2005 NEWS

2005 News > 8/23/05


By Dave Vest, Arizona Republic

It's all about the stripe.

That's Tom Glavine's explanation for why he dominates the Diamondbacks whenever he faces them at Bank One Ballpark.

Glavine pitched one of his better games of the season Monday night to lead New York to a crisp 4-1 victory over Arizona in the first game of a seven-game trip.

The triumph upped Glavine's overall record at BOB to 8-1. His ERA in the building is a miniscule 1.37.

"I'm just comfortable on that mound," Glavine said after giving up five hits and one run in eight innings. "There's something about that stripe that locks me in, makes me feel good about my target and where I'm trying to go, and where I'm trying to step with my pitches. It kind of gives you a little sense of tunnel vision, so that's good. I just might have them cut that stripe at Shea."

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner cruised from there.

"It's always good to give Tommy a little lead so he can not be so fine and maybe challenge people a little bit more and pitch inside a little bit more," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "I think he was effective mixing up his pitches and hitting the right spots."

The 39-year-old left-hander, who is third among active pitchers with 272 victories, walked Diamondbacks second baseman Craig Counsell to begin the first inning, then retired 18 of the next 19 batters he faced, many via ground balls.

"You try not to do too much with him, understanding that he's going to change speeds and his ball is going to move," Diamondbacks first baseman Tony Clark said. "You just hope that your ground balls are hit hard enough and find some holes. ... Everything we hit was right at people."

Glavine (10-10) has won six of his past nine decisions and has pitched at least six innings in each of his past eight starts.

Remarkably, he has walked only four batters in his past 50 1/3 innings. The walk to Counsell was his only free pass Monday.

"I'm just in a place right now where I'm comfortable with my mechanics, and I'm real happy with my game plan.," Glavine said. "...Everything feels good right now, and when you feel comfortable out there physically and you're comfortable with your game plan then you should pitch well.

"Right now, those two things are clicking for me."