SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico:   This season, the Mets have not had a good time facing the Florida Marlins as the road team.

In mid-May, they got swept in four games in Miami, and they lost last night’s series opener in Puerto Rico against them as the road team. The Mets are now 0-5 as the road team facing the Marlins in 2010.

It has seemed over the years the Mets just can’t play the pesky team from Miami no matter where the games are being played.

It all started, of course, when the Mets collapsed in both 2007 and 2008 with the Marlins finishing them off on each season’s final day.

The Mets always seem to be a victim of walk-off defeats in Miami, like this season, losing a game on a wild pitch.

They lost last night’s game with 6-0 R.A. Dickey on the mound opposing Ricky Nolasco, who hasn’t had a good season or a good career against the Mets. The bottom line is the Mets have been very unlucky against the Marlins lately.

They will try to change their fortunes tonight when they send Hisanori Takahashi to the mound looking to rebound from a clunker on Thursday against the Tigers.

So far, Takahashi has started seven games with the Mets and they have been up and down. Four have been brilliant and three, including his last one, have been bad.

His last one was against the Tigers, trying to lead the Mets to a sweep and first place; he gave up two big home runs in four innings.

His final stat line was six runs on eight hits, one walk and four strikeouts. The Mets made a furious rally, but after trailing 6-1, the Mets lost 6-5.

One of his other two bad starts came against these Marlins at Citi Field on June 6. In that game, he allowed five runs and two home runs in 5.1 innings pitched.

The Mets trailed that game by five runs, but came back to defeat Florida 7-6 on a Jeff Francoeur game-tying three-run home run. The Mets that afternoon completed a sweep of the Marlins.

Facing the Mets will be left-hander Nate Robertson for the fourth time this season. He won his first two starts against the Mets but lost his last one on June 5. The Mets got him for six runs in 4.2 innings pitched in a 6-1 victory.

Robertson didn’t have a great outing against the lowly Orioles his last time out, only lasting 2.1 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits, and throwing 48 pitches. It was the sixth time this season Robertson has allowed four or more runs in a game.

After going 7-2 on their last road trip, the Mets don’t want this one to be a failure. It’s not that losing one game makes it a failure; it’s that the Mets probably should have won last night’s game with the pitching matchup in their favor.

They now must win the last two games to win the series, which won’t be easy against a Marlins team that crushed the ball in last night’s game with the Puerto Rico humidity.

The Mets had two home runs last night, both coming from Jason Bay, not really doing anything much other than that.

They played very sloppily and were perhaps distracted by the stadium festivities surrounding them, at least that’s what manager Jerry Manuel thought.

“There was a lot of activity, but I think to be a good team, you still have to remain somewhat in character,” Manuel said after the game about the environment surrounding Hiram Bithorn Stadium during the game.

It may be tough for the lefty Takahashi to get past the Marlins righty-laden lineup, but the Mets must find ways to break out in a bandbox this time around. Although they still say Angel Pagan will be returning to the lineup.

It doesn’t seem to be a slam dunk, as he suffered a “minor setback” during batting practice before last night’s game.

All of the attention to Pagan’s potential injury has eyes hooked on to Carlos Beltran’s rehab stint.

It’s going well for Beltran right now, as of last night, he played all nine innings, making one putout and going 1-for-5 at the plate. The Mets will wait to see how his knees feel today.

The Mets will try to get to Robertson with what they have tonight, knowing that if they win, they’re in good shape for the rubber match with Mike Pelfrey going on Wednesday night.

Hisanori Takahashi vs. Florida (June 6)
ND, 5.1 IP, 5 ER, 6 hits, 2 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR

Nate Robertson vs. New York this season (3 starts)
2-1, 5.28 ERA, 15.1 IP, 20 hits, 2 BB, 11 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
June 5: New York 6, Florida 1
June 6: New York 7, Florida 6

June 28: Florida 10, New York 3

Marlins lead series 7-4

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