OK, Glavine…Tom. It’s on you tonight.
I don’t want to contradict myself from yesterday when I said the starting pitcher issue is overemphasized in the postseason, but based on the variables that revealed themselves in Game One — namely the use of all five prime Met relievers — it would be helpful to have Tom Glavine give us those six innings that were requested of John Maine. In fact, if he wants to give us those plus maybe the inning and change Maine left on the table at Willie’s behest, I wouldn’t complain.
Is Tom Glavine a “big-game pitcher”? Who the hell knows? I don’t care about his Brave postseason record. That was a million baseball years ago. As a Met, there haven’t been a ton of big games for him to pitch. 2003 and 2004 were the years Glavine woke up every morning and looked in the mirror and wondered what the hell was I thinking? for signing here. Last year the pitcher and the team seemed to land on the same page as going concerns. And this year Tom was as big a reason as anybody for the Mets clinching the division from the get-go.
So is he a big-game pitcher? Well, it’s a baseball game and he’s a big pitcher and he had a real nice game against the Dodgers in September and not such a great one in June. He’s better of late than he was in the middle of the season. He took his St. Joseph’s for Children and he’s healthy as far as we know. And, though it won’t show up in the boxscore, he’s a Met. Never thought I’d say it with conviction, but he’s one of Ours. During the pregame intros Wednesday, he received an audibly louder cheer than most of his non-starting teammates (including one from this torch ‘n’ grudge bearer in Row R). His Shea greeting owes, I figure, to his career stature, his franchise longevity and the amount we’ve got riding on his head/left arm.
On a club whose rotation probably didn’t turn to plan more than three times consecutively all year (as the plan changed from moment to moment), he’s our rock. I’d say him and Trachsel, but Trachsel hasn’t pitched since September 23 and, as the saying goes, he’s Trachsel. Tonight’s starter is Glavine. He’s Glavine.
He’d better be.