Series: Game 4 of 4

Series tied 2-2 (as of 9/25)

Game 1: Monday, September 22
Chi Cubs9Final
NY Mets5
Game 2: Tuesday, September 23
Chi Cubs2Final
NY Mets6
Game 3: Wednesday, September 24
Chi Cubs9Final
in 10
NY Mets6
Game 4: Thursday, September 25
Chi Cubs6Final
NY Mets7

Cubs 6

(96-62, 41-36 away)

Mets 7

(88-71, 47-31 home)

    7:10 PM ET, September 25, 2008

    Shea Stadium, Flushing, New York 

    123456789 R H E
    CHC 201000300 6 11 1
    NYM 100200121 7 10 1

    W: J. Smith (6-3)

    L: K. Hart (2-2)

    Cubs-Mets Preview


    Pedro Martinez acknowledges how ineffective he's been this season, but he could go a long way in redeeming himself with a solid outing when the New York Mets need him the most.

    After watching his team fall into a tie for the NL wild card, Martinez takes the mound on Thursday night the finale of the Mets' four-game series with the Chicago Cubs.

    New York (87-71) has lost seven of its last 11, including two of three against playoff-bound Chicago (96-61). The Mets fell 9-6 in 10 innings on Wednesday to tie for the wild card lead with Milwaukee, which beat Pittsburgh. New York also remained 1 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia, which lost to the Braves.

    The Phillies are idle on Thursday while the Brewers close their series with the Pirates.

    "When tomorrow comes, hopefully the sun comes up," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "It might not."

    New York led the Cubs 5-1 on Wednesday, but starter Oliver Perez gave up four runs in the fifth, and the Mets failed to capitalize on Daniel Murphy's leadoff triple in the ninth. David Wright struck out, and after intentional walks to Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran, Ryan Church grounded out and Ramon Castro struck out.

    Luis Ayala was charged with the loss after Derek Lee had a run-scoring double, and Aramis Ramirez followed with a two-run homer in the 10th.

    "It takes a toll on you, there's no doubt about it," Wright said. "Mentally, physically, it beats you up. The positive thing is if we can get into the playoffs, I think we're going to be more mentally tough than any team in the playoffs."

    Martinez (5-6, 5.50 ERA), a three-time NL Cy Young Award winner has struggled all season, and is 0-3 with a 7.88 ERA in his last three starts. He pitched six innings against the Braves on Saturday, allowing four runs and nine hits while striking out seven in the 4-2 loss.

    "I've had a tough year, not only physically but mentally," Martinez said. "A lot of distractions. I lost my dad, and I'm coming off surgery. I didn't pitch the first half of the season."

    The right-hander is 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA in seven starts and five relief appearances against the Cubs. This is his first time facing them since 1997 while with Montreal.

    The Cubs counter with Rich Harden (5-1, 1.66), who has won his last five decisions. He pitched five innings on Thursday against Milwaukee, allowing one run and one hit while walking six and striking out seven in the 7-6, 12-inning victory.

    The right-hander made his only appearance against the Mets in 2007 while with Oakland. He pitched one inning of relief, striking out two.

    The Cubs are looking to win 97 games for the first time since 1945, when they went 98-56.

    "Guys still want to go out and win games," said Mark DeRosa, who homered, drove in three runs and left in the fifth inning because of a strained left calf.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

     ChicagoNew York
    Current StreakL1L1
    Last 105-54-6

    Pitching Matchup

    ChicagoNew York
    R. Harden
    10-2, 2.07 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at NYM
    6.0 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = ND
    P. Martinez
    5-6, 5.61 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/25 at NYM
    6.0 IP, 5 ER
    Dec = ND

    Gameday Lineups

    NO.ChicagoNew York
    1. F. Pie, LF J. Reyes, SS
    2. R. Theriot, SS D. Murphy, LF
    3. M. Hoffpauir, 1B D. Wright, 3B
    4. J. Edmonds, CF C. Delgado, 1B
    5. M. Fontenot, 2B C. Beltran, CF
    6. C. McGehee, 3B R. Church, RF
    7. K. Fukudome, RF R. Martinez, 2B
    8. K. Hill, C R. Cancel, C
    9. R. Harden, P P. Martinez, P