MIAMI — The Miami Marlins spent June engaged in methodical but fruitful climb out of the basement in the National League East. The New York Mets can begin July by cementing their unimaginably rapid descent to the bottom of not just the division but the entire Senior Circuit.
The Marlins will look to move into sole possession of fourth place in the NL East Sunday Adidas Wayne Simmonds Jersey , when they look to complete a sweep of the free-falling Mets in the finale of a three-game series at Marlins Park.
Marlins right-hander Dan Straily (3-3, 4.82 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Mets left-hander Steven Matz (3-5, 3.69 ERA).
The Marlins came back from an early two-run deficit Saturday to earn a 5-2 win over the Mets and their ace, right-hander Jacob deGrom. The win completed the best month of the season for Miami (34-50), which went 14-14 while winning five of nine series.
“That’s how you climb is continue to win series, continue to win series,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly told reporters Saturday. “Hopefully somewhere in there, you throw an eight- or 10-game winning streak together to really take a chunk out of something.”
The Mets (32-48) are doing the exact opposite. New York went 5-21 in June, during which it lost eight of nine series and split the other. It was the third-worst month in franchise history behind/ahead of only July 1963 (4-25) and August 1982 (5-24).
In the process, the Mets went from five games out of first place and eight games ahead of the Marlins to tie for last, 14 1/2 games out of first. The two teams are tied for the worst record in the NL, though Miami is technically percentage points ahead of New York heading into Sunday.
The Mets are 21-47 since opening 11-1 Adidas Nolan Patrick Jersey , the best 12-game start in franchise history. Only the Baltimore Orioles have a worse record since Apr. 13.
The Mets have not been in last place in the NL East after July 1 since 2005, when they had a 77-77 record while occupying fifth place on Sept. 24. This squad appears far more likely to flirt with 100 losses than with .500, but rookie manager Mickey Callaway said he will continue to remain patient.
“We just have to keep on having daily conversations to try and right the ship,” Callaway told reporters Saturday. “It’s difficult right now. I know the players are feeling it. I know the fans are feeling it. We’re going to continue to do everything we can with the staff, the organization and the players to try and get in a better spot than we are. Because this isn’t acceptable to anybody.”
Straily earned the win in his most recent start last Monday, when he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings as the Marlins beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 9-5. Matz didn’t factor into the decision last Tuesday, when he gave up three runs over seven innings as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.
Straily is 1-1 with a 3.04 ERA in five career starts against the Mets. Matz is 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA in five starts against the Marlins.
Even if numbers occasionally lie, most of them indicate the New England Patriots are in great position to hoist a sixth Lombardi Trophy.
The reasons begin in the only place they could: with Tom Brady.
Yes, at 40 years old Brady would be the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl if the Patriots beat the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. He would dethrone Peyton Manning, who won at age 39 with the Denver Broncos to cap the 2015 season.
Brady has put up numbers in his 18th season unmatched by any player in NFL history. He led the league with 4 Adidas Claude Giroux Jersey ,577 yards passing during the regular season and his five touchdown passes are tied for the most in the playoffs.
Brady’s seven Super Bowl appearances are as many as the entire Eagles roster. He’s faced a myriad of difficult scenarios in the championship game, including last year’s 25-point hole the Patriots dug out of to beat the Falcons.
Brady won that one without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who will be in uniform after being cleared late this week.
Close games have been no problem , for Brady and coach Bill Belichick either. The total difference in scoring in those seven games is 12 points: Patriots 169, opponents 157.
You want to talk about comebacks? No player in the Super Bowl era has more fourth-quarter comebacks in the playoffs in his career than Brady’s eight. It’s probably why Brady chuckled this week when he was again asked about how long he wanted to keep playing.
”Why does everyone want me to retire so bad?” Brady said. ”I don’t get it. I’m having fun. The team’s doing good. I know I’m a little bit older than most of the guys, but I’m really enjoying it. … I’m not thinking about retirement. I’m thinking about the Super Bowl and trying to win the most important game of the year.”
As big as the Brady factor is, he’s not the only advantage New England has.
The Patriots lost go-to receiver Julian Edelman in the preseason to a knee injury and linebacker Dont’a Hightower to a season-ending shoulder injury in October. After some early-season struggles, Belichick found a way to plug the holes, with contributions from several previously unheralded players like Trey Flowers, Kyle Van Noy, Lawrence Guy and Ricky Jean Francois .
New England has also gotten a strong season from receiver Brandin Cook after acquiring him from New Orleans this offseason. He posted his third straight 1,000-yard receiving season (1 Adidas Shayne Gostisbehere Jersey ,082) and was second on the team in receiving yards behind only Gronkowski (1,084). Running back Dion Lewis has also found new life just two seasons removed from a knee injury. He led the team with 896 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns.
It’s underlined the football savvy of Belichick, who with a sixth Super Bowl win would pass Vince Lombardi and tie George Halas and Curly Lambeau for most NFL championships by a coach.
Belichick will be taking part in his 11th Super Bowl as a head coach or assistant, the most among any coach in NFL history. That amounts to 21.2 percent of all Super Bowls in league history and 34.4 percent of all Super Bowls since his first appearance as the Giants defensive coordinator in 1986.
Though there have been reports of alleged friction this season between Belichick, Brady and team owner Robert Kraft, it’s clear they are on the same page when it comes to the pursuit of championships.
”It changes every year. The venues are different, the teams are different, the matchups are different, and the road the team has traveled to get here is different, as is the road your opponent has traveled,” Belichick said. ”Each one is unique. Each one’s special.”