Jump to content

NLCS St. Louis Cardinals at New York Mets 8:00 on FOX

Plax 4 Prez

Recommended Posts

Glavine ready for next challenge

August health scare a distant memory for Game 1 starter




Tom Glavine will make his 34th career postseason start, tying him with Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte for the most all-time. (Brendan McDermid/Getty)


LOS ANGELES -- Before the champagne began soaking into the floor at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, Tom Glavine was already thinking about his next assignment. For the first time since 2001, he was preparing himself for something he'd done so often just a decade ago.

"You always have one eye on what's ahead," Glavine said as he and his Mets teammates celebrated their sweep of the Dodgers in the National League Division Series.


What's ahead for Glavine is a Game 1 start against the Cardinals in the National League Championship Series. Even before the game time and opponent were known, the veteran southpaw was well aware of his assignment.


With both Pedro Martinez and Orlando Hernandez injured and unavailable for the remainder of the postseason, Glavine is truly the only reliable starting pitcher the Mets possess. Thus, it will be important for him to provide an effort similar to one he authored against the Dodgers on Thursday night.


"I'm looking forward to the next one," said Glavine, who tossed six scoreless innings against the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLDS. "It's a tempered excitement right now."


As the week progresses, the excitement will grow even for Glavine, who will be making his 34th career postseason start -- matching Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte for the most all-time. But with all of his past experiences gained with the Braves, the 40-year-old hurler should at least be able to harness his emotions.


"It's good to have butterflies, but they've got to fly in formation right towards the [catcher's] glove," Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said. "Having Tommy, with 34 career [postseason] starts, going in Game 1 is absolutely huge for us."


This will be the 16th time Glavine has started an NLCS game, but just the first time since 2001. He made a start in each NLCS played from 1991-99 and has had the privilege of making eight World Series starts.


As he's learned, each round of the postseason brings a different level of emotion.




"Each step along the way, you're closer to being where you want to be," Glavine said. "So you're getting a little more anxious and excited."


During his previous 15 starts in the NLCS, Glavine is 5-9 with a 3.31 ERA. But that ERA is a bit deceiving. During Game 6 of the 1992 NLCS against the Pirates, he lasted one inning and allowed eight earned runs. During Game 6 in 1997, he allowed the Marlins seven earned runs in just five innings.


Take away those two appearances -- both of which came on short rest -- and Glavine is 5-7 with a 1.97 ERA in his other 13 NLCS starts.


"He's a big-money pitcher, big-game pitcher," Mets manager Willie Randolph said.


Since encountering some problems with his blood circulation in August, Glavine has proven his health through impressive results. Dating back to Sept. 7 and running through the Division Series, he's made six starts, going 4-1 with a 1.87 ERA.


"I feel great," Glavine said. "Physically, I feel good about where I'm at, and I feel good about the way I've been throwing the ball."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cards can't contain Mets' offense


http://espn.go.com/i/teamlogos/mlb/med/trans/stl.gif vs nym.gif


The best team in the National League faces the team that barely slid under the playoff garage door before it slammed shut. The Cardinals' pitching looked a lot better against the Padres last week than it did for most of September, but the Mets' offense was one of the best in the NL this year.





When the Mets are up

• When Chris Carpenter's not the starter for St. Louis, look for lots of Mets circling the bases. None of the Cardinals' other three starting pitching candidates, all of whom are right-handed, has a solid weapon to get left-handed batters out. St. Louis can't use Carpenter for three starts because they started him on regular rest on Sunday in the clinching game against San Diego, meaning that Jeff Weaver (who allowed a .669 slugging percentage to lefties this year) and Anthony Reyes will both have to get starts. Even Carpenter has some weakness against lefties, but not to the degree of his rotation-mates. The Mets' lineup can have three of its first four hitters and six of its eight hitters hitting from the left side, which gives them a huge advantage.

• If it comes down to matchup baseball in later innings, the Cardinals will have at least two lefties in the pen to use as specialists, while the Mets did not carry a right-handed-hitting outfielder on their NLDS bench.


• Yadier Molina vs. Jose Reyes. 'Nuff said.





When the Cardinals are up

• This is suddenly an impatient lineup, with Albert Pujols standing like an island of hitting competence among a number of hackers and slap-hitters. The Mets' only real strike-throwers among their starters are John Maine and Tom Glavine, so the unstoppable force of Steve Trachsel and Oliver Perez will meet the immovable object of Preston Wilson and Juan Encarnacion.

