The Marlins have always annoyed me. As a Mets fan, I dislike how they had an easier path as an expansion team than the clubs that joined MLB in the 1960s. Also, I was not a big fan of how they won the World Series and then immediately stripped their roster. But mostly I disliked how they have done well against the Mets, seemingly from the get-go.
Since starting play in 1993, the Marlins have finished below .500 11 times, including two seasons where they lost 98 games and another in which they captured the short end of the stick 108 times. Coming into 2011, they were a combined 122 games below .500 while playing in the same division as the Mets.
But their poor record has very little to do with New York. Coming into this season, the Mets were 69-68 against the Marlins. Actually, I would have guessed before looking it up that the Mets were much worse against their divisional rivals from Florida.
Perhaps this is because they were 6-12 against the Marlins last year, including 1-8 on the road. Or perhaps my judgment is being clouded by 2009, when the Mets finished 7-11. Actually, now that I think about it, my dislike goes back to 2008 when they missed the playoffs because the Mets lost two out of three in the final series of the year at home to the Fish.
No, no, no – there’s also 2007, where the same scenario played out, with the Mets dropping two of the final three games of the year to the Marlins and missing the playoffs. Even 2006, when the Mets won 97 games they struggled with Florida, going 11-8 with a winning percentage 20 points below their overall record.
Recently, the Phillies have been considered the Mets’ main rival and before that it was the Braves. But I am sick of the Marlins and would like nothing better than to put up 12+ wins against Florida this season. That quest got off to a good start with New York taking two out of three in Miami to open the season.
After dropping the opener to Mets killer Josh Johnson (8-1, 2.73 ERA in 13 games against New York), the Mets bounced back with two impressive victories. In the second game of the year, the Mets battled back from a 2-0 deficit to win in extra innings while in the rubber match, the Mets jumped on top early and won in a laugher.
In a season where many fans have lowered expectations, the Mets went out and scored 17 runs in the first three games of the year. Their pitchers already have two Quality Starts while Ike Davis, Willie Harris and Josh Thole are off to strong starts at the plate. Daniel Murphy started a game at second base and not only did the world not end, but he handled four chances without an error and got on base two of his four trips to the plate, including an RBI double.
And the Mets have already doubled their road win total from a year ago against the Marlins. Since the lone road victory in 2010 happened in Puerto Rico, the Mets earned their first win in Florida since 2009.
All in all, a pretty good start to the season.