Tom Glavine was outstanding down the stretch last season as New York won the NL East. The Mets are getting closer to a second straight division title, with Glavine providing steady performances yet again.
The Mets, who are beginning to pull away in the NL East, will send Glavine to the mound in the middle game of their series with the lowly Houston Astros on Saturday.
Glavine went 3-1 with a 2.23 ERA in his final five starts last season, when New York clinched its first division title since 1988.
Now, the Mets (79-61) have won six of seven to build a six-game lead over second-place Philadelphia as they try to win consecutive NL East crowns for the first time in franchise history. Glavine (12-6, 4.06 ERA) has been inconsistent at times, but has given up two runs or less in six of his last seven starts.
In his last start, Glavine allowed one run and five hits in six innings to beat Atlanta 3-2 on Sunday.
The veteran left-hander is 6-2 with a 3.23 ERA in 15 starts against the Astros, but hasn’t faced them since 2005.
Glavine has gotten a total of just six runs to work with in his last three games, but the Mets have been red-hot at the plate over the past week, scoring 10 runs or more in three of their last four games.
The Mets are trying to increase their cushion in the NL East during their nine-game homestand, which includes series with division rivals Atlanta and Philadelphia. With 22 games remaining, New York has matched a season high at 18 games above .500.
“This is the time we need to put down the hammer,” Mets third baseman David Wright said. “We have a golden opportunity here to go ahead and put this thing away.”
After chasing Houston starter Wandy Rodriguez after 4 1-3 innings Friday, the Mets will face Woody Williams (8-13, 4.95 ERA). The right-hander has given up two runs or less in five of his last six starts.
Williams faced the Mets on July 7, allowing three runs and five hits while striking out six in 7 2-3 innings of a 5-3 Astros loss. He is 5-3 with a 4.55 ERA in 15 starts against New York.
Houston (62-79) has lost three straight, and has allowed a total of 25 runs in its last two games. The Astros are 26-46 on the road—the worst record in the majors.
“We should be playing, if for nothing else, to have some pride in what we’re doing,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. “This is not going to continue. It won’t continue. We need to find a way to stop it and keep competing. I won’t let it happen.”
A bright spot for Houston on Friday was Lance Berkman, who homered in the first inning. He has homered in three of his last five games and five of his last nine.