New York won the first two games of this series following a season-high eight game losing streak. The Mets won consecutive games for the first time since completing a three-game sweep of Atlanta on Sept. 3.
The Mets are ending a season in which they will finish last in the NL East for the second straight season.
Part of the reason for the team’s woes this season has been the ineffectiveness of Tom Glavine, who was signed to a four-year contract in the offseason to anchor the rotation.
Glavine, who will start for New York in its final home game of the year, is winless in his last five starts and hasn’t won since Aug. 24 at Los Angeles. The left-hander is in danger of not reaching double digits in victories for the first time since his first full season in 1988, when he went 7-17 for Atlanta.
In his last start, Glavine gave up five runs on seven hits in six innings of a 7-1 loss to the Expos last Friday.
Typical of his struggles this season, he loaded the bases with no outs after giving up a leadoff triple, but retired two in a row. He was was one strike away from escaping when Jose Vidro sent Glavine’s 32nd pitch of the inning over the left-field wall for a grand slam.
“I guess another one in a bunch of disappointments this year,” Glavine said. “To get that close and have that happen is frustrating.”
Pittsburgh has lost three straight games while scoring just four runs.
The Pirates have also endured another losing season, their 11th straight since three consecutive NL East titles from 1990-92.
Veteran right-hander Salomon Torres will take the mound for Pittsburgh as he tries to win consecutive starts for the first time since June 1995, while he was with Seattle.
STANDINGS: Pirates - 4th place, 13 GB, NL Central. Mets - 5th place, 33 GB, NL East.
PIRATES PROBABLE STARTER: Torres (6-5, 4.96 ERA). Torres got the win in Pittsburgh’s 10-6 victory at Chicago on Saturday in the first game of a day-night doubleheader. It was his first win in 10 starts since beating Arizona on May 17, despite allowing seven hits and three runs in five innings. He is 0-0 with a 3.27 ERA in three games—including one start—against the Mets.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Glavine (9-14, 4.59 ERA). Glavine is winless in his last five starts, including two straight defeats to Montreal. He is 19-12 with a 3.14 ERA in 36 career starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Pirates - Jason Kendall, .323 avg. and 83 runs; Reggie Sanders, 31 HRs and 87 RBIs; Kenny Lofton, 18 SBs. Mets - Roger Cedeno, .270 avg. and 14 SBs; Cliff Floyd, 18 HRs; Ty Wigginton, 69 RBIs and 71 runs.
SEASON SERIES: Mets, 4-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Pirates - C Kendall is 5-for-20 in his career against LHP Glavine. … Left-handed batters are hitting .321 against RHP Torres this season. … 3B Jose Hernandez is 3-for-19 against Glavine. Mets - New York will honor longtime broadcaster Bob Murphy before Thursday night’s game. Murphy, inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994, has been with the Mets since 1962 and is retiring after the season. … Rookie OF Jeff Duncan wasn’t in the lineup Wednesday, after fouling a ball off his right foot and bruising it the previous day. … The Mets are just the second team with a sub-.415 winning percentage to have a pair of 15 game-winners with wining records. The 1921 White Sox are the other.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Pirates - 34-43 on the road; Mets - 34-45 at home.
INJURIES: Pirates - INF Pat Meares (hand), 60-day DL; INF Pokey Reese (thumb), 60-day DL; RHP Kris Benson (shoulder), 60-day DL; LHP Dave Williams (shoulder), 60-day DL. Mets - SS Reyes (ankle), 60-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL; OF Floyd (foot), 60-day DL; RHP Pedro Astacio (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL.