After the Florida Marlins ended New York’s postseason hopes each of the last two seasons, the Mets likely wouldn’t mind returning the favor this year.
Fresh off a comeback victory in the series opener, the Mets look to push the Marlins closer to playoff elimination Saturday night.
New York (66-88) doesn’t need to be reminded how Florida spoiled its postseason chances on the final weekend of each of the last two regular seasons. The Mets earned a little redemption for the moment after scoring three times in the final two innings to rally for a 6-5 win at Florida on Friday.
“Knowing that the Marlins have knocked the Mets out of the race the last two years it’s an extra benefit,” said center fielder Cory Sullivan(notes), who played for Colorado until this season but delivered a pinch-hit, two-run single off Marlins closer Leo Nunez(notes) to give New York the lead in the ninth inning Friday.
While the victory snapped a three-game losing streak for the Mets, the result dropped the Marlins (82-72) five games behind wild-card leader Colorado with eight remaining. New York improved to 6-10 this season against Florida, which lost for the third time in five contests.
“The hill gets a little steeper but we have a team that is resilient,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “We are in a situation that we have to win every game and get help.”
“We needed a win like that regardless of the role we’re playing,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “We needed to continue to show the effort.”
Francoeur is 4 for 8 in his last two games overall, and batting .391 against the Marlins this season. The outfielder is 4 for 5 with three doubles against Florida rookie starter Sean West(notes) (7-6, 4.85 ERA), who will look to bounce back from his first loss since Aug. 19.
West, who was 3-0 with a 4.32 ERA in his previous five starts, gave up five runs in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-1 loss at Cincinnati on Sunday.
“It’s the stuff you have to deal with in a young pitcher,” Gonzalez said of his 23-year-old starter. “He takes a couple of steps forward, then one back.”
Maine (6-5, 4.13) allowed two hits in five scoreless innings of a 6-2 win over Washington on Sunday - his second start since coming back from a three-month stint on the disabled list due to a sore right shoulder.
“I still don’t feel like I have I guess 100 percent strength back there as far as pitching-wise, but it doesn’t hurt,” Maine said. “I felt better, so that’s always a good sign.”
The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.21 ERA in nine starts versus the Marlins, including 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three this season.
The All-Star shortstop is hitting an NL-leading .351, and .412 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games against New York in 2009.