|Glavine's next chance for 300 comes Sunday at Wrigley Field|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 03 August 2007 10:00|
Ninety miles down the freeway and five days later, Tom Glavine makes his second try for win No. 300 when the New York Mets play the Chicago Cubs on Sunday night at Wrigley Field.
``I don't think there is much anxiousness as I had probably going into the Milwaukee start,'' the 41-year-old left-hander said Friday.
Glavine left with a lead in Milwaukee only to watch the Mets' bullpen blow it in the eighth. He's trying to become the 23rd pitcher to reach the mark, the first since former Atlanta Braves teammate Greg Maddux in 2004.
``This one seems to be a little bit more business as usual in terms of the preparation,'' Glavine said. ``I'm sure when I get out there on Sunday or Sunday morning, I'll be nervous like I always am. It's just a matter of trying to channel that energy''
Glavine will check the flags to see if the wind is blowing in or out in the neighborhood park that's hosted two other pitchers going for their 300th wins in recent years.
Roger Clemens, in his first stint with the Yankees, failed to win No. 300 in an 2003 interleague game when his bullpen let him down. A year later Maddux tried for No. 300 at Wrigley but lasted only six innings in the heat and left trailing before the Cubs rallied to win.
``Somebody's got to do it sooner or later and hopefully it will be me,'' Glavine said. ``It's an extremely historic ballpark. ... Not too many places I think you could pick that would be a better venue. But wait and see how it works out.''
Glavine is 14-13 against the Cubs, including 6-5 at Wrigley Field. He'll face another former Atlanta teammate in Jason Marquis, who'll start for Chicago. And his former Mets teammate, Cliff Floyd, could be in right field for the Cubs.
``I don't want him to get 300 against us,'' Floyd said. ``And he knows that, he's competitive. ... He's a great dude.''
Floyd said Glavine is the consummate teammate, always stretching with the rest of the players and always on time for every meeting.
``If you really wanted to have a leader who didn't really talk as much, he'd be your guy,'' Floyd said. ``If he's on Sunday, we'll have a tough time beating him. If he's not, he'll have to go after 300 somewhere else.''
Glavine picked up mounds of information on how to pitch and how to deal with situations in the game from all his days in Atlanta watching Maddux and John Smoltz.
``That's why that period in my career was such a special time, to be able to play with those two guys and learn what I did from those two guys and have their experience rub off on me,'' Glavine said. ``Maybe some day all three of us will end up in the Hall of Fame. That would be pretty special.''
When Glavine does get No. 300, it could be the last time any pitcher reaches the milestone. Randy Johnson has 284 but is out for the season with a back injury that requires surgery.
``Nobody was looking at me 20 years ago, so I'm sure there is somebody out there right now who maybe is not on the radar screen, but in the next few years will emerge as a kind of guy you start looking at a little bit,'' Glavine said. ``It's just a matter if guys are going to stay healthy for 18, 19, 20 years.''
That's something he and Maddux have done for most of their careers. He hasn't talked to Maddux as 300 approaches but has heard him interviewed on the topic.
``I'm sure like when he went through it, he figures I got a million people calling me. I'm sure he's watching with interest and anticipation,'' Glavine said.
A lot of people will be doing the same Sunday night. It promises to be another frenzied atmosphere at the second-oldest park in the majors.
``It's a hard place to play. The fans are rough, these guys are playing well, all that adds to the difficulty of it,'' Glavine said. ``It's much like pitching a road game or a road playoff game. You got to try and drown all that out and keep everything in check and go out there and focus on what you're tying to do, which is make pitches.''
And even if he doesn't pitch well and the Mets get him a victory with a big offensive output, he'll take it.
``If you have your choice, you'd rather have it be a well-pitched game that you are proud of,'' Glavine said. ``Believe me, the next day and for the rest of my life I'm not going to care how I got that win, I'm just going to care I got it.''