Posted at 7:06 p.m., Sunday, August 5, 2007
Glavine gets win No. 300 as Mets top Cubs, 8-3
By RICK GANO
It was vinatge Glavine, changing speeds and fooling hitters, all the things that over the years made him one of baseball's best pitchers.
With nervous family and friends looking on, Glavine left with a five-run lead after 6 1-3 innings, and New York's bullpen held on for an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
"I think the feeling right now is probably relief," Glavine said. "At some point in time, I don't know when, the historic side of it will sink in. I know the company I'm in, and I'm as proud as can be to be in that company."
Wife Christine Glavine wiped tears from her eyes as Billy Wagner retired Mike Fontenot on a grounder for the final out. Glavine, who watched from the dugout, came out in a warmup jacket and exchanged hugs and slaps with teammates. He then hugged his children and his wife, giving her a kiss, received congratulations from his parents and waved to the crowd.
"It's over with now," he said after his hugging his youngest son.
Glavine (10-6), who spoke with baseball commissioner Bud Selig, became the 23rd pitcher with 300 victories, the first since former teammate Greg Maddux reached the milestone in 2004 while with the Cubs. The 41-year-old Glavine, only the fifth lefty to win 300, capped a momentous weekend in baseball. On Saturday, Barry Bonds hit his 755th homer to tie Hank Aaron's career mark and Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 500 homers.
Now the question is: Will the latest 300-game winner be the last? Randy Johnson has 284 wins but back problems have plagued him and he turns 44 in September.
"I guess it would be pretty cool to be the last one to do something in the history of the game," he said.
Six days earlier in his first try for No. 300, Glavine left with a one-run lead at Milwaukee only to watch his bullpen blow it.
Christine, who slumped in her seat at Miller Park, didn't have her hopes dashed this time although the bullpen made it close before the Mets pulled away late. Carlos Delgado backed Glavine with four RBIs, and Luis Castillo had four of New York's 16 hits.
Coming off a night of little sleep because two of his children were sick, Glavine felt drained early and put a towel soaked with ammonia on his head when he came off the field during the early innings.
Glavine appreciated the warm reception he received at Wrigley Field. Mets fans chanted his name after the game as he met his family.
"It was pretty special moment to be able to hug all those guys on Wrigley Field like I did tonight," he said. "There's no way I could express my gratitude for everything they've done to all of them to allow me to to focus on my career and focus on baseball."
Before a crowd of 41,599 on a muggy night, and with flashbulbs popping all over the old neighborhood park, Glavine allowed two runs and six hits, struck out one and walked one.
He left after Angel Pagan doubled on his 102nd pitch, getting a high five from manager Willie Randolph on the mound and a standing ovation as he left the field.
Guillermo Mota came in and gave up a single to Jason Kendall, Pedro Feliciano then relieved and gave up an RBI grounder to pinch-hitter Jacque Jones. Fontenot's double made it a 5-3 game, bringing on Aaron Heilman, who retired Ryan Theirot on an inning-ending flyout.
After Delgado hit an RBI double in the eighth off Will Ohman, causing Christine Glavine to get up and applaud, Paul Lo Duca followed with a run-scoring single against Michael Wuertz.
Glavine was the third pitcher looking for his 300th win at Wrigley Field in the last five seasons. Roger Clemens (June 7, 2003) and Maddux (Aug. 1, 2004) both failed.
Glavine, won his first game with the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 22, 1987, was a five-time 20-game winner with the Braves and joined Maddux and John Smoltz to give Atlanta one of baseball's most formidable rotations for years. He captured the NL Cy Young Award in 1991 and 1998, was the MVP of the 1995 World Series and is a 10-time All-Star. He went to the Mets as a free agent after the 2002 season.
Before Glavine, no pitcher had won his 300th game in a Mets uniform although some 300-game winners have pitched with New York Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Warren Spahn, who won four games in 1965.
There was big news for the Cubs, too,
Kerry Wood pitched the seventh in his first major league appearance since June 6, 2006 after a long bout of shoulder problems. The crowd began chanting "Ker-ry! Ker-ry!" and Wood retired Lo Duca on the first pitch he threw as even more flashbulbs began going off. Wood allowed one hit in a scoreless inning.
Chicago had an early threat against Glavine in the third but instead it ended with a leg injury on the basepaths for Chicago star Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano singled with two outs for the Cubs' first hit and when Ryan Theriot followed with a single to center, Soriano took off for third. But Soriano pulled up lame between the bases, favoring his right leg and as he tried to hop to the bag was tagged out easily. He was helped off the field with a strained right quadriceps and left the game.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Soriano will be sidelined at least two weeks and up to a month.
"It's going to be a tough loss. I don't know what we'll do," Piniella said. "Losing Soriano is the toughest thing about this homestand."
Entering with a .231 batting average this season, Glavine showed his prowess with the bat, hitting a two-out RBI single in the second to put the Mets ahead.
Run-scoring doubles by Delgado and Shawn Green off Jason Marquis (8-7), Glavine's former Atlanta teammate, made it 3-0 in the fifth. Reyes had a run-scoring single that chased Marquis in the sixth and scored on Delgado's groundout.
Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom half.