Tom Glavine knows he has peaks and valleys over the course of a season. That’s why the New York Mets left-hander isn’t concerned about his recent slump heading into Friday’s opener of a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics at Shea Stadium.
Glavine (5-5, 4.67 ERA) has been stuck on 295 career victories since May 19, going 0-4 with a 7.31 ERA in his last five starts for New York (38-32). Despite allowing 16 runs and 19 hits in just 8 1-3 innings in his last two outings, the 41-year-old Glavine is not concerned this negative trend will continue.
“In 20 years, I’ve never had a season that didn’t have one of these periods when I went through this kind of thing,” he told the Mets’ official Web site.
“No, I’m not depressed, frustrated. I’ve had two bad games,” he said. “It’s not fun going through it, but it’s part of the process. It’s more mechanics than anything else. I haven’t had that feel I want out there on the mound.”
Glavine’s interleague starts in 2007, though, suggest he may again miss out on win No. 296. He is 1-2 with an 11.93 ERA in three appearances, giving up 19 runs and 28 hits in 14 1-3 innings, but does have a 15-10 lifetime record against the AL.
He lost his only career start against the A’s in 2005.
The June swoon for the Mets continued with Wednesday’s 6-2 loss to Minnesota, their 14th defeat in 18 games this month. That record includes a 2-7 mark at Shea, where New York is 18-18 overall for the worst home record among teams above .500.
In losing 13 of its last 16 games overall, New York has scored more than three runs just three times. While No. 2 hitter Paul Lo Duca is batting .239 this month after hitting .393 in May, 3-4-5 batters Carlos Beltran, David Wright and Carlos Delgado have combined for only two homers over the last nine games.
“We’re going through a tough time right now,” manager Willie Randolph said. “But mama said there would be days like this. Or weeks - that, too. It’s not earth-shattering. Other teams around the league are struggling, too. Most of our guys are struggling at the same time.”
The Athletics (39-32) salvaged a split of their six-game homestand with a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday. The A’s won for the 13th time in their last 18 games.
Lenny DiNardo (2-3, 2.21) takes the mound hoping to bounce back from his worst performance in four starts since joining Oakland’s rotation. The left-hander pitched six scoreless innings in back-to-back starts before being reached for five runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 15-6 loss to St. Louis on Saturday.
“I never found the rhythm, and when I was ahead of somebody I couldn’t put them away,” said DiNardo, who fell to 1-2 as a starter. “I couldn’t throw strikes, and that’s part of putting people away.”
This will be just the second road start for DiNardo, who allowed four hits and two walks in six innings of a 2-0 victory at San Francisco on June 10. He has never faced the Mets.
Oakland is 14-8 against left-handers.
This game would have marked Mike Piazza’s first game at Shea Stadium in an AL uniform, but the former Mets star catcher remains on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.
Another player from Oakland’s opening-day lineup who will not be playing is Milton Bradley, who was designated for assignment on Thursday.
The veteran outfielder was expected to play a key role offensively for the A’s after a strong 2006 postseason, but has had three stints on the disabled list this year and been limited to 65 at-bats. Bradley was hitting .292 with two homers and seven RBIs.