Tom Glavine hardly looked like a pitcher closing in on his 300th career victory the last time he took the mound.
Glavine looks to bounce back from one of his worst outings of the year when he takes the ball on Wednesday as the NL East-leading New York Mets continue their three-game series with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates.
Glavine (8-6, 4.51 ERA) is just two wins shy of becoming the 22nd major league pitcher to win 300 games, but he’s enduring an inconsistent 2007.
The 21-year veteran allowed 16 runs in 8 1-3 innings in losing consecutive starts June 10 and 16, but went 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA in his next five starts.
Then on Thursday, Glavine was tagged for six runs and 10 hits in a season-low two innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, although the Mets (56-43) still managed to win 13-9.
“Some nights it just doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not meant to be,” Glavine said. “It felt like when I made good pitches, they laid off them and when I made bad ones, they hit them.”
Glavine hopes to get back on track at Shea Stadium, where he has won his last three starts while posting a 0.82 ERA.
The 41-year-old left-hander has also been sharp against the Pirates at Shea, going 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in five home starts against them since joining the Mets in 2003. Overall, Glavine is 21-12 with a 3.09 ERA in 42 career starts versus Pittsburgh (41-57).
New York defeated the Pirates 8-4 in Tuesday’s series opener, improving to 8-4 since the All-Star break. It was the second straight win for the Mets, who have not won three in a row since a four-game winning streak June 27-30.
Right fielder Lastings Milledge went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer on Tuesday, and is 7-for-12 with five RBIs in his last three games.
The Pirates have lost nine of 10 since the All-Star game after heading into the break winning nine of 13.
Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with two homers on Tuesday after going 5-for-30 (.167) with no extra-base hits in his first nine games after the break.
“It was good to see Jason Bay offensively have the kind of night he had,” manager Jim Tracy said. “But you know, that’s been our problem. We scratch out a run here, a run there. We have absolutely no room for error.”
Bay is 6-for-14 (.429) with a homer and a double against Glavine.
Pittsburgh starter Tom Gorzelanny (9-5, 3.20) will oppose Glavine as he looks to rebound from his first loss in more than a month.
Gorzelanny pitched well Friday against Houston, yielding two runs in seven innings, but got charged with a tough-luck 2-1 loss - the first defeat for the left-hander since June 14.
“There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel,” Gorzelanny told the Pirates’ official Web site. “You’re never going to lose every single game.”
Gorzelanny, Pittsburgh’s staff wins leader, seeks his first career win over the Mets. He’s 0-1 in two career starts against them, and has allowed six runs over eight innings versus New York.