2006 NEWS

2006 News > 8/26/06


By Marty Noble, MLB.com
Original Article HERE.

NEW YORK -- The experience of throwing a baseball off the bullpen mound in a big-league park has held no appeal for Tom Glavine for years. It is merely a mandatory part of the tedium a starting pitcher must endure between workdays.

Things change, though, so it was early Saturday evening. Glavine experienced a run of excitement merely because he was throwing a baseball off a mound; what mound hardly mattered.

Several times last weekend, it occurred to the Mets starting pitcher that such a fundamental part of his between-starts regimen -- not to mention the act of pitching in a big-league game -- was in jeopardy.

The coldness in the ring finger of his left hand, his pitching hand, sent a "what if" chill through his 40-year-old body.

The chill is gone, for the most part now, all but eliminated by the first steps of his return to normalcy. Glavine played catch -- and enjoyed it -- on Thursday and Friday.

"There haven't been too many times when I've looked forward to a simple game of catch," Glavine said.

And when he simulated a start in the bullpen before the Mets played the Phillies on Saturday, it produced what he called an "exciting feeling."

He warmed up as if he were starting the second game of the series and threw the equivalent of an inning. Twenty pitches, but no Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and -- thank you very much -- Ryan Howard. Better yet, no problem either.

Not that one had been anticipated. Tests and examinations done last weekend told the Mets medical staff that Glavine was good to go, good to throw. The doctors wanted the incision in his groin, the result of the angiogram he underwent on Sunday, to heal completely before he exerted himself again. So Glavine was "sat down."

The Mets' rotation will have turned twice without him before he makes his 27th start of the season on Friday night in Houston.

The unsettling sensation in his finger, Glavine said, wasn't as great on Saturday as it had been during and after his recent start, on Aug. 16 against the Phillies. The sensation then was what prompted the examinations.

"It feels better than it did a week ago," Glavine said. "We'll keep an eye on it for now. ... Any more issues, and they might want to do something [medical]."