Beware The Curse Of Nelson De La Rosa. Newsday’s Bob Herzog delivers the baaaaaad news.

The other calf dropped on Pedro Martinez Thursday, ending a season of stress, strain and pain for the 34-year-old righthander.

The fragile Mets ace, disabled for a month with a strained right calf, was found to have a muscle tendon tear in his left calf, a new injury apparently suffered during his rough outing Wednesday night. The discovery was made after an MRI was taken in New York Thursday

Mets general manager Omar Minaya, in an impromptu press briefing at the rear of the press box at Turner Field last night, said that Martinez would be out 4-6 weeks. “He won’t be available to us for the playoffs,” Minaya said. “He won’t be able to pitch for us for the rest of the season.”

Instead, the worst season of Martinez’s career, statistically, now becomes the most difficult physically and it ends prematurely. Martinez finished 9-8 with a career-worst 4.48 ERA, pitching only 132 2/3 innings, the fewest he’s pitched since 2001 when he threw only 116 2/3 innings for the Red Sox.

Tom Glavine saw something positive in the initial news that Martinez wouldn’t pitch in Games 1 and 2. “There’s certainly been an amount of uncertainty,” is how he so aptly put it. “That’s gone now. There’s no more speculation. I’m not saying it’s a good thing that Pedro won’t pitch, but at least we know where we stand.”

El Duque had 9 K’s in 5 innings (3 hits, 0 earned runs) in his final tune-up start before the NLDS, as the Mets finally put some runs on the board, beating the Braves, 7-4. Carlos Delgado had a pair of doubles and 4 RBI’s, and Carlos Beltran’s 6th inning solo HR off Pete Moylan tied the club record of 41 in a season, a mark co-held by Todd Hundley.

The Cardinals’ lead in the NL Central is down to a half game ; St. Louis lost their 8th of 9 Thursday night, a 9-4 drubbing courtesy of the Brewers. Bill Hall teed off on losing starter Jason Marquis, who only managed to retire 6 of the 15 Milwaukee hitters he faced.

After a lengthy rain delay, the Phillies risk falling a further half game behind the Dodgers, as they trail the Nationals, 3-1 through 6 innings. Saul Rivera pitched a scoreless 7th for the Nats, inducing Chris Coste to ground into a 6-4-3 double play, then retiring the oughta-be-retired Abraham Nunez. I’m not sure how many people are left in the DC stands at 1:38am, but I’ve watched louder country cricket matches. Not many, mind you.