Tom Glavine admitted his recent winless streak was getting to him. Now that it’s over, he’s hoping to return to his dominant first-half form.
The victory was the first since June 23 for Glavine, who went 0-2 with a 5.68 ERA in seven starts in between wins.
“I knew it had been a long time since I’d won. But it’s not as though I stunk every time out,” said the 40-year-old Glavine, who was 11-2 with a 3.48 ERA at the All-Star break. “I wasn’t that bad. But if you hear it enough, after a while, you start to buy into it, too.”
The victory was the 287th of Glavine’s career, moving him into a tie with Bert Blyleven for 24th on the all-time list. A win over Washington (50-64) would tie Glavine with Tommy John for 23rd.
Glavine is 31-20 with a 3.38 ERA in 61 career starts against the Nationals— his most wins against any team and the most all-time by any pitcher against the franchise. He faced Washington on April 3, allowing one run in six innings of a 3-2 win.
The Mets (69-44) beat San Diego 7-3 on Thursday for their fifth straight victory. The win extended New York’s lead in the NL East to a season-high 14 games.
Jose Reyes, who leads the majors with 14 triples and 48 stolen bases, tripled home two runs and David Wright hit two doubles, including one that scored Reyes with the go-ahead run. Reyes is second in the majors with 94 runs, one behind Philadelphia’s Chase Utley.
The Nationals have dropped eight of 12, including Thursday’s 9-6 defeat to Florida. Washington batted around and scored four runs in the seventh to tie the game at six, but gave up two in the top of the eighth.
Alfonso Soriano homered and picked up his major league-leading 19th outfield assist.
“Every day, I get surprised by my play in left field,” said Soriano, a converted second baseman. He’s batting just .267 (8-for-30) with two homers, three RBIs and eight strikeouts against the Mets this season.
Former Mets first-round draft pick Billy Traber (1-1, 9.00) will start the opener for the Nationals. He was recalled Sunday from Triple-A New Orleans, where he went 7-7 with a 4.05 ERA in 21 starts.
“It’s not coming down to who is pitching good. It comes down to what you have down there,” manager Frank Robinson said of Traber’s promotion. “There isn’t much left. If he was burning it up, he would have been up here.
“I’m not knocking Traber. It’s no big secret going into it or big formula to figure out who’s coming.”
Traber, who missed all of 2004 after undergoing reconstructive elbow surgery, made two starts for Washington in April, most recently giving up four runs in 1 1-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Cincinnati on April 25. Before this season, Traber had not pitched in the majors since 2003 with Cleveland.
Traber, selected by New York in 2000, has never faced the Mets.