After a strange geographical road trip to Milwaukee and San Diego, losing four of six, the Mets come home to Citi Field, where they went 19-9 the first two months.

They’ll take on the Florida Marlins who swept four from the Mets in Miami during the last meeting, and have won six straight against New York.

The only time the Marlins have been to Citi Field this season was the opening series. After the Mets won the first game, the Marlins took the next two.

It is now June 4, and the Mets really have to protect their home field the way they’ve been playing on the road. Considering that the Braves have won nine straight and lead the Mets by five games in the NL East, it’s time for the Mets to play serious baseball if they have any intentions of playing into October.

The Marlins, meanwhile, are one-half game in front of the Mets at 28-27 after beating the Brewers last night, and send to the mound solid 26-year-old right-hander Anibal Sanchez.

After an amazing start to his career in 2006—when he went 10-3 with a no-hitter in 17 starts—it looked like Sanchez’s career was on the decline after injuries. This season, Sanchez has picked up his 2006 pitching and is 5-2 with a 2.89 ERA.

The Mets will pitch knuckleballer R.A. Dickey for the fouth time. His first two starts were pretty good and his last one was shaky but efficient, helping the Mets avoid a sweep in Milwaukee. This will be Dickey’s second start at Citi Field, he pitched well against the Phillies in his other home start.

With the announcement that Jon Niese will return to make the start on Saturday, it appears for now, the Mets have their starting five set—Santana, Pelfrey, Takahashi, Dickey, Niese.

After an off-day, the Mets will try and provide Dickey with some run-support, something they couldn’t do twice for Johan Santana on the road trip.

Although Jason Bay had three hits on Wednesday, he still hasn’t shown the consistency of a true star player.

One guy who did come around on the road trip was Jeff Francoeur. So much, that he was moved up from eighth to sixth in the batting order, Angel Pagan was moved up to second.

The reason Pagan was moved into the two spot was because Luis Castillo didn’t start due to his leg and foot problems, and he may head to the disabled list before Friday night’s game.

The Mets may have had plans of bringing Daniel Murphy up to fill in at second base for the short-term, but that won’t happen. Murphy will miss the remainder of the 2010 season with an MCL tear, which won’t require surgery, but will put him out 4-6 months.

Therefore, you’ll be seeing a whole lot more of Alex Cora unless the Mets make a roster move for a middle infielder.

The question becomes: If Castillo isn’t playing, does Angel Pagan bat second all the time?

He didn’t fare too well on Wednesday batting second, going 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. He did have a double batting left-handed against Padres reliever Luke Gregerson—the first hit Gregerson allowed to a left-handed hitter in 34 at-bats.

The Mets will not have Santana or Pelfrey pitching in this series, as it’ll be the “other three.” Dickey, Niese, and Takahashi will be the starters for this weekend’s series.

If the Mets have a three run lead or less heading to the ninth, who will be the closer?

Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t only been shaky lately with his blown save on Wednesday, but went 2 1/3 innings and threw 46 pitches in his stint. Perhaps the off-day got him energized to make an appearance if needed tonight.

So, there are a lot of storylines entering this weekend’s rivalry series. It will be interesting, with both teams in similar situations in the standings.

R.A. Dickey vs. Florida (career)
1-1, 8.22 ERA, 7.2 IP, 11 hits, 7 BB, 6 SO

Anibal Sanchez vs. New York (May 14)
Win, 7 IP, 2 ER, 4 hits, 2 BB, 7 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
Marlins lead series 6-1

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