NEW YORK—For the first time since May 16 when he injured his hamstring in Florida, Jon Niese will take the mound for the Mets, as they go for the series win against the Marlins.

In that game, Niese hurt himself in the third inning, without retiring a batter, as the Mets lost 10-8.

Series victories have been hard to come by for the Mets on the road, but at home the Mets are now 20-9 and would be in good shape with a win today.

Niese will oppose Marlins left-hander Nate Robertson, who has defeated the Mets twice this season. Out of his four wins on the season, two have come against the Mets and one against the Phillies.

Meanwhile, Niese was having an uneven beginning to his season. In eight starts, five of them he allowed three earned runs or less and in the other three he allowed four, five, and six earned runs. His record so far is 1-2, 4.79 ERA.

Ike Davis has been in a huge slump recently. He’s 3 for his last 29 at the plate and perhaps Jerry Manuel will rest him against the lefty Robertson and give Fernando Tatis a chance to start.

With the lefty going though, the Mets may have a field day. Jason Bay has been on fire lately with the exception of power, and David Wright is prone to hitting soft-tossing lefties very well. Jeff Francoeur, who had last night’s game-tying hit, has also picked up his game and does well against left-handers. In fact, the Mets have the highest team batting average against lefties in the National League.

Although it’s a late afternoon start time, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not Omir Santos catches in Rod Barajas’ place, but once again, it’s not a typical day game-after night game.

With the roster moves made yesterday, 20-year-old Ruben Tejada will get the majority of starts at second base, so it appears last night’s lineup will be the one used for a while, at least until Luis Castillo returns or when Carlos Beltran comes back.

Speaking of Carlos Beltran, he played in an extended spring game in Port St. Lucie yesterday and went 2-for-6, but did not run. He could enter rehab games as early as two weeks from now.

Can the Mets win this series with their “other” starters, before throwing Pelfrey and Santana against the Padres? It may be a slugfest with two lefties on the mound, but the Mets are really playing well at home.

Jon Niese vs. Florida this season (2 starts)
0-2, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP, 12 hits, 3 BB, 4 SO

Nate Robertson vs. New York this season (2 starts)
2-0, 2.53 ERA, 10.2 IP, 13 hits, 1 BB, 6 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Florida)
April 5: New York 7, Florida 1
April 7: Florida 7, New York 6 (10)
April 8: Florida 3, New York 1
May 13: Florida 2, New York 1
May 14: Florida 7, New York 2
May 15: Florida 7, New York 5
May 16: Florida 10, New York 8
June 4: New York 4, Florida 3
Marlins lead series 6-2

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