With 21 walks since July 4, Henderson Alvarez has the sixth fewest walks among National League starters with a minimum of 13 starts. The Marlins right-hander has allowed just one home run in 13 starts this season, after yielding 16 in his first 13 with Toronto last season.
In Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Mets at Citi Field, Alvarez will face a squad that's tied for 24th in the league with 122 home runs despite belting two home runs in Friday's series opener.
Mets manager Terry Collins will send Carlos Torres to counter Alvarez, and he hopes his squad can continue hitting balls out of the park for the righty, who turned 33 on Friday.
Collins expressed disappointment in the ability of his younger players to take advantage of their Major League opportunities. Projecting such frustrations, however, differs depending on who is on the receiving end.
"What I say in here, it comes out different in there. I don't do it in a group. I talk to these guys individually. You get more done," Collins said. "If you have to say something that might be maybe felt on the negative side, you don't want to a big group around. I don't do it in a big group. I have less team meetings now than I've ever had. Most of the time when you're having a team meeting, sometimes it's only directed to a one or two guys anyway. I do it more individually. The idea is to try and stay positive. It's still about making adjustments. It's still about execution."
Torres had given the Mets two solid outings since replacing Matt Harvey in the rotation. But in his last start against the Nationals, he allowed six runs on five hits. Four of them were home runs as the right-hander struggled with his command.
Alvarez, meanwhile, is coming off his shortest non-weather affected outing of the season. He was lifted after four innings, allowing all five runs in the fourth inning in a loss to the Braves on Monday.
Miami's Jacob Turner and New York's Carlos Torres take the mound in Game 2.
Matsuzaka had his best start with the Mets in his last outing, yielding one run on three hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings against the Indians. Turner, meanwhile, was lined up to pitch Monday at Philadelphia, but because Nathan Eovaldi was scratched from his Thursday start because of a tight back, the rotation was revamped.
"Everybody has had to make the adjustment with Eovaldi being out," manager Mike Redmond said. "Initially, we were trying to get each guy an extra day of rest, and Turner a couple of extra days. But with Eovaldi being out, we had to move them up.
Mets: Wright runs bases, still wants to play this season
David Wright ran the bases at Citi Field again on Friday as he continues to work his way back into the Mets' lineup. While there's only about two weeks left to the season, Wright has been adamant that he will play again in 2013 and will get back into the lineup as soon as he's cleared.
Collins said Wright also worked on going side-to-side on the infield, as well as having to come in from third base on slow ground balls. Wright, who's been on the disabled list since Aug. 3 with a strained right hamstring, also ran the bases on Wednesday.
"He looks great," Collins said. "We're going to advance the effort tomorrow on the bases."
Marlins: Pitching decisions still to be made
As the Marlins play out the rest of the season and look ahead to 2014, the organization believes it has a nice collection of young starters to build around. While they have five regular starters, they all won't necessarily be in the rotation at the beginning of next year because of a possible infusion of youth, because Miami has some Minor League prospects who are close to being big league ready.
Andrew Heaney, for instance, was the team's first-round Draft pick in 2012. The left-hander, who is the club's second-ranked prospect according to MLB.com, finished the season at Double-A Jacksonville, and he will contend for a rotation spot next year.
So will Brian Flynn, the ninth-ranked prospect who is currently in the rotation, Justin Nicolino (ranked third) and Anthony DeSclafani (14th).
Some of the pitchers who have mainly started this season at the big league level may eventually wind up in the bullpen. Believing you can never have too much pitching, the Marlins consider themselves in a favorable position.
"We've seen these guys a lot. The key is what are these guys going to turn into next year?" Redmond said. "Do they carry it over? Do they pitch even better? That's the thing with young pitching, you're always going to have that uncertainty."
• Giancarlo Stanton had his ninth career multi-home run game Friday and third of the season. The slugger now has four homers in his last six games, and 22 on the season.
• Miami is 10-6 against the Mets this season. Wins in the final three games between the two teams this year will give them their second highest winning percentage ever against the Mets (.684). Miami's best season against New York was 2004, when it went 15-4 (.789).
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.