Injured Floyd leaves after two innings

NEW YORK – Cliff Floyd was walking – maybe limping is more like it – down the dugout steps on Tuesday, the day of the pre-NLCS workout, when David Wright fired a wisecrack that might prove more prophetic than the team hoped.

"Kirk Gibson over here," Wright had said.

Gibson, of course, will forever be remembered for his hobbled heroics in the 1988 World Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers, straggling to the plate to slug a pinch-hit homer off Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in Game 1 of the World Series.

And now it seems Floyd's greatest postseason contribution for the Mets in 2006 could be a Kirk Gibson moment.

The Mets debated keeping Floyd and his severely injured left Achilles off the NLCS roster, but in the end gambled and even decided upon using Floyd in left field for Game 1 Thursday.

That wager soured when Floyd was forced to leave after just two innings, the troubled leg crying for surgery and feeling progressively worse as he continues to hammer it this October.

"I've come too far to shut it down right now," Floyd said. "I've got to see the doctors (Friday) and go with that."

In his first and only at-bat, Floyd popped a second-inning fly ball down the left field line, tracing toward the stands and eventually unplayed by Cardinals left fielder Preston Wilson.

Floyd came up lame once again as he rounded first base – feeling "two small pulls," he said – and drew attention from Mets manager Willie Randolph and trainer Ray Ramirez. Floyd waved them off and finished the at-bat, flying out to left field.

That was all for Floyd, though, as he was replaced by Endy Chavez to start the third inning. Chavez has been a capable fill-in all year – he contributed a diving catch in the fifth that Floyd certainly would not have been able to – but Floyd said he was panged with remorse for leaving the Mets with what could be a 24-man roster for the NLCS.

"The worst part about this is not me," Floyd sad. "It's short-handing the team."

"It's kind of sad," Chavez said. "I just wanted to be ready. I know we need him (Floyd). We have to carry him and if I have to jump on the field for him, I'll do it. I'll take care of it."

Floyd is slated to undergo an MRI Friday, but at this point, the Mets are experiencing diminishing returns – Floyd's Achilles will not recover, it can only be coddled and taped up to the point where he could possibly make some contribution.

"This team, it would be great to be a part of it," Floyd said. "It'd be a shame if I couldn't play anymore."

Contact Inside Pitch's Bryan Hoch at metsinsidepitch@aol.com.

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