Miami (79-71) at New York (73-76)

  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Tue Sep 20, 2005
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The New York Mets have already seen their chances of making the postseason slip away. The Florida Marlins are hoping to avoid the same fate.

Florida continues its pursuit of the NL wild card when it opens a three-game series with New York at Shea Stadium.

The Marlins lost four straight to the teams ahead of them in the wild-card race—Houston and Philadelphia—before ending that skid with a 14-6 win over the Phillies on Sunday.

Miguel Cabrera drove in four runs as Florida rebounded from a loss on Saturday where it took a 2-0 lead into the ninth inning before allowing Philadelphia to score 10 runs.

“We redeemed ourselves a little bit for that terrible exhibition Saturday,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “It shows they’re not ready to give up. We’re not out of this thing. We could win three or four in a row and be right back in it again.”

Florida trails Houston by two games in the race for the wild card.

“It’s not up to us anymore,” Jeff Conine said. “We have two teams in front of us now, so we have to scoreboard-watch. We had it in our grasp. We could have taken care of business ourselves, and we didn’t get the job done. Now we have to hope someone else does it for us.”

After this series, the Marlins visit NL East leader Atlanta before finishing at home next week against Washington and the Braves.

“We’re going to need some luck,” said pitcher Josh Beckett, who beat the Phillies on Sunday to keep Florida’s flagging hopes alive. “We have to have some people lose.”

The Marlins hope right-hander A.J. Burnett can overcome his recent struggles and get them off to a good start on the trip. He has lost his last five starts, including a 7-1 defeat to the Mets on Sept. 4.

“Beckett rose to the occasion. Dontrelle (Willis) rose to the occasion,” McKeon said. “Now we’ve got to get A.J. to rise and (Jason) Vargas to rise, and we’ll be in pretty good shape.”

The Mets dropped nine of their first 10 games this month to fall out of the wild-card race. New York improved to 4-13 in September with a 4-1 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

“The worst thing about this is we are a good team,” left fielder Cliff Floyd said. “If you had told me that we were going to go through this in September, I would have called you the biggest liar in the world. It shocked the heck out of me. I’m lost only because we are a lot better than that. I’m pretty much out of words.”

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Starting Pitchers

A. Burnett PIT vs. K. Benson ARI
12-12 Record 10-8
3.44 ERA 4.13
198 K 95
79 BB 49
1.26 WHIP 1.26