New York (84-68) at Miami (66-87)

  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 21, 2007
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Pedro Martinez didn’t have a chance to help the New York Mets in last year’s postseason, but he’s certainly doing his best to try and get them back to the playoffs. Right now, the Mets appear to need all the help they can get.

Martinez looks to lead slumping New York back from yet another letdown when he takes the mound in the second game of a four-game set with the Florida Marlins on Friday night.

Martinez was sidelined for most of the season after having rotator cuff surgery last October, but is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA and 17 strikeouts over 16 innings since he came off the disabled list Sept. 3.

“I’ve been through it too many times,” said Martinez, who helped Boston win the 2004 World Series. “September, October is something that gets the adrenaline going.”

The Mets (84-68), though, have lost six of their last seven and their NL East lead over Philadelphia - which was seven games on Sept. 12 - has dwindled to 1 1/2 games.

New York blew a pair of three-run leads in a 10-inning, 8-7 loss to Florida (66-87) in Thursday night’s series opener. Dan Uggla’s double plated Hanley Ramirez with the winning run.

“For us to affect their season is huge,” said Marlins first baseman Mike Jacobs, who went 2-for-5 with a triple as Florida tied a season high with 21 hits to snap its four-game losing streak.

The Marlins had scored a total of just four runs in their previous two contests.

Seven of the Mets’ final 11 games are against the last-place Marlins, and three are versus fourth-place Washington. Since joining the Mets, Martinez is 2-3 with a 2.20 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 45 innings over seven starts against Florida.

New York has been trying to protect Martinez, and manager Willie Randolph said the veteran will continue to pitch on five days’ rest through the end of the regular season. On Saturday, the right-hander gave up one run and seven hits while striking out a season-high nine in six innings, but did not record a decision in a 5-3 loss to Philadelphia.

The Mets have struggled despite totaling 23 runs and 36 hits over their last three games.

Moises Alou hit a two-run double in the first inning Thursday to extend his hitting streak to 24 games, the longest of his career and the longest in the NL this year. Third baseman David Wright, meanwhile, went 3-for-4 and is 7-for-13 with five doubles and five RBIs in his last three games.

The Mets lineup will now face Florida’s Scott Olsen (9-14, 6.06 ERA), who is 0-5 with a 9.43 ERA in his last six starts. The left-hander gave up six runs and eight hits in two innings of a 13-0 loss to Colorado on Sunday.

Olsen is 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets.

New York right fielder Shawn Green plans to sit out Friday’s game in observance of Yom Kippur.

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Starting Pitchers

P. Martinez PHI vs. S. Olsen TEX
3-1 Record 10-15
2.57 ERA 5.81
32 K 133
7 BB 85
1.43 WHIP 1.76


Friday, Sep 21