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Marlon Anderson's .159 batting average doesn't concern him. Neither does the fact that he broke an 0-for-25 skid with a RBI single in the sixth inning of Friday night's victory against the Rangers.


Personally, the only number Anderson has thought about or written down on paper lately is "62." Before Tuesday's loss to the Diamondbacks, the 62nd game of the season, it was how many wins in the final 100 games that the Mets needed to reach 92 -- an amount that would best the Rockies' and D-backs' National League-leading totals from last season.


Anderson passed out his findings amongst his teammates at the club's Players Association meeting on Tuesday, but he wouldn't say any bit of Friday's win vs. Texas should be attributed to anything related to his handouts. The printout was just a reminder.


"Sometimes you get caught up in yourself, you take things personally, you do things personally," Anderson said. "I think it was just something to get them away from themselves and start thinking about the team."


With Moises Alou and Ryan Church currently out at the corner outfield spots, Anderson has had to assume a greater role. That's a strange twist, considering that he just got off the DL when he was passing around his playoff math.


All playing time counts for is a perk -- barely -- as Anderson would maintain his role on the team doesn't really matter. If he isn't producing hits, at least he can run out a throwing error and force in a run, as was the case when Rangers third baseman German Duran missed the mark on Friday.


Now, with a couple more tallies chopped off the final total, and 60 still to go to reach his benchmark, Anderson has seen his team play good baseball during the last handful of games -- some being losses. Only now the Mets got a little prize to remind them that playing a team game has its rewards.


"That's how you win games, that's how everybody plays, we know that," Anderson said. "Just sometimes little reminders, something concrete on paper to look at, to see what teams did last year and see what they did to get to the playoffs, and know we could definitely achieve the same thing."


Third baseman David Wright has also preached that the playoffs are still within reach. And with the heat surrounding manager Willie Randolph recently, a cluster of wins right now could look good on paper.


Even better, they can heal all ills.


"Wins solve a lot of problems," Wright said. "If we can go on a little hot streak then we don't have to worry about any of those things."

Pitching matchup

NYM: RHP Pedro Martinez (1-0, 6.91 ERA)

Martinez will make his third start since coming off of the DL on Saturday. In his last start, he found his own way to contribute to the Mets' four consecutive losses on the West Coast by allowing four runs before the end of the fifth inning, and didn't make it past that stanza because his pitch count was already at 97. But Pedro has been stellar during his career against the Rangers, racking up a 9-2 record with a 1.90 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 85 1/3 innings.


TEX: LHP Kason Gabbard (1-2, 4.75 ERA)

Gabbard replaced Doug Mathis in the Rangers starting rotation, as Mathis moved to the bullpen. The 26-year-old is just another young face in the Texas rotation, called back up from Triple-A Oklahoma, as the lefty Gabbard has yet to face any Mets batters during his career.



According to the Mets, reliever Matt Wise still has "right shoulder weakness" and his visit with Dr. Lewis Yocum for a second opinion confirmed as much. As of now, the team will have the right-hander rest while doing "non-baseball activities" in Arizona for the next couple of weeks. ... For the season, Jose Reyes has now scored a run in 26 of the Mets' 32 wins. ... With Carlos Beltran's 1-for-3 performance on Friday, he is now 24-for-70 (batting .343) in his last 18 home games, including four home runs, 20 RBIs and 12 runs scored.


This day in Mets history ...

Mike Piazza started a consecutive-RBIs streak on June 14, 2000, as he would eventually set a team record by driving in a run in the next 15 games -- a streak that would almost take him up to Independence Day, as he went RBI-less for the first time on July 2, 2000.



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06/14/2008 9:56 PM ET



Rangers celebrate rainout with tarp slide




Players cheered on by Mets' crowd as they let off some steam


By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com








NEW YORK -- Rain kept the Rangers from playing a game on Saturday night at Shea Stadium. It did not keep a few of them from getting in some sliding practice.

Tarp sliding practice in a driving rainstorm -- it was second baseman Ian Kinsler's idea and Milton Bradley seconded it.


"If you want to get on SportsCenter, you might as well do it," Bradley told his teammates.


So there were the six of them -- Bradley, Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Gerald Laird and Josh Rupe -- emerging from the Rangers dugout into the pouring rain and sliding head-first across the rain-soaked tarp covering the Shea Stadium infield.


"We were having some fun," Young said. "All I heard was, 'Tarp slide! Tarp slide!' I couldn't get my cleats off fast enough."


The six were out there for only a few minutes, but long enough to get the Mets crowd cheering for them as they waited for the rain to stop. "Let's go Rangers!" is a chant usually heard in New York only at Madison Square Garden during a hockey game. But they were singing that at Shea Stadium as the Rangers went plowing head-first through huge water puddles.


"That was sweet," Young said.


"That was awesome," Kinsler said.


"That's what you call having fun," Hamilton said. "Team unity. We were saying we might be the last ones to do this in Shea Stadium. We'll be a trivia question: 'Who was the last team to tarp slide in Shea Stadium?'"


Shea Stadium is in its last year before the Mets move across the parking lot to Citi Field. The Rangers also may be the last opponent to play a doubleheader at Shea Stadium. The two teams will play a doubleheader at 12:10 p.m. CT on Sunday to make up Saturday's postponement. The Rangers will be at full force with Kevin Millwood pitching in Game 1 and Kason Gabbard pitching in Game 2.


Nobody was hurt in the Great Shea Tarp Slide.


"I've done that before," Kinsler said. "Didn't you see my form? I was trying to get somebody to go over the mound, but there were no takers."


Kinsler was basically using the same head-first sliding technique that caused him to tear his thumb in his rookie season. But he did that sliding into a base defended by an infielder. This was a rain-soaked field.


General manager Jon Daniels didn't seem to mind.


"It was spontaneous, guys blowing off steam and having fun," Daniels said. "No damage, nobody got hurt. It's not too often you get 'Let's Go Rangers!' in Queens."


T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.







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