Wild win for Mets over Marlins

Wild win for Mets over Marlins

MIAMI -- These are the kind of tight tests they expect to be embroiled in at this point in the season, and on Wednesday night, the Mets passed with flying colors.

Jose Valentin scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball by Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo in the top of the 11th, and the Mets came from behind with three runs for a 7-4 victory over the Marlins.

Thanks to the Phillies sweeping a doubleheader from the Braves on Wednesday, the win didn't clinch the National League East title for the Mets, but they'll be happy to put off the champagne and cigars at least until Pittsburgh.

Though the Phillies' results played a part in whether they would be celebrating on Wednesday, the Mets said that their focus never lapsed outside of an occasional glance at the outfield scoreboard.

"We weren't thinking about that stuff," manager Willie Randolph said. "You look up at the board, you could see it, but no one's talking about, no one's overly concerned about it."

Tom Glavine, who picked up the no-decision for his six innings of work, has been in this situation many times, having won 12 division titles with the Braves, and is familiar with the mind-set going into the homestretch.

"Honestly, it's in the back of your mind, but I don't think you expect [help from another team]," Glavine said. "I think it's the kind of thing where you just focus on going out there and taking care of your business."

New York's come-from-behind victory is just the latest in a season filled with comeback wins that have brought the Mets to this point and have almost come to define them.

"We've done it so many times, coming back and fighting back, it does summarize what this team's all about," Randolph said. "It's a team that wants to win very badly, so that's what happens when these situations come upon you. We don't quit. We don't ever feel like the game is over."

With the Mets trailing, 4-3, in the top of the ninth, and with two outs and runners on first and second, pinch-hitter Carlos Delgado hit a single to left that drove in David Wright, tying the game.

Following an inning and a half of scoreless ball, the Mets finally caught another break, and capitalized on some sloppy play by the Marlins in the 11th. With two outs, Valentin on third and Jose Reyes at the plate, Olivo allowed a 1-0 pitch to pass by him, allowing Valentin to score the go-ahead run. Following the passed ball, Reyes hit a grounder to shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who overthrew attempting to get Ricky Ledee at third, bringing home another run. Paul Lo Duca capped off the rally with an RBI single up the middle that drove in Reyes.

"The Marlins, they're playing good ball, but they made a couple of young mistakes, and it cost them," Cliff Floyd said.

Billy Wagner entered in the bottom half of the inning and gave up one hit before finishing off the Marlins to pick up his 38th save.

The comeback salvaged a solid start for Glavine, in which he pitched well enough to win but instead came away with the no-decision. Despite allowing just three earned runs on six hits, a costly two-run homer to Josh Willingham marred an otherwise effective outing.

"I felt great, I felt like I threw the ball well," Glavine said. "Willingham's home run was a little bit of a mistake, but if we were in Shea, that's a fly ball out, but here it's a home run. That happens, obviously, but I felt good about what I was doing and how I was throwing. I'm giving these guys a chance to win, and they found a way to do it."

After 3 1/2 scoreless innings, the Marlins were the first to get on the board in the fourth, when Willingham hit an RBI double to left that scored Miguel Cabrera. Willingham advanced to third on the throw from Floyd in left field and was driven home in the next at-bat by Wes Helms' sacrifice fly to right field.

With the Mets trailing, 2-0, in the sixth, Scott Olsen made the almost always costly mistake of walking the pitcher, Glavine, leading to a three-run inning for the Mets. Following the walk to Glavine, Olsen gave up a single to Reyes and then a two-run double to Lo Duca that tied the game. Julio Franco gave the Mets the lead with a single to rightfield that drove in Lo Duca.

The Mets wouldn't hold that lead for long, though, as Willingham hit his two-run blast in the seventh, which gave the Marlins a lead they wouldn't relinquish until the ninth.

Kevin Fiorenzo is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.