Those are the pitching matchups for Saturday's doubleheader at Citi Field as the NL East's worst teams continue a four-game set.
The most recognizable starter will be Matsuzaka (0-3, 8.00 ERA), who is now 0-7 with a 10.96 ERA in nine outings since his last victory Aug 27, 2012, for Boston.
The right-hander, who turned 33 on Friday, had his best effort in that span Sunday in Cleveland when he gave up one run over 5 2-3 innings in a 2-1 victory.
"He pitched an outstanding game," manager Terry Collins said. "Boy, I was really happy for him."
Matsuzaka's lone outing against Miami (54-92) was with the Red Sox last season, as he yielded four runs over 5 1-3 innings and did not get a decision in a 6-5 win.
He has given up three homers over 18 innings in 2013 while Alvarez (3-4, 4.34) has surrendered one over 74 2-3.
Alvarez hasn't thrown many pitches of late, but it hasn't always been his fault. A rain delay forced him out after 28 on Aug. 28 against Washington and a hamstring injury limited him to 79 on Sept. 2 as he earned a 4-3 win over the Cubs by allowing three runs over six innings.
Monday's 63 pitches in a 5-2 defeat to Atlanta occurred because he yielded all five runs in the fourth inning - his last of the contest.
The right-hander gave up two runs in a season-high 7 1-3 innings July 31 to earn a 3-2 victory over the Mets (65-81) in his lone 2013 start in this series.
He'll be followed to the mound in the nightcap by Turner (3-6, 3.43), who is 0-5 with a 4.53 ERA since the All-Star break. Opponents are batting .354 off him in his last four starts, but he is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA in two starts against New York this year.
Turner will be opposed by fellow right-hander Torres (3-4, 3.53), who is 2-3 with a 5.68 ERA in six starts this year with teams batting .302 off him. Torres has never started against Miami with three scoreless innings in two career appearances.
Duda, hitting .200 in the season series, hit a three-run homer after his previous 11 had been solo shots.
"He's a big, strong guy," Collins said. "Everybody expects him to hit homers. I just expect him to drive runs in. And I think that swing tonight might really start him here in the last couple of weeks."
Stanton went deep twice for his ninth career multihomer effort to improve to 6 for 34 (.176) in the season series."We've got a few weeks left so, keep it up," Stanton said. "`It really doesn't matter what I do to finish the season, I'll never get back how terrible I've been. But to turn it completely around is something I need to do, something I better do."
Miami has won 10 of 16 meetings.
|September 09, 2013||Jeff Mathis||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right thumb|
|September 08, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right foot and ankle|
|September 02, 2013||Henderson Alvarez||Day-to-Day||Left game - tight right hamstring|
|September 01, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Right ankle|
|August 19, 2013||Placido Polanco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 19, 2013||Placido Polanco||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|New York Mets|
|September 10, 2013||Justin Turner||Day-to-Day||Strained right hamstring|
|September 09, 2013||Scott Rice||60-Day DL||Sports hernia|
|September 02, 2013||Ike Davis||60-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|September 01, 2013||Ike Davis||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right oblique|
|August 27, 2013||Matt Harvey||15-Day DL||Torn right UCL - out for season|
|August 26, 2013||Matt Harvey||Day-to-Day||Torn right elbow ligament|
NEW YORK (AP) -- Faster was better for Daisuke Matsuzaka .
In a turn-back-the-clock performance, Dice-K allowed two hits over seven innings and the New York Mets got back-to-back homers from Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda to beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 on Saturday night for a doubleheader split.
"I think in general all my pitches are improving," Matsuzaka said through a translator before acknowledging he made an effort to pick up his pace on the mound. "Trying not to give the batter an opportunity to think about what's going on or to analyze the situation."
In the opener, Donovan Solano exacted some payback after he was hit by two pitches, launching a home run and making two terrific defensive plays that sent Henderson Alvarez and the Marlins to a 3-0 victory.
Matsuzaka (1-3) plunked Placido Polanco twice in the nightcap, but other than that the Japanese right-hander was in complete control en route to his first major league win in more than a year.
"Honestly, he's really easy to work with," catcher Anthony Recker said. "His location tonight was right on point."
Pitching one day after his 33rd birthday, Matsuzaka suddenly was a model of efficiency. Working much quicker than before, he threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of 26 batters and needed only 73 pitches to get through six innings.
Coming into the game, the former Red Sox star was averaging 20.6 pitches per inning - second-most in the majors - while racking up an 8.00 ERA over four starts with the Mets. His snail-slow pace annoyed opponents and fans alike.
"Obviously, he's got enough experience to know what it takes to pitch here, but he'd spent most of the year in the minor leagues and I think he was trying to nibble," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He was just off the plate, he was using a lot of pitches and a lot of 3-2 counts, and therefore every hitter was seeing every pitch. And now they're not."
The only hits Matsuzaka gave up were Justin Ruggiano 's 17th homer in the fourth and Adeiny Hechavarria 's two-out single in the seventh. After a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen , Matsuzaka threw a called third strike past Rob Brantly with runners at the corners.
When the Marlins opened the eighth with a pinch hitter, Matsuzaka walked off to a warm ovation and tipped his cap to the few fans remaining. It was his first big league win since Aug. 27, 2012, with Boston against Kansas City. He entered 1-10 in his past 16 major league starts.
New York signed Matsuzaka last month to fill a hole in its injury-depleted rotation. He spent most of the season in Cleveland's farm system.
Pedro Feliciano and Vic Black combined on a one-hit eighth. LaTroy Hawkins got three outs for his 10th save.
Murphy and Duda homered to start the third against Jacob Turner (3-7), who fell to 0-6 in his last 11 starts. Duda also hit a three-run shot Friday night that put the Mets ahead to stay.
"That was probably the best I've thrown the ball in a while," Turner said.
Murphy singled in the first and stole second before Wilmer Flores snapped a 1-for-26 slide with an RBI single.
Logan Morrison drove in two runs during the first game, one on a line drive off Frank Francisco 's right hand that knocked the oft-injured reliever out of the game.
"It swelled up pretty fast and pretty big," Collins said.
Francisco left in obvious pain and was sent for X-rays. The team said he had a bruised hand. The right-hander had been out all season following elbow surgery until he was activated last weekend.
"I thought it was broke for sure," Francisco said. "Just hope that it goes away soon and I'll be able to throw as soon as possible."
Alvarez (4-4) pitched four-hit ball over seven innings for his second win against the Mets this year. The defeat ensured New York's fifth straight losing season since Citi Field opened.
Steve Cishek struck out three in the ninth for his 30th save in 32 attempts. He has converted 25 in a row.
Carlos Torres (3-5) hit Solano with pitches in his first two plate appearances, the first one near his wrist and the next time on the left shoulder. Solano looked pretty irritated by the second one, but catcher Travis d'Arnaud and plate umpire Tim Welke quickly stepped in front of him and there was no trouble.
"Part of the game," Solano said.
He got the best sort of revenge with a leadoff homer against Torres in the sixth to make it 2-0. The second baseman also robbed Omar Quintanilla twice, making a diving play to thwart a fifth-inning rally and a sliding stop to save a run in the seventh.
"Long days with doubleheaders, you need somebody to step up and be the hero. And today Alvarez and Solano gave us a big lift," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Torres struck out a career-high eight in six innings and gave up only three hits. Still, he lost his third consecutive start.
The traditional doubleheader was scheduled to make up a June 7 rainout.
NOTES: Mets reliever Jeurys Familia was activated from the DL. ... Alvarez has allowed a major league-low one home run in 14 starts this season.