New York (76-77) at Washington (78-76)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 48° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Sat Sep 24, 2005
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Barring a miracle, the only thing the New York Mets and Washington Nationals are playing for is staying out of the NL East cellar.

Tom Glavine will try to help the last-place Mets make up some ground on the Nationals as the teams continue a three-game series at RFK Stadium.

Glavine pitched a six-hitter in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over NL East-leading Atlanta, just his fifth win in 13 starts since the All-Star break despite an impressive 2.44 ERA over that span.

“I had a lot of people pouring dirt on my grave earlier in the year,” said Glavine, who was 6-7 with a 4.94 ERA in 18 starts before the break.

New York pulled within 1 1/2 games of fourth-place Washington with a 5-2, 10-inning win in Friday’s series opener. Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the 10th for the Mets, who have won five of their last seven games while the Nationals have dropped five of six.

Looking ahead to this series earlier in the week, Nationals manager Frank Robinson talked about how important it was to finish ahead of the Mets, especially since the Nationals were 50-31 at one point this season and challenging for the division crown.

“I’d certainly prefer to finish fourth than finish fifth,” said Robinson. “There’s a stigma to that: last. ‘You finished last, last year.’ And after the start we had that just kind of throws cold water completely on the whole season right there.”

Nationals ace Livan Hernandez will oppose Glavine on Saturday.

After starting the season 13-4 with a 3.27 ERA in his first 23 starts, the Cuban right-hander is 2-4 with a 5.86 ERA in his last 10 outings, including a 4-3 loss to San Francisco on Tuesday.

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Starting Pitchers

T. Glavine Atl vs. L. Hernandez Mil
13-13 Record 15-10
3.53 ERA 3.98
105 K 147
61 BB 84
1.36 WHIP 1.43