Marlins, Mets can make statement in rare double-dip

STATS/TSX

NEW YORK -- If history is any indication, the Miami Marlins will have a tough time building on the momentum of Tuesday night's series-opening win over the New York Mets - especially since the Mets won't have Jacob deGrom to not support during Wednesday's doubleheader.

The bottom two teams in the National League East are scheduled to play an old-fashioned doubleheader Wednesday afternoon, when the Mets host the Marlins in the middle two games of a four-game series at Citi Field. The first game, necessitated by a rainout on Monday, is scheduled to start at 4:10 PM. The regularly scheduled game will take place 20 minutes after the conclusion of the opener.

The Marlins' Trevor Richards (3-8, 4.73 ERA) is scheduled to oppose the Mets' Zack Wheeler (10-7, 3.39 ERA) in a battle of right-handers in the opener. Miami right-hander Jeff Brigham (0-1, 9.00 ERA) is slated to face New York left-hander Jason Vargas (5-9, 6.75 ERA) in the nightcap.

The Marlins won the opener Tuesday night, when Lewis Brinson laced a two-run double off deGrom in the fourth inning to give Miami a lead it would never relinquish in a 5-3 victory.

The game was the first since Saturday for the Marlins (57-86), whose scheduled series finale against the host Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon was rained out.

"It's exciting, I think guys are ready to play more baseball," said Marlins rookie third baseman Brian Anderson, who started the fourth-inning rally with Miami's first hit, a two-out single. "We had a couple days off, so getting a win under our belt (and) kind of kick-starting the series, I think is good for us. We're excited and we're looking forward to (Wednesday)."

A win in the opener Wednesday would give the Marlins just their third winning streak since Aug. 1. Miami hasn't won more than two straight games since a four-game streak from July 14-21.

Unfortunately for the Marlins, there's a pretty good chance the Mets (65-78) will feel more relaxed without trying to score runs for deGrom, who allowed two runs over seven innings Tuesday but fell to 8-9 despite a 1.71 ERA.

The Mets scored just three runs with deGrom on the mound in his last four starts and have scored only 72 runs with him on the mound in 29 starts overall this season.

"These guys, they want to score for him so bad you can see it," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said Tuesday night. "That's the only thing I feel on the bench. Unfortunately, we just haven't done that very much this season."

The Mets have been far more generous lately with Wheeler and Vargas. New York has scored 47 runs in Wheeler's last 10 starts and 23 in Vargas' last eight appearances.

Wheeler benefitted from an outburst in his most recent start Sept. 5, when he received seven runs while pitching and earned the win after allowing three runs over seven innings as the Mets beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3.

Vargas took the loss in his most recent start Sept. 4, when he gave up five runs (four earned) over 3 1/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Dodgers, 11-4.

Richards endured the shortest start of his rookie season in his previous start Sept. 4, when he gave up six runs over 1 1/3 innings and took the loss as the Marlins were beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies, 9-4.

Brigham will be making his second big league start and appearance. He lost his debut on Sept. 2, when he allowed three runs over three innings as Miami fell to the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-1.

Wheeler is 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins. Vargas is 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two career starts against Miami.

Richards has never faced the Mets.

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