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Mets now in position to play spoiler

Mets now in position to play spoiler

NEW YORK -- The Mets travel to sunny Florida this weekend looking to dish out some revenge served cold.

The Marlins are the team that knocked the Mets out of playoff contention in New York on the final day of each of the past two regular seasons. With some help from Colorado, the Mets can return the favor.

After Wednesday's come-from-behind win over the Phillies, Florida stands 4 1/2 games behind the Wild Card-leading Rockies. Colorado closes a four-game series with the Padres on Thursday before hosting the Cardinals for three this weekend. If any combination of Rockies wins and Marlins losses reaches six, Florida will be mathematically eliminated from the postseason.

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And although the Mets hope to expedite that process this weekend, it isn't their primary objective.

"The goal that we have is to try to finish as strong as possible. If that includes beating some teams that still have a chance, then so be it," David Wright said. "Do we want to win? Of course. Is it because they're mathematically still in it? No, it's because we're trying to accomplish our goals that we have set out to finish the season strong."

Wright is one of only a handful of healthy Mets who was around each of the last two seasons. Manager Jerry Manuel knows the series would have a distinctly different feel if Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Johan Santana had been available for the Mets as well.

"The satisfaction would have come if we had had our group, and hopefully, at that time, we wouldn't be thinking about eliminating somebody, we'd be thinking about getting in," Manuel said. "I like to beat every team. If I'm going home, I want everybody to go home.

"We won't have champagne over there or anything."

The Mets have struggled to accomplish Wright's goal of finishing the season strong, limping to a 6-15 record in September. The Marlins swept the Mets at Citi Field earlier in the month and have won five of the past six meetings and 10 of 15 overall between the two teams.

Florida has already clinched the season series with the Mets for the sixth time in their history and first time since 2004. New York has managed to win just one series from the Marlins all year.

The Mets will also be looking to scratch out five wins in their last nine games to avoid falling short of 70 victories for the first time since 2003.

"You're not playing for anything, but there's still a level of pride," Manuel said. "You're trying to still give fans hope that things will be okay."

Wright reiterated the importance of ending the year on a high note.

"It's no fun with what it's come to, trying for moral victories," Wright said. "Nobody's packing in. There's too much fight, too much competitiveness in this room to do that. So we're going to go out there and do the best we can."

Pitching matchup
NYM: RHP Tim Redding (3-6, 5.25 ERA)
In his last start, on Saturday against the Nationals, Redding contributed another stellar start for the Mets, tossing seven-plus innings and allowing two runs (one earned) on only four hits. Since his return to the starting rotation on Aug. 22, Redding has allowed three runs or fewer in five of six starts. The one subpar start in that span came the last time he opposed the Marlins, who reached Redding for four runs on two homers in five innings. Redding is 1-2 with an 8.04 ERA in three starts against Florida this season and 5-6 with a 5.65 ERA in 14 career starts against the Marlins. He is, however, 4-1 with a 3.86 ERA in six lifetime starts at Land Shark Stadium -- the site of his victory over the Marlins in August.

FLA: RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-9, 5.34 ERA)
The last month of the season, Nolasco and Josh Johnson have been the team's best starting pitchers. With his seven-inning, four-hit, two-run performance last week against the Reds, Nolasco broke a streak of 29 straight games without a Marlins starter pitching at least seven innings. Since he was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on June 7, he's 10-4 with a 4.05 ERA and 13 quality starts in 20 appearances.

Tidbits
Wednesday marked the Braves' eighth straight win over the Mets. It is the Mets' longest losing streak to their division rivals since Atlanta took 11 in a row bridging 1982-83. It was also the Braves' first sweep of the Mets in New York since July 7-9, 2003. ... Brian Schneider had his fourth multi-hit game in his past five starts. ... Reliever Brian Stokes missed the game to attend the birth of his first child, a son named Brody Alexander. ... Wright appeared in his 835th game at third base, tying hitting coach Howard Johnson for the most career games played at the hot corner for the Mets. ... Bobby Parnell made his second appearance out of the bullpen since returning from the rotation, striking out two in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• SNY

On radio
• WFAN 660, WADO 1280 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Mets (John Maine, 6-5, 4.13) at Marlins (Sean West, 7-6, 4.85), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Sunday: Mets (Pat Misch, 1-4, 5.59) at Marlins (Josh Johnson, 15-5, 3.12), 1:10 p.m. ET
• Monday: Mets (Nelson Figueroa, 2-7, 4.88) at Nationals (TBD), 7:05 p.m. ET

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

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