New York (23-23) at Miami (27-20)

Fair Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 76° F
  • Game info: 7:35 pm EDT Fri May 28, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After struggling in his first season with the New York Mets last year, it looked like Tom Glavine was nearing the end of a brilliant career.

His performance this season has proved that’s not the case.

Glavine looks to build on the best start of his career when the Mets open a three-game series with the Florida Marlins.

Signed by the Mets as a free agent in December 2002, Glavine was 9-14 last season with a 4.52 ERA—his highest in 15 years. At 37, many believed Glavine would never again be the dominant pitcher he was in 16 seasons with Atlanta.

This season, however, has been a complete reversal for Glavine, who is among the NL leaders with six wins, a 2.13 ERA, 67 2-3 innings pitched and a .193 opponents’ batting average.

“I feel I’m throwing as good as I did before,” Glavine said. “There are days I feel 38 and days I feel 25. I don’t pay attention to the numeric figure next to my name.”

Glavine was at his best Sunday in a 4-0 victory over Colorado, retiring the first 18 batters and holding the Rockies without a hit for 7 2-3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight in his first career one-hitter and 23rd shutout.

“I think I proved I have a whole lot left in my tank,” Glavine said. “It’s just a matter of doing it.”

Tuesday’s 5-0 victory over Philadelphia moved the Mets a game over .500, but Mike Piazza’s throwing error set up Jim Thome’s tiebreaking double and the Phillies went on to beat New York 7-4 on Wednesday.

The loss ended the Mets’ four-game win streak and left them at 1-1 in the early stages of a 12-game stretch of games against division rivals Philadelphia and Florida.

“It’s frustrating. I’ve just got to put it behind me,” Piazza said. “It’s something I’ve just got to keep working on.”

While he is still learning to play first base, Piazza hasn’t let the position switch affect his offense. He is batting .419 (18-for-43) with four homers and eight RBIs during a 12-game hit streak.

Florida enters this series having won six of eight, including a 5-2 victory at Cincinnati on Thursday.

The Marlins will counter with left-hander Dontrelle Willis, who will try to continue his mastery of the Mets. In three career starts—all wins—against New York, Willis has allowed one run and 13 hits in 21 innings while walking five and striking out 21.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Glavine Atl vs. D. Willis Mil
11-14 Record 10-11
3.60 ERA 4.02
109 K 139
70 BB 61
1.29 WHIP 1.38