New York (60-78) at Miami (72-62)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 1:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 9, 2004
  • TV: FSNY, WPXM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins are making franchise history, and taking another run at the postseason.

Drawing closer in its hunt for the NL wild card, Florida shoots for a team record 10th straight win when it completes a three-game series with the lifeless New York Mets at Pro Player Stadium.

Florida matched the franchise mark with its ninth consecutive win in Wednesday’s 3-0 blanking of New York. Josh Beckett pitched eight strong innings for the Marlins, who last won nine straight from May 6-14, 1996.

The defending World Series champions matched a season high by climbing 10 games above .500 for the first time since May 30. Florida still trails Houston by 1 1/2 games for the wild card, but contenders San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego are also very much in the tightly packed race.

Florida will head to Wrigley Field for a crucial four-game series with the Cubs beginning Friday. Chicago is just one percentage point behind surging Houston for the wild card-lead.

“It’s getting to be fun,” Florida manager Jack McKeon said. “We’re used to this—coming from behind and no one giving us a chance. We know what we can do. We’ve done it before.”

While the Marlins are surging, the Mets have lost 11 straight games, the team’s longest skid since it dropped 12 in a row from Aug. 10-23, 2002.

“Everyone is dumbfounded by this,” All-Star catcher Mike Piazza said. “I’ve never been through anything like this, not in the majors, minors or anywhere.

“We can’t get anything going. If we get guys on base, we can’t get them in. If we score some runs, the other team scores more.”

The Mets have lost 10 straight to the Marlins.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Benson Ari vs. I. Valdez Mia
12-12 Record 14-9
4.31 ERA 5.19
134 K 67
61 BB 49
1.31 WHIP 1.48