Philadelphia starter Freddy Garcia has been forced to wait a few extra days to make his season debut.
He hopes to finally get the chance to help the Phillies shake their worst start in 10 years when they host the New York Mets on Tuesday.
Garcia started the season on the 15-day disabled list with right biceps tendinitis. He was scheduled to make his first start of the season in Sunday in the finale of a three-game home series against Houston, but that game was rained out, along with the opener of this scheduled two-game set on Monday.
Monday’s game was rescheduled as part of a day-night doubleheader on June 29.
Garcia, who went 17-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 2006, was acquired in a December trade with the Chicago White Sox. The right-hander helped pitch Chicago to its first World Series title in 88 years in 2005, and has won at least 12 games in seven of his eight seasons.
Garcia will be making just his second career start against the Mets, whom he dominated on June 8, 2003 while with the Seattle Mariners. He threw a six-hitter and struck out seven in a 13-1 victory.
Philadelphia (3-8), which defeated Houston 8-5 on Saturday for its first win in three games, could use a similar outing on Tuesday. The Phillies are 3-8 for the first time since 1997, when they finished 68-94 and tied for the worst record in the NL, and have yet to win back-to-back games this season.
Poor starting pitching has been a major culprit in Philadelphia’s struggles. The starters have surrendered at least five runs five times, with the Phillies going 1-4 in those games. The rotation has an ERA of 5.94.
New York (7-4), which took two of three from Philadelphia at Shea Stadium last week, will send 41-year-old left-hander Tom Glavine (2-1, 3.12 ERA) to the mound for his second straight start against the Phillies. John Maine was scheduled to start Sunday and then pushed back to Monday, but will now start the opener of a two-game set at Florida on Wednesday.
Glavine gave up three runs in six innings of Thursday’s 5-2 win over Philadelphia, settling down after a rocky start to outpitch Jamie Moyer in the oldest matchup of left-handed starters (85 years, 163 days) in major league history.
“I was rushing in my delivery and rushing to try to make pitches,” said Glavine, who earned his 292nd career win. “After the second inning, when I threw my warmup pitches in the third inning, I kind of tried to make a little conscious adjustment and it felt good. It felt like my pitches were a little bit better during the warmup and just tried to go with it, and it seemed to work.”
Jimmy Rollins hit a pair of homers off Glavine, improving to .361 (22-for-61) with six home runs against the 41-year-old left-hander. Rollins has not hit more than three homers off any other pitcher.
Glavine is 27-17 with a 3.83 ERA in 60 career starts against the Phillies, but is only 1-2 with a 5.46 ERA in five outings at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets will be looking to bounce back from Saturday’s 6-2 loss to Washington. Starter Orlando Hernandez gave up three home runs before being ejected for a beanball in the sixth.
David Wright went 2-for-4 to become the first player in franchise history to get a hit in the first 11 games of a season. The third baseman is on a career-high 23-game hitting streak - one shy of the club record shared by Mike Piazza (1999) and Hubie Brooks (1984).