23.8.05

Glavine Guides Mets To Rare Road Victory

Like an amnesia patient gradually recalling a past life, Tom Glavine, Met, is finally starting to remember how to pitch like Tom Glavine, Brave.

Allowing only five hits and a lone run in eight innings of seemingly-forgotten artistry, Glavine lifted his record back to .500 (10-10) and lifted the Mets to their 64th victory of the season and their 5th in the last 7 games with a 4-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Since the beginning of July, Glavine has made 10 starts, has a 2.97 ERA and a 5-3 record to show for it. not to mention four earned runs over his last 22 innings pitched.

"He’s throwing cutters," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "He’s throwing into left-handers, throwing changeups to left-handers, and it used to be just sinkers and changeups away for effect and go back out there. He’s pitching in a lot more and he’s manipulating the baseball off his fastball."

Last night he threw 113 pitches and had retired 14 in a row at one point before reluctantly surrendering the ball to the unstable closer Bradon Looper with a narrow 3-1 lead, probably expecting another near-victory of his to be lost in some enigmatic odyssey by the bullpen.

But Looper stayed the course, earned his three outs and the save and the Mets began a seven-game road trip with a rare victory to put them 2 1/2 games off the pace from the Astros for the NL Wildcard.

Using an oddly configured lineup with catching future Mike Jacobs starting at first base, Mike DiFelice catching and Kaz Matsui making his first start at second base since the rule of Go-Fushimi, the Mets scored twice in the first after Kaz Matsui singled with one out and Webb walked Carlos Beltran behind him. Floyd followed with a double into the right-field corner.

Jose Reyes later showed muscle again like barring his teeth, (power and speed together?)with a homerun and the Mets were on their way to a road victory.

Say it slowly. Road victory. Exhale.

Only about 16 more of them to go.

*****

Steve Trachsel is back on the Mets although instead of giving the proverbial boot to the unpredictable Victor Zambrano they will use Trachsel for what can only be politiely termed as bullpen duty, ie; mop up, slop up, clean up after Zambrano now that Ishii is a distant memory, and perhaps the occasional Benson horrific outing and maybe even spell Pedro after the fifth inning of most starts to save him down the stretch. Who knows? Perhaps neither Trachsel nor Zambrano cleared waivers but one thing is inescapable:

The Mets don't need 6 starters. Pity they can't use one to get a power hitting first baseman.

Tonight, Zambrano gets a chance to demonstrate that he either belongs in the rotation or mucking stalls in the bullpen. He will face Claudio Vargas, RHP (7-6, 4.47), picked up on waivers by the Diamondbacks in early June, has won his last three starts. Considering Zambrano is 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in his last two starts, this combination doesn't look promising.

Who knows, maybe Trachsel will be on in "emergency conditions" before the 3rd inning after Zambrano has walked 8 batters, hit four and given up 10 runs.

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