The Mets' Matt Harvey and the Marlins' Jose Fernandez have mowed down opposing hitters this season, each displaying filthy stuff well beyond their years.
On Monday, the young pitching phenoms engage in what could be the first of many duels within the National League East when the Mets and Marlins open a three-game series at Marlins Park.
"You've got two young players, and obviously Harvey's been pretty good," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I think it's exciting. Well see who pitches the best."
The Mets have already seen Fernandez earlier this season, when the 20-year-old made his Major League debut on April 7, striking out eight while tossing five innings of one-run ball.
Fernandez has struggled in his last two starts, though -- giving up nine runs in nine innings -- but hopes a return to Marlins Park will help.
The Mets, meanwhile, come to Miami riding a season-long four-game losing streak and look to turn it around against the Marlins.
"We've got to play good on the trip," manager Terry Collins said. "And we have played good on the road. Since I've been here, it seems like when we get out of town, I don't know if we relax more or what we do. We play pretty good on the road. We've got to take advantage of it."
To do that, they'll have to face Fernandez. Mets third baseman David Wright said the club's game plan for Fernandez is just like any other pitcher -- get to him early.
"We tend to hit our best when we work counts and get the starter out of there early," Wright said. "But when you have pitchers that pound the strike zone like the guys have done the last couple games, you really can't go up there with the mentality of taking pitches, because you'll end up [behind]. When you get a pitcher that throws strikes, it forces us to be a little more aggressive than we'd like to be."
If Wright and the Mets are able to do that, the lead should be good in Harvey's hands. Harvey turned in his worst start last time out against the Dodgers, but he still struck out seven in six innings while recording a quality start.
Mets: Buck three shy of April mark
Catcher John Buck's 23 RBIs are three shy of Jeff Kent's team record for RBIs in April, set in 1994.
• Wright snapped a 77-game errorless streak -- the longest in franchise history for a third baseman and the longest current stretch at the position by a big leaguer -- on a ground ball in Sunday's first inning.
Marlins: Pierre hits Mets
Outfielder Juan Pierre is a .324 career hitter with 74 runs scored against the Mets. His 150 hits against New York are the second-most among active players, trailing only Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins (244).
• Miami outfielders are 10-for-11 in stolen-base attempts.
• The Mets took two of three earlier this month at Citi Field.
• The Mets are 0-3 in a stretch of nine straight against the NL East.