Mets Pitching Matchups vs Marlins (9/26-9/28)
Marlins: Volstad gave up three runs (two earned) in five innings during a loss against the Phillies on Sunday. The outing saw the 21-year-old reach a professional high in innings pitched with 169 1/3. Volstad gave up six hits while striking out three and walking two. Two of the runs came on a rare home run. This season, Volstad has only given up three dingers, and in 91 innings for Double-A Carolina, he didn't allow a single long ball. In his only start against the Mets this season, Volstad gave up only one run in 6 1/3 innings.
Mets: The fact that Mike Pelfrey extended his streak on Sunday to five straight starts without a victory was no fault of his own. Pelfrey allowed only three runs to the Braves over six innings, departing after walking the leadoff man in the seventh. He pitched plenty well enough to win, but another bullpen implosion ensured that Pelfrey would leave with a no-decision. In four starts against the Marlins this season, Pelfrey is 0-3 with a 7.91 ERA -- though his best start against them came earlier this month, when he allowed two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Marlins: Nolasco was in line for his 16th win in his last start, but settled for a no-decision after Florida was unable to hold a 4-1 lead in the seventh inning at Cincinnati on Monday. Nolasco allowed three runs on six hits in six-plus innings. The 25-year-old ace of the staff did surpass the 200-innings-pitched mark that day, as he now has 205 1/3 innings. This will be Nolasco's 32nd start, as it winds down his terrific season. Nolasco has struck out 176 and walked 41.
Mets: Even before the Cubs buried Jonathon Niese Monday night, Jerry Manuel said he wasn't married to the idea of starting Niese on Saturday against a team that, like the Cubs, has a predominantly right-handed-hitting lineup. But the Marlins have produced uneven results against left-handed pitching. So who knows? Brandon Knight seemingly has a better chance to start the 161st game than Niese.
Marlins: Olsen's hopes of ending the season with a .500 record were shattered when he suffered a loss against the Nationals on Tuesday, giving up four runs (three earned) on eight hits while walking one and striking out two in five innings. Still, 2008 has already seen the 24-year-old reach his career high in innings -- going into his last start with 195 2/3, up from 180 2/3 in 2006 -- and, on Sunday, he'll tie his career high in starts with 33. Over his last five starts, he's 2-3 with a 4.46 ERA (15 earned runs in 30 1/3 innings).
Mets: Santana set a career high with 125 pitches in Tuesday's win, lasting eight innings and allowing two run in a win over the Cubs. He also allowed seven hits and struck out 10 in his 15th win of the season, which marked his fifth consecutive season of 15 or more victories. In his last eight starts at Shea Stadium, Santana is 5-0 with a 1.70 ERA. He'll pitch at home once more, in Shea Stadium's final regular season game, facing the Marlins, who he has a 2-0 record against with a 3.21 ERA in 14 innings this season.
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