The Miami Marlins will begin a three-game series against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Monday.
Miami blew a five-run lead in the ninth inning on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves and fell to 17-29 on the season. The Mets swept the Marlins earlier this year in Miami and have a 23-19 record thus far. New York has won three games in a row, while Miami has dropped two straight.
Rookie Elieser Hernandez will be on the mound for Miami in the series opener on Monday. Hernandez has a 2.25 E.R.A so far and has looked solid. This will be Hernandez's second start for the Marlins and his fourth game overall. The 23-year old needs to remain on Miami's active roster for the entire season, or could be lost to his former club.
Caleb Smith will look to right the ship when he starts the middle game of the series. After putting together a solid string of starts, Smith has stumbled a bit recently. The lefty has a 2-5 record to go along with a 4.22 E.R.A this season. Smith has been doing well in the strikeout department, but has not been overly efficient.
Dan Straily will start the series finale on Wednesday and is coming off his best start of the season. Straily went seven shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves and picked up his second win of the season. After beginning the year on the disabled list, Straily is now 2-0 with a 3.60 E.R.A.
After taking a couple of days off over the past week, J.T. Realmuto may start all three games of this series. Even though Bryan Holaday has done a solid job in his spot starts, Miami has a better lineup when Realmuto plays. Realmuto's bat has been key for the Marlins in their wins. The catcher is hitting .311 with six home runs and 13 runs batted in thus far.
Miami's bullpen will be looking for better results in this series. Manager Don Mattingly has had a difficult job this season, as many of his relievers have struggled. The Marlins have taxed their bullpen early and that excess work could be part of the reason for the issues. With closer Brad Ziegler posting a 7.20 E.R.A so far, Mattingly could look in a different direction for potential saves. Nick Wittgren and Kyle Barraclough could be two of the names in contention for that role.
Monday's game will get underway at 7:10 p.m.