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09/10/09 12:40 AM ET

Mets enter Fish finale in different role

New York (62-77) vs. Florida (74-65), 7:10 p.m. ET

NEW YORK -- September meetings between the Mets and Marlins were fraught with significance the past two seasons. In both years, Florida denied New York by taking two of three on the final weekend of the regular season at Shea Stadium.

The roles are reversed a little this year, with the Marlins chasing the National League Wild Card and the Mets playing out the stretch.

With its wins in the first two games of the series, Florida has remained within 5 1/2 games of Colorado for the NL Wild Card. The Mets will try to salvage the series finale on Thursday behind Bobby Parnell.

The Mets and Marlins had not really developed a rivalry until the last weekend of the 2007 season. With the Mets trying desperately to avoid a devastating collapse, Florida took two of three at Shea Stadium. Furthermore, during the Mets' 13-0 win in that series, Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo charged Jose Reyes on third base and sparked a bench-clearing fracas. Olivo threw a punch at Reyes during the altercation, but missed.

One day later, Florida got its knockout. With the Mets needing a win, the revved-up Marlins pummeled starter Tom Glavine for seven first-inning runs, knocking New York out of the playoff hunt.

The situation was the same one season later, only with the added significance of being Shea Stadium's final regular-season game. The Marlins again marred the occasion for the Mets, as late home runs by Wes Helms and Dan Uggla propelled the Fish to a 4-2 win.

While the Mets would certainly enjoy returning the favor this season, they know it can't undo what happened the past two years.

"I don't think we'll ever forget the last two seasons until we do something our own selves at this point in time and times to come," manager Jerry Manuel said. "This has been an entirely different set of circumstances for us. We'd definitely love to be in those positions that we were in, but unfortunately we're not."

The teams play one more series after Thursday in Florida on the penultimate weekend of the season.

Pitching matchup
FLA: LHP Sean West (6-5, 4.61 ERA)
West struggled in Friday's 9-6 Marlins victory over the Nationals. Florida gave West a pair of early four-run leads, but he couldn't make it past the third inning. He was frustrated afterward because he gave up all five of his runs with two outs and wasn't able to keep the ball down enough against a potent Nationals lineup. Those are the things that he'll be working on before Thursday's start in New York. The bullpen picked West up in this game, but he doesn't want to worry about that again.

NYM: RHP Bobby Parnell (3-7, 5.25 ERA)
Parnell was masterful in his seven innings against the Cubs last Friday, limiting Chicago to five hits in seven shutout innings. It snapped a streak of three tough starts for Parnell, who is still making the transition to the rotation from the bullpen. Parnell has yet to start against Florida, but he did struggle in seven relief appearances against the Marlins. He gave up three runs on seven hits in four innings vs. Florida. Hanley Ramirez has done the most damage off Parnell, going 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Carlos Beltran will not be in the lineup on Thursday, as Manuel wants to rest his recovering outfielder once a series right now. "It's almost like Spring Training for him," Manuel said. There was some concern at Citi Field on Wednesday, as Beltran was attended to by trainers before the second inning. Beltran, however, only needed his ankle re-taped. "The tape was too tight, and I couldn't feel my foot," Beltran said. "So we went in and re-did it." ... Angel Pagan extended his hitting streak to nine games with a leadoff single Wednesday. Pagan has also hit in his past 17 home games. ... Daniel Murphy's RBI double in the seventh inning Wednesday was his 30th two-bagger of the season. Murphy is batting .301 with 11 doubles, two triples, two homers and 16 RBIs in his past 24 games.

This date in Mets history -- Sept. 10: Jack Fisher was the losing pitcher in the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Braves at Shea Stadium in 1965. The loss was his 20th. Mets pitchers lost at least 20 games six times in the franchise's first four seasons -- Roger Craig (24) and Al Jackson (20) in 1962, Craig (22) in 1963, Tracy Stallard (20) in 1964, and Fisher (24) and Jackson (20) in 1965. And two pitchers -- Jay Hook in 1962 and Galen Cisco in 1964 -- lost 19 games. ... The '69 Mets displaced the Cubs as the division leaders, sweeping a doubleheader from the Expos at Shea while the Cubs were taking their seventh straight loss, in Philadelphia. The Mets won the first game, 3-2, in the 12th inning when they launched a two-out rally -- a single by Cleon Jones, a walk to Rod Gaspar and a single by Ken Boswell. They scored six times in the third inning of the second game without an extra-base hit and won, 7-1. Nolan Ryan struck out 11 in a three-hitter.

The Mets beat the Expos, 6-0, in Montreal in 1988. David Cone pitched a seven-hitter and struck out 10, putting his record at 16-3 and the team's record at 28 games over .500. ... Having lost six of seven games, the Mets launched a four-game winning streak that moved them within 1 1/2 games of first place in 1990. They beat the Cardinals, 10-1, at Shea behind Frank Viola's 18th victory and Darryl Strawberry's 32nd home run. ... Al Leiter pitched his only shutout of the season in the Mets' 3-0 victory against the Phillies at Shea in 2000. The Mets trailed the Braves by 2 1/2 games with 20 games remaining.

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On the Internet
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•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

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Up next
• Friday: Mets (Nelson Figueroa, 2-4, 4.74) at Phillies (Cole Hamels, 8-9, 4.32), 7:05 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Mets (Mike Pelfrey, 10-10, 4.83) at Phillies (J.A. Happ, 10-4, 2.77), 4:05 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Mets (Tim Redding, 2-5, 5.78) at Phillies (TBD), 1:05 p.m. ET

Tim Britton is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.