Game 2: Miami - Jacob Turner (3-6, 3.43) New York - Carlos Torres (3-4, 3.53) The four pitchers scheduled to take the mound for Saturday's doubleheader between the Miami Marlins and New York Mets have combined to win nine games this season.
Such are the options for two teams well out of contention for a playoff spot.
Last in the NL East and 33 1/2 games out of first place, the Marlins will have a pair of young right-handers take the mound today.
Up first will be 23-year-old Henderson Alvarez, who is 3-4 with a 4.34 earned run average in 13 starts this season. He is coming off a loss to Atlanta on Monday, when he gave up five runs in the fourth inning to end his outing.
The right-hander has just one win in his last seven starts since beating the Mets on July 31 with a season-high 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball.
Set to follow Alvarez will be 22-year-old Jacob Turner, the ninth overall pick of the 2009 draft by Detroit.
Turner has not won since July 10, losing five decisions over 10 starts while posting a 4.53 ERA. The righty has allowed three runs or fewer in eight of those outings, but yielded five on nine hits and three walks in four-plus frames of a 6-4 loss to Washington on Sunday.
Now 3-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 18 outings this year, Turner has faced the Mets twice this season. He hurled seven scoreless innings against them in a victory on May 31, his season debut, before getting a no-decision on July 29 after allowing three runs in 6 1/3 frames of work.
While the Marlins go with youth, the Mets will send veterans Daisuke Matsuzaka and Carlos Torres to the mound in succession on Saturday.
The right-handed Matsuzaka allowed 15 runs and 19 hits over 12 1/3 innings in losing his first three starts this year with the Mets before a solid outing at Cleveland on Sunday. He gave up a run on three hits and three walks over 5 2/3 frames of a no-decision, though he needed 103 pitches to do so.
The 33-year-old has faced the Marlins just once before, in June of 2012 with Boston. Matsuzaka lost on that day, yielding four runs in 5 1/3 frames.
Torres, 30, will make his fourth straight start for the Mets and seventh of the year in his 30th appearance. He allowed just four runs in the previous two before getting shelled for six on five hits and two walks over four frames in a setback to Washington on Monday.
The right-hander has never started against the Marlins, facing them twice before in relief.
Ten games ahead of the Marlins in the standings, the Mets won Friday's opener 4-3 behind home runs from Lucas Duda and Andrew Brown.
Brown hit a solo shot and Duda had the deciding three-run homer in the sixth inning. That made a winner of Jonathan Niese, who gave up three runs over 6 1/3 innings.
"When he uses his curveball, he's got as complete of stuff as anybody in this league," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Niese. "When he uses it effectively, he gets outs."
LaTroy Hawkins closed the door in the ninth to secure his ninth save and snap New York's four-game slide.
Giancarlo Stanton stroked a pair of solo home runs and Donovan Solano had an RBI double in the setback, Miami's sixth in seven games.
Brad Hand, making his first start of the season for Miami, served up both Mets homers and allowed five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames.
"I was trying to go curveball away, down and away from him," Hand said of his approach against Duda. "I just left it up a little bit and it got in toward his hands."
The Marlins had won seven of their previous nine versus the Mets prior to Friday's opener.