2007 NEWS

2007 News > 8/30/07

By Don Burke, Star-Ledger

PHILADELPHIA -- Games like the one here on Tuesday night are the primary reason Tom Glavine has said he won't decide whether to pitch next season until long after this one is over.

If Glavine had to decide what to do about next year when he woke up yesterday morning in his hotel room, the 41-year-old left-hander might just have taken a pass on 2008 and the $9 million the Mets are willing to pay him.

Glavine pitched seven scoreless innings against the Phillies and left with a 2-0 lead. But Philadelphia, using a Jimmy Rollins' home run and an RBI single that rolled 40 feet, scored twice in the eighth against the bullpen and twice in the 10th on Ryan Howard's game-winning homer off Guillermo Mota.

Philadelphia's 4-2 victory left Glavine with his 11th no-decision of the season and feeling like he had been punched in the stomach when his wake-up call came.

"That's why I don't want to decide or I can't decide," he said yesterday. "There are days when I pitch really well and everything's hunky-dory and, of course, I want to play next year.

"And there are games where I don't pitch as well -- like the San Diego game (last week) where I get (ticked) off at an umpire -- and I say, 'Why do I want to put myself through this agony for another year?'

"That's the emotional side of this and that's why I have to get away from the game and take the emotion out of it and look at it more from the enjoyment standpoint."

Glavine, who has not lost since July 2 but who has gotten no-decisions in six of his 10 starts since, said the most disappointing thing about Tuesday's game was not that he didn't get the victory but that the Mets lost. The Phillies' come-from-behind victory moved them to within four games of the Mets in the National League East as play began last night.

"If we win the game then I think all that becomes easier to swallow," he said. "But, on top of that, you lose the game as a team and we're in the situation that we're in as a team ... my wife calls it the hangover effect. You wake up the next morning and you say, 'Man, did that happen?'"

Glavine, who won the 300th game of his career earlier this month when he beat the Cubs at Wrigley Field, said reaching that milestone has changed his outlook somewhat.

"I think it's a little bit easier, having accomplished what I accomplished individually, to take a night like (Tuesday) night and not internalize it so much," he said. "But I still have that feeling in the pit of my stomach like I always have. ... I guess I just don't take it as personally now as I did earlier in my career or I did two months ago.

"I think the one thing that winning 300 games has done for me is that it's taken away the pressure of living and dying with the decision of a game. I want to win. But, for me now, I'm in more of a situation of being satisfied if I go out and pitch well and we win -- even though I don't get the win. Now it's 'Here's this picture I want to paint. Now I want to go out and paint it.' Whatever the results are, they are.

"I always used to hear Greg Maddux talk about wanting to pitch a perfect game. Not statistically, but in the sense of 'If I'm going to throw 100 pitches in this game, I'm going to throw 100 pitches the way I wanted to throw them.' And that's kind of become what it's been for me now. I have a game plan and I want to execute this game plan as close to perfection as I can. I know that if I do that, we're going to have a good chance of winning. it's become a little bit more fun that way, but I don't know what it's going to mean for next year."