Glavine Pounded By Former Employer Yet Again

Tom Glavine spent 16 seasons pitching for the Atlanta Braves and sometimes it seems as though he still is, even though he joined the Mets a little over two seasons ago.

As is his consuetude, Glavine faced the Braves last night and was knocked about even worse than he is by other opponents, this time getting knocked out after just 4 2/3 innings Wednesday at Shea Stadium, allowing seven runs and 12 hits -- including back-to-back home runs by Eddie Perez and Wilson Betemit -- en route to an 8-4 Mets defeat.

On the other hand, former Met pitcher Mike Hampton had no such trouble against his former teammates, improving his record to 3-0 with a 1.67 ERA for the season and throwing seven admirable innings against them.

Mr Glavine, the prize free agent signing of the Mets winter of 2002 is now 1-7 against his former team with an earned run average of 9.36 and the question begs to be asked: Whose side are you on anyway?

Others might say that yesterday's performance was vintage 2005 Glavine, that he is giving his former team no special favours. After all, even before yesterday's game he was still an unimpressive 1-2 in 4 starts over 22.2 innings pitched and had given up 21 hits, 11 earned runs, had walked 13 and struck out only 16. As frightening as it sounds, he's been no more consistent and no better than Aaron Heilman or Victor Zambrano this season.

His current ERA of 5.67 is the worst of all Mets starting pitchers, behind even Victor Zambrano's 5.64 and second worst on the entire staff, better only than Mike Matthews' tumescent 10.80 ERA. In fact, Glavine's current ERA is ranked 151st in the National League.

When asked if he might hold Glavine out of future starts against Atlanta, as the previous manager, Art Howe, did at the end of 2003, Randolph did not seem ready to concede a loss in every Glavine start against the Braves just yet. "The Braves have a nice approach to him," he said. "They know what he does. But I don't analyze it too much. I don't ever get concerned about a guy like this."

Hmmm. Since last season's All Star game, Glavine is now 5-10 with a 4.95 ERA and has walked 53 whilst striking out only 58. It's no wonder he's going ballistic over balls and strikes calls these days and perhaps a better indication that Tom Glavine's glory days are too far behind him to see more than the occasional glimmer any more.


Last night's game, which resulted in the first home series loss for the Mets this season, offered little in the way of hope, from Jose Reyes' leadoff strikeout to Carlos Beltran's 9th inning ground out to end the game.

There was that one pitch of excitement in the 2nd when Mientkiewicz homered to right field and gave the Mets a 1-0 lead which the Braves answered in the 3rd with two runs of their own. There was Cliff Floyd's two run homer also to right field that narrowed the deficit to 4-3 in the bottom of the 4th. There was the bottom of the 8th, when down 8-3 and Braves starter Hampton had been relieved by Sosa. Piazza and Floyd both walked and David Wright singled to load the bases with none out and a passed ball saw Piazza score to make it 8-4 but then Mientkiewicz flew out and Victor Diaz concluded an 0 for 4 day by grounded into a rally-killing double play.

After the Glavine debacle the Mets bullpen did an admirable job as Aybar, Bell, Hernandez and Looper combined to surrender only a run in 4 2/3 innings of work and giving up only one hit as Bell gave up his first earned run of his brief season.


Newsday's Mark Hermann makes a valid point on the praises sung by the Braves of the Mets these days as the Braves carry on beating them.

"Consider this a little growth chart for these New Mets. Consider it a reminder that they won't really be "new" unless they can get past the Braves, the Moby Dick to their Captain Ahab. Beating them in the standings would really be new, since the Mets never have done that since Atlanta moved into their division 11 years ago.

The teams have played each other six times this year and the Braves have won four. They always find a way, as they did Tuesday against Pedro Martinez. Yesterday, they throttled Glavine, as they have ever since he left Atlanta for New York.

No matter who they lose or who they get, the Braves just have a certain something that the Mets don't have.

All of which is not to say the Mets should be discouraged. They still have new energy and good karma. They still have a better record than the Yankees.

But it won't mean much until they have a better record than the Braves."

As they won't face the Braves again until the 23rd of May, for almost a month anyway we can surrender to the apparition that we are playing on a level field. The Mets are now back to .500 for the season with an 11-11 record, two full games behind the Florida Marlins and tied for third with the Nats, one game ahead of the bottom-dwelling Phillies.

In the battle for third place, the Mets have the Nats in DC to struggle mightily against after today's off day. Florida will be at Philadelphia and Atlanta travels to St Louis to face the NL Central-leading Cardinals who have won 6 game in a row.


Friday, April 29, 2005: Jae Seo (1-0, 1.50) @ Livan Hernandez (2-2, 5.34)
Saturday, April 30, 2005: Victor Zambrano (1-1, 3.71) @ Zach Day (1-1, 5.09)
Sunday, May 1, 2005: Aaron Heilman (1-2, 6.00) @ John Patterson (1-1, 0.86)

No comments: