With two new front teeth, Tom Glavine is ready to return to the mound.
Glavine lost his two front teeth when he was involved in a car accident while riding in a taxi outside New York’s LaGuardia Airport on Aug. 13.
He said he slammed face first into the partition between the front and back seats as the taxi collided with an SUV, and the next thing he knew, he had one tooth in his hand and blood was streaming from his mouth.
The 38-year-old left-hander will wear temporary teeth for about nine months, then doctors will determine how well the bone above his upper lip has healed. “It shattered,” he said of the area.
His new teeth are connected to a plate that fits on the roof of his mouth like a retainer. He hopes to eventually get implants.
Glavine said he is not expecting to be sharp on the mound Saturday. He may even remove his teeth if they become uncomfortable.
“It would make a good picture with me on the mound with no teeth, smiling,” he said.
After the injury, Glavine returned to Georgia for a couple of days. He played catch Wednesday and Thursday with his brother-in-law at a high school near his home.
“I feel good,” Glavine said. “Physically I feel fine. My only concern when I go out there tomorrow is control and location. My arm feels good, my body feels good.”
His mouth is still very tender, and he can only eat soft food. Ice cream has been a staple in Glavine’s diet in recent days. He can’t feel his bottom lip and drools often.
“I’m still trying to get used to talking, and when I do eat or talk, it hits those gums,” Glavine said. “The bottom part of my lip is real sore and swollen. That’s more of a problem. Each day it feels a little better.”
The Mets fell to 2-2 on their six-game road trip with a 7-3 loss in Friday’s series opener.
The Giants were swept by the Mets at Shea Stadium from May 4-6 and hadn’t beaten New York since a 7-5 win last May 16 in San Francisco.
STANDINGS (through Aug. 19): Mets - 4th place, 10 1/2 GB, NL East. Giants - 2nd place, 4 1/2 GB, NL West.
METS PROBABLE STARTER: Glavine (8-10, 2.92 ERA). In his most recent start, a 6-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 6, Glavine allowed four runs and eight hits over 7 1-3 innings. He is 18-13 with a 3.48 ERA in 37 career games against the Giants.
GIANTS PROBABLE STARTER: Brett Tomko (6-6, 4.90 ERA). Tomko snapped a four-start winless streak with an impressive effort against the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. The 31-year-old right-hander allowed one run and four hits over six innings in a 3-1 win. He had been 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA over his previous four starts. Tomko is 3-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 career games against the Mets.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mets - Mike Piazza, .276 avg.; Mike Cameron, 26 HRs, 65 runs and 20 SBs; Richard Hidalgo, 68 RBIs. Giants - Bonds, .363 avg., 34 HRs, 76 RBIs and 96 runs; Bonds and Ray Durham, 6 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Mets, 3-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mets - INF Joe McEwing is done for the season after breaking a bone in his left leg. The Mets placed him on the 60-day disabled list and brought up INF Jeff Keppinger from Triple-A Norfolk. … RF Hidalgo is batting .429 (6-for-14) in his career against RHP Tomko. … LHP Glavine needs one win to tie Ted Lyons for 37th on the all-time list with 260. Giants - 3B Alfonzo is batting .220 (13-for-59) in his career against LHP Glavine. … 1B J.T. Snow was held out of the lineup Friday with an inflamed bug bite on his left elbow. He is batting .500 (24-for-48) with five home runs during a career-high 13-game hitting streak. … LF Bonds needs four runs for his 12th consecutive 100-run season.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mets - 27-37 on the road; Giants - 37-28 at home.
INJURIES: Mets - INF McEwing (leg), 60-day DL; C Mike Piazza (knee), 15-day DL; INF Kazuo Matsui (back), 15-day DL; INF Jose Reyes (leg), 15-day DL; RHP Orber Moreno (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Victor Zambrano (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jose Parra (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Grant Roberts (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Scott Strickland (elbow), 60-day DL; 1B Mo Vaughn (knee), 60-day DL. Giants - RHP Jerome Williams (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Jesse Foppert (elbow), 60-day DL; RHP Robb Nen (shoulder), 60-day DL.