Mets' Tylor Megill looks to keep Marlins reeling

Mon Aug 2 1:21am ET

Mets' Tylor Megill looks to keep Marlins reeling

New York, New York -- that's how this seven-day period shakes out for the Miami Marlins.

After getting swept in three games by the New York Yankees on Sunday, the last-place Marlins are set to host the New York Mets on Monday for the first of a four-game set.

While the Marlins have not yet announced their starting pitcher, the Mets will start rookie right-hander Tylor Megill (1-0, 2.04 ERA) in this National League East battle.

Megill has the second-lowest ERA in Mets history for any rookie after seven starts. No. 1 on the list is Nolan Ryan (1.99 ERA).

"It's pretty cool that my name's up there," Megill said. "But there's more work to be done."

The Mets are in first place, but it's a shaky 3 1/2-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies and four games over the Atlanta Braves. The lead is shaky because the Mets have been playing sub-.500 ball for about six weeks.

They just concluded an unimpressive 5-6 homestand. New York averaged just 2.7 runs per game during that homestand. Star right fielder Michael Conforto, who is hitting just .196 this season, is drawing boos at home.

Megill, who has yet to face the Marlins, is one of the Mets' bright spots. In July, he had a 1.04 ERA, which was the best of any pitcher in the majors who threw at least 25 innings.

James McCann has been the catcher for all seven starts by Megill, who has been especially tough on right-handed batters (.171 batting average, .455 OPS and just one homer).

The Mets, who are 6-1 when Megill starts, have been without starting center fielder and leadoff batter Brandon Nimmo for the past two games due to a hamstring injury. The Mets also placed valuable utility infielder Luis Guillorme (hamstring) on the injured list over the weekend.

Miami, which has been competitive at home (24-26), is playing without manager Don Mattingly, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday.

James Rowson, Miami's bench coach and offensive coordinator, is serving as the Marlins' interim manager, and he seems to have the faith of his players.

"James is just a step away from the opportunity to manage in the big leagues," Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas said, "and he's an even better person than a coach."

Given how tough Megill has been against right-handed batters, Rowson's lineup card will likely include lefty hitters such as second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. and center fielder Magneuris Sierra. Rookie outfielder Brian Miller, another lefty, may also see his name on the board.

The Marlins, who have lost four straight games, could start a reliever on Monday. Other options include pitchers currently in the minors such as Jordan Holloway (2-3, 4.00 ERA); Nick Neidert (0-1, 3.96); and Braxton Garrett (1-1, 4.37).

No matter who it is, the Marlins -- who made three errors on Sunday -- will likely need to play better defense to beat the Mets.

The Marlins are a young team that got even younger just before last week's trade deadline as they dumped veteran outfielders Adam Duvall and Starling Marte.

Rowson, though, has a positive outlook.

"Errors happen throughout the year," Rowson said. "You just have to brush it off and keep going forward."

--Field Level Media