Glavine Loses Again To Braves, 4-0

It wasn't enough that Tom Glavine pitched well better than his traditional disasterous outing against his former teammates because a new Brave pitcher threatened to become the most recent Met nemesis and the Mets lost their second in a row to the Braves this time 4-0.

Tim Hudson, the man the Mets might have been able to go after this offseason if they hadn't already traded their blue chip young arm, Scott Kazmir to the Devil Rays for the likes of Victor Zambrano last summer in a panic, held the Mets to nothing whilst he was on the mound: 8 innings of shutout pitching in his debut against the Mets and going on three days' rest. The kind of pitching performance the Mets only sometimes see from Pedro, let alone the rest of the ragamuffin starting rotation.

It's an old story, this Tom Glavine not beating his former team. It's a story we're all tired of hearing, tired of feigning enthusiasm for. Your number two pitcher, the guy who you paid untold millions to come and save your rotation a few years back, can't beat your number one rival. You can frame it however you want: Glavine sucks and it doesn't matter who he pitches against, Glavine was paid off by the Braves and gets kick-backs for every time he loses to them, Glavine is a choke artist overcome with emotion everytime he sees his old uniform, whatever, it's an old story that gets older with the retelling.

So while Glavine was singing the same hideous song called "I suck and I can't beat my former team" in his hideous, off-key voice that sends even the most loyal Met fans into early dementia, Hudson (5-3) not only scattered six hits, walked two and struck out six in eight innings but also contributed an RBI as he grounded out in the three-run seventh.

And the contribution from Glavine's current teammates?

Well, the old favourite flogging horse, Mike Piazza twice came to the plate with two runners in scoring position and two out and struck out. Adding insult to injury, in the sixth, after a leadoff single by Cliff Floyd, Piazza grounded into a double play.

For those who weren't paying attention: Piazza twice came to the plate with two runners in scoring position and two out and struck out. In the sixth, after a leadoff single by Cliff Floyd, Piazza grounded into a double play.

The Mets scored zero runs and it isn't difficult to see why. How much lower can he be shunted down the batting order? Is the seventh spot out of question? What about the eighth spot? What about letting Mike DeFelice catch until Ramon Castro returns from the DL? Certainly DeFelice is less of a defensive liability and well, he can't do much work than Piazza at the plate.

You know who else helped yet again in the losing effort? Our favourite third baseman, David Wright, who has struggled mightily battling fielding demons over the last week or so and has almost single-handedly cost the Mets two or three losses.

Last night, Hudson's RBI ground out was courtesy of Wright when the grounder was initially misplayed - moving to his left, Wright would have had a difficult throw to the plate. He dropped the ball and threw out Hudson as Estrada scored.

As often happens following a Wright miscue, the starting pitcher promptly surrendered. In the instant case, Glavine allowed Rafael Furcal to follow up with a run-scoring triple which mercifully ended Glavine's night.

One thing Manager Willie needed to do this season which to date he has been unable to do, is win in Atlanta. Sure, he did it when the Mets were on a five game losing streak roll at the beginning of the season but here's the stinging facts:

They have lost 24 times in their last 31 games at Atlanta, not to mention how they were blown out of postseason chances there in 1998 and 2001 and how their postseason ended here in 1999.

Glavine can't beat the Braves? Ha! Neither can the Mets.

Tonight, for your masochistic pleasure, Victor Zambrano takes the mound for the Mets. On a three game losing streak, having Zambrano coming in to try and halt the losing is something like asking a cannibal to perform surgery.

It won't be hard to predict this one: Mets will likely lose their 4th in a row whilst getting swept by the Braves and dropping further still in the NL East standings.

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