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Preview: Marlins (62-83) at Mets (83-62)
Venue: Citi Field
Date: September 16, 2015 7:10 PM EDT
With Bartolo Colon’s shutout streak over, he looks to keep his winning run going.
Colon attempts to win a fifth straight start Wednesday night when the NL East-leading New York Mets conclude this three-game series with the Miami Marlins.
Colon (14-11, 4.13 ERA) reeled off 31 consecutive scoreless innings in five games – four starts – before giving up two runs in the seventh and then exiting a 7-2 win at Atlanta on Thursday. The stretch has made him a candidate for a starting role this postseason after he seemed destined for the bullpen due to a 5.66 ERA over his previous 17 starts.
“I’m really proud and surprised myself because I didn’t know, at this stage of my career, that I could still do that kind of stuff,” Colon said. “So I’m really proud, but more than that, I’m helping the team.”
The right-hander has compiled a 0.59 ERA while winning four straight starts, his longest single-season streak since a career-high eight in a row with Oakland in 2013.
Colon won his final outing last year before taking his first four of 2015.
His current winning streak includes a nine-hitter in a 7-0 victory at Miami on Sept. 5, his third straight winning start against the Marlins behind a 1.50 ERA. He’s posted a 2.08 ERA while winning all three career matchups at Citi Field.
Colon – like most Mets pitchers – has a tough time with Dee Gordon, who is 7 for 20 off him.
The second baseman is a career .379 hitter in 29 career games against New York (83-62). He’s batting .464 during a 16-game hitting streak in the matchup, the longest active in the majors against any opponent.
Gordon tormented the Mets again Tuesday, collecting four hits with a two-run homer in a 9-3 victory that ended New York’s eight-game winning streak.
Gordon’s .331 average is second to Bryce Harper’s (.338) in the NL batting race.
The Marlins (62-83) are turning to Adam Conley (3-1, 4.93), who is 2-1 with a 5.34 ERA in six starts since being moved into the rotation. The rookie left-hander has only completed six innings once, yielding one run and three hits in a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia on Aug. 23.
Conley was pulled after 99 pitches with one out in the fifth Tuesday, allowing two runs and eight hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in a 6-4 win over Milwaukee.
Conley’s issues pitching deep into games have been clear all season. He’s holding opponents to a .233 average the first time through the lineup, but that balloons to .364 over the next two.
Conley only faced 10 Mets in 2 1-3 innings of relief Aug. 4, yielding one run and two hits in a 5-1 home loss.
He’ll try to continue silencing Yoenis Cespedes, who went 0 for 4 Tuesday after being hit by a pitch from Tom Koehler in the first – possible retaliation for admiring a mammoth solo homer in Monday’s 4-3 win.
“I think it bothered us a little bit,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “So we’ll answer in our own due time.”
Cespedes, 1 for 7 in the series, has 17 homers and 42 RBIs in 42 games since being acquired from Detroit at the trade deadline. He’s hit three shots while plating nine runs in eight meetings with the Marlins.