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El Duque off Mets' roster....Final Roster

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El Duque off Mets' roster; Maine to start Game 1


First Pedro Martinez, now Orlando Hernandez.


The Mets lost a second starting pitcher as the playoffs start when El Duque, who is expected to miss the entire postseason, was left off the roster with a torn calf muscle. John Maine will get the start for New York in Game 1 Wednesday afternoon against the Dodgers. Oliver Perez will take Hernandez's spot in the Mets' postseason rotation.


"All year long we've had guys who picked each other up," general manager Omar Minaya said. "I'm confident somebody will pick up El Duque."


Hernandez felt discomfort in his right leg while he was jogging in the outfield Tuesday and was pulled off the field and went for an MRI exam, which diagnosed a Grade 2 proximal gastroc tear of his right calf.


"That takes time," Minaya said.


The Mets turned to Maine, who went 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA in 16 games this season, including 15 starts. The right-hander had not been expected to pitch until later in the series at Los Angeles -- if at all.


Had Martinez not been sidelined for the entire postseason by calf and shoulder injuries, Maine might have been left out of the playoff rotation altogether.


Now, he will start Game 1 at home before a packed house of more than 50,000 fans. And he could wind up pitching twice in the series.


Maine lacks the October experience the Mets were counting on with Hernandez, acquired from Arizona in May. El Duque is 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 19 career postseason games, including 14 starts, mostly with the Yankees. He also owns four World Series rings, and his teams are 12-3 in postseason series.


The Mets informed Maine on Tuesday night that there was a good chance he would start Wednesday. After Minaya and manager Willie Randolph discussed all their options, they decided on Maine late Tuesday night, the GM said.


Hernandez was replaced on the first-round roster by erratic lefty Perez, acquired at the trade deadline with reliever Roberto Hernandez in the deal that sent right fielder Xavier Nady to Pittsburgh.


Left-handed reliever Royce Ring also made the team. He had been sent to Florida as part of a taxi squad to stay ready.



Mets' postseason roster

Pitchers (12): Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano, Tom Glavine, Aaron Heilman, Roberto Hernandez, Maine, Guillermo Mota, Darren Oliver, Perez, Royce Ring, Steve Trachsel, Billy Wagner.


Catchers (2): Paul Lo Duca, Ramon Castro.


Infielders (6): Carlos Delgado, Julio Franco, Jose Reyes, Jose Valentin, Chris Woodward, David Wright.


Outfielders (5): Carlos Beltran, Endy Chavez, Cliff Floyd, Shawn Green, Michael Tucker.

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