Star teams, was a National League batting champion and completely
dictated just how the club's offense operated when healthy.
He also seemed a perfect fit in New York, but that union came to an expensive
end this offseason.
Now a member of the new-look Miami Marlins, Reyes returns to Citi Field this
evening as his new club begins a three-game series with the Mets.
It didn't take long for Reyes to establish himself as an outstanding hitter
and fielder with the Mets after he was signed as an amateur free agent in
August of 1999. Over his nine seasons with the Mets, the shortstop hit .292
and scored 735 runs while stealing 370 bases in 1,050 games. He led the NL
with a .337 average in 2011, but struggled with injury over his last few
seasons with the Mets as well.
Though New York was having financial issues this past offseason due to
ownership involvement in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, there was always the
thought that the Mets may be able to retain his services, especially after
they decided against dealing him before the 2011 trade deadline.
Reyes, though, turned in his New York state of mind for the beaches of Miami
in early December, signing a six-year, $106 million deal. He also added at the
time of the signing that the Mets weren't really in the mix to sign him.
"It was time to move on," said Reyes. "The Mets didn't want me there. They
never made a real offer."
That fact could lead to a mixed reaction for him tonight at Citi Field. Though
it always stings when a franchise player leaves as a free agent, the blame may
not totally be on Reyes.
"You never know, to be honest with you," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen told
his team's website. "I think ... every day [he wore] the Mets uniform, he did
everything he could to win games. The Met fans should be proud he played the
way he played for them. I think people should go out there and support him.
Hopefully that happens."
Reyes, whom the Mets will honor with a video tribute tonight, has gotten off
to a slow start with his new team, hitting .230 with six runs scored, two RBI
and four steals through 15 games. He did have a pair of doubles in Saturday's
loss to Washington, Miami's second in a row following a four-game win streak.
Reyes and the rest of the Marlins got an extra day to clear their heads as
Sunday's finale was postponed due to poor weather.
While Reyes makes his return to New York, Omar Infante could also find his way
back into the Miami lineup after sitting out the past four games due to a sore
Miami starter Josh Johnson also hopes to benefit from a few extra days of
rest. Scheduled to start Sunday's finale, Johnson instead goes tonight looking
for his first win of the season.
After missing all but nine games in 2011 due to a right shoulder injury, the
right-hander struggled over his first two starts, giving up nine runs and 21
hits in a pair of losses. He then got a no-decision against the Cubs on
Tuesday with a solid effort, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks
over seven frames of his team's 5-2 win.
Johnson, 28, has outstanding career numbers versus the Mets, going 8-1 with a
2.68 earned run average in 14 starts.
New York starter Johan Santana is also looking for his first win since
returning from injury and is coming off the shortest outing of his career. The
left-hander gave up only one run over his first two starts, but fell to 0-2 on
the season after lasting just four outs and 55 pitches in a loss to Atlanta on
Santana was charged with six runs -- four earned -- on four hits and a walk.
"[New York manager Terry Collins] told me there were too many pitches in that
inning and he didn't want to take any risks," said Santana, who missed all of
last season due to surgery on his throwing shoulder.
The 33-year-old, who was scheduled to pitch on Sunday against the Giants
before rain led to a cancellation and Monday's doubleheader, is 6-1 with a
1.47 ERA in nine career starts versus the Marlins.
With Santana given an extra day of rest, Dillon Gee and Miguel Batista got the
starts in yesterday's twin bill. Neither faired well as Batista lasted only 3
2/3 innings and gave up six runs -- three earned -- in a 6-1 loss in the first
game before Gee was tagged for seven runs and 12 hits over 6 2/3 frames to
drop the nightcap, 7-2.
"It was a miserable day. It's very disappointing," said Mets outfielder Jason
Bay, who bruised his ribs in Game 2 and might not play tonight.
New York has lost six of its past eight overall.
The Mets and Marlins split 18 meetings last season.
04/24 10:32:30 ET