August 18, 2007
By David Driver
For the News & Messenger (Virginia)
Used with permission
WASHINGTON -- When Tom Glavine won his 300th career game on Aug. 5, he changed jerseys several times so he would have souvenirs for family members.
Friday night, pitching against the Nationals, Glavine mainly changed speeds, as is his custom, in his sixth career start at RFK Stadium.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner pitched seven innings and allowed just one run as the first-place Mets beat last-place Washington 6-2 before 23,636 fans in the series opener.
Glavine was aided by an acrobatic double play to end the fifth by shortstop Jose Reyes and second baseman Luis Castillo, who caught the ball on one hop from Reyes to force Felipe Lopez and then flipped to first to retire the Nats' Ryan Zimmerman.
New York (68-53) also had a pair of leadoff homers against Nationals starter Matt Chico (5-7), part of starting rotation that has been patched together this season by Washington manager and former Mets coach Manny Acta.
Glavine, who threw 116 pitches with 70 for strikes, retired Nook Logan on a liner to end the sixth with runners on second and third.
"These are the teams that are scrappy young teams that take a lot of pride on beating teams in the pennant race," Mets third baseman and Virginia native David Wright said of the Nationals. "They play well against us. On paper, we are supposed to beat these guys."
Said Mets manager Willie Randolph of the Nats (55-67): "I like the way they play. They play hard. They can beat you if you let them. These kids have some talent. I like the way they get after it. I think Manny has done a great job."
Glavine (11-6, 301 career wins) and his 33 wins are the most by any pitcher and the most wins for Glavine against any one team. In his last outing, he got a no-decision in a 7-5 loss at Florida on Aug. 11.
Glavine allowed two-out hits to Zimmerman and Dmitri Young in the first, but got of the jam as Austin Kearns grounded out.
The next batter, Damion Easley, led off the top of the second for the Mets with a home run to left off Chico to give New York a 1-0 lead. It was the 10th homer of the season for Easley, and it came on an 81 mile-per-hour pitch from Chico.
The Mets made it 2-0 in the third when Reyes drew a walk, stole second and went to third on an error and scored on a single to left by Wright.
Washington came within 2-1 in the third when Young's two-out double scored Zimmerman, who played on the same travel team with Wright when they were younger.
The Mets made it 3-1 in the fourth when Moises Alou led off with his ninth homer of the season. Easley scored on a sacrifice fly by Mike DiFelice to make it 4-1 later in the inning. DiFelice pushed the lead to 6-1 in the eighth with a two-run triple to right for the Mets. Zimmerman scored on a single by Austin Kearns in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-2.
Chico beat the Mets in New York on April 27, when he allowed nine hits and two runs in 5.1 innings. He went to three balls on four straight batters at one point Friday and was taken out in the fifth inning.
NOTES: Mets starting pitcher John Maine, a native of Fredericksburg, will not pitch in the weekend series. He is slated to pitch Tuesday against San Diego. Maine is 13-7 and among the National League leaders in wins ... First baseman Young made a circus catch in the third on a foul pop, and his landing put divots in the turf ... Mets manager Randolph came out to argue when Wright was called out at second on a pickoff in the third. Television replays showed Wright was safe ... In the 101st president's race, Teddy Roosevelt lost again. He has never won.