• Expect some run-manufacturing from Tony La Russa, especially if Scott Rolen is relegated to spot duty due to his sore shoulder. Look for more attempted steals, sacrifices, and hit-and-runs as part of an effort to jump-start the depleted offense.


• Pujols may not get much to hit if his only protection is Jim Edmonds. Right or wrong, teams are increasingly pitching around Pujols, and Edmonds' performances since returning have made it appear that he's not fully recovered from his concussion. Willie Randolph might decide it's better to put Pujols on first and face Edmonds than risk letting Pujols go yard.



Keys for the Mets

• Getting four good innings from their starters every night. The Dodgers' offense was better than the Cardinals' offense this year, and if the Mets could beat them with four or five good innings from each starter (or even not-so-good, in Trachsel's case) and a Johnny Wholestaff approach from the bullpen, they can also beat the Cardinals that way.




• Keeping the bullpen rolling. The Mets got great performances from Aaron Heilman, Billy Wagner, and Pedro Feliciano, and mostly good work from Guillermo Mota. Those four guys will be called on repeatedly in this series, so they'll need to pitch well and be able to pitch often.


• Executing on offense. The Mets have a strong offense, and the platoon advantage favors them heavily when the Cardinals' starters are on the mound. They need to score early before the Cardinals' resurgent late-game bullpen gets involved.



Keys for the Cardinals

• Deploying the lefties. The Cardinals carried two lefties in their NLDS pen; they should consider adding lefty Chris Narveson for the NLCS, although if the lefty-heavy Padres lineup didn't convince them to carry Narveson, the similarly lefty-heavy Mets lineup probably won't. The Mets are slightly less scary against lefties, with Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green most vulnerable. La Russa loves matchup baseball; he needs to have the weapons.




• Contributions from unexpected sources. Someone besides Pujols has to show up at the plate; the Mets are too good for Pujols to beat them by himself. It could be Edmonds or Rolen, but it could easily be Scott Spiezio or Ronnie Belliard, too. Someone has to have the unexpected good series, the way Sean Casey did for Detroit against the Yanks.


• Avoiding the blowout. Obviously avoiding a blowout is a goal for any team, but there's a heightened risk of a blowout for the Cardinals in this series because of their weak starting pitching, the Mets' good lineup, and the already-discussed platoon disadvantage for St. Louis' arms. The Cardinals must keep games started by Suppan-Weaver-Reyes close, because any or all of the three are at risk of an implosion against the Mets' offense.




This matchup really favors the Mets, as the Cardinals don't have the left-handed starter to serve as Kryptonite for New York's Superman one-through-five hitters. The Cards' offense is mostly limited to Pujols, with Edmonds clearly not 100 percent and Rolen also not healthy. Carpenter can beat any team on any night, but he can only start twice in this series, and beyond him, the Cardinals are at a disadvantage in any pitching matchup. Mets in five.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds weird saying this, but WHY ISN'T IT WEDNESDAY YET!? :brooding:


I'm ready for NLCS Baseball! :P:TU::):rock::flex:

I'm happy the game is on Wednesday though... Cause I have that day off :clap::rock:

I have to watch game 1 or I'd go crazy at work

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm happy the game is on Wednesday though... Cause I have that day off :clap::rock:

I have to watch game 1 or I'd go crazy at work

:furious: I'm working Wed. and Thur. and we don't have Fox HD in the store so the screen is gonna be f'd up while the game is on. :furious:

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Cliff Floyd will be in the starting lineup tonight as will Shawn Green. Unbelievable. BTW, it was on WFAN.

I say let him pinch hit, and let Chavez start... we don't want it to get worse than it is

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, We need to play this game. Glavine was supposed to pitch Games 1, 4, and 7... if it is postponed it will severely hurt the Mets on that reason and the reason that Carpenter will pitch Games 2 and 5 instead of 3 and 6, this could severely change the tone of this series because of weather and a terrible accident.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, We need to play this game. Glavine was supposed to pitch Games 1, 4, and 7... if it is postponed it will severely hurt the Mets on that reason and the reason that Carpenter will pitch Games 2 and 5 instead of 3 and 6, this could severely change the tone of this series because of weather and a terrible accident.

I'm not scared of Carpenter... we've beat better pitchers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

trust me... who do you think is more scared our batters vs Carpenter, or Carpenter vs our batters... Shit, Carpenter is going to wet himself when he plays us :doh:


How can you say that about the best NL pitcher in the league twice in a row? Our hitters will be shocked facing him. Icewater flows through this guys veins.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...