for this game

Maine, Mets look to get on track for the postseason

Sep 29, 2006 - 12:57 PM NY Mets (94-65) at Washington (71-88) 7:05 pm EDT

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - After losing Pedro Martinez for the rest of the year, the New York Mets will need to regroup before the postseason.

John Maine will take the hill for the Mets in the opener of a season-ending three-game set against the Washington Nationals.

The Mets on Thursday announced that three-time Cy Young Award winner Martinez has a torn tendon in his left calf and will not pitch in the postseason.

Maine (6-5, 3.64) has been one of New York's best pitchers after the All-Star break, going 6-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 12 games - 11 starts - in the second half. In his last outing, he also faced the Nationals but did not pitch up to his high post-All-Star standards, surrendering four runs and three hits in five innings in a 12-6 win over Washington.

He will be opposed by Tony Armas (9-12, 5.07), who has struggled after the All-Star break as well, posting a 3-8 record with a inflated 5.79 ERA. In his last outing, however, he pitched well, yielding one run and five hits in six innings in a 5-1 victory over the Mets on Sunday.

Orlando Hernandez, who was named the starter for Game One of the National League Division Series, allowed one unearned run in five innings on Thursday. Carlos Delgado drove in four runs and Carlos Beltran tied a franchise record by smashing his 41st home run to power the Mets to a 7-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Washington also had a good night on Thursday as Brian Schneider snapped a sixth-inning tie with a two-run single and Ryan Church homered to lead them to a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia.

While New York has lost six out of its last eight games, the Nationals are coming off a series win against Philadelphia, which is fighting for the wild card.

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