By Mike Steffanos
Mets 13 - Nationals 0
Tom Glavine had a flawless final playoff tune-up, and the Mets offense enjoyed their most productive game of September as the Mets cruised by the Nationals in RFK last night.
This was the strongest Tom Glavine we've seen in quite a while, going back to his strong outing against the Dodgers early in the month. He was ahead of most of the hitters, and needed only 71 pitches - 49 of which were strikes -- to navigate through 6 innings of work. He scattered 3 hits and struck out 3 while walking none.
The Mets jumped quickly on Washington starter Beltran Perez as Endy Chavez hit a solo home run and Julio Franco (yes, you read that right) crushed a 3-run homer. Franco added a 2-run double in the third that busted the game open and gave him a 5 RBI night. Shawn Green contributed a 3-run homer in the fourth, Ramon Castro chipped in with a long solo homer in the seventh, and David Wright capped things off with a 3-run homer in the eighth. Carlos Beltran scored a run to take sole possession of the Mets all-time single season runs record in the first, and then scored 3 more times after that.
Darren Oliver and Royce Ring pitched the final three scoreless innings for the Mets.
Thoughts on the game
While you need to be careful not to read too much into Glavine's performance against a depleted Nationals lineup, this was as good of a final tune-up as you can hope for. Since coming back from the blood clot problem, Glavine has been a lot closer to the pitcher he was early in the year rather than the one who struggled mightily through the middle of the season. Here is his final updated chart since August 1:
|Total (9 Games)||57.1||24||22||51||40||14||4||3.45||1.13||6-3|
If Glavine could pitch this efficiently in the playoffs, the Mets have a real chance to do something.
While acknowledging that the Nationals pitching staff is the worst in the National League, they were able to shut the Mets down pretty well for 3 of 4 games at Shea during the Mets September slumber. It was good to see the team get back on track. With renewed concerns about Cliff Floyd, it becomes more important that Shawn Green gives them some production.
Oliver Perez will get the start for the Mets this afternoon. With Pedro definitively done, he has to at least be given a long-shot's chance of pitching in the playoffs.