Mets 4, Rockies 0
“After the warmup, I knew I had good stuff,” Glavine said. “After the first inning, I knew I had good location.”
Those are the qualities that have made Glavine one of baseball’s best pitchers for almost two decades—and they nearly added up to the first no-hitter in the Mets’ 43-season history.
Glavine took a perfect game into the seventh inning Sunday and a no-hit bid into the eighth before Kit Pellow’s two-out double ended it. He finished with the first one-hitter of his career and a 4-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
For 95 pitches, Glavine held the Rockies hitless. He retired his first 18 batters and was four outs from history when Pellow doubled off the right-field wall.
“As soon as he hit it, I knew it was over,” Glavine said. “I kind of hoped it would die. It was not a letdown. It was more a sigh of relief. I didn’t want to get caught up in it. I wanted to stay away from that. The important issue was winning the game.”
So Glavine, a thinking man’s pitcher, moved on.
“Now,” he said, “I have a chance for the shutout and to win the game.”
Glavine easily retired his last four batters to complete the 27th one-hitter in Mets history. It was his 23rd career shutout and New York’s first complete game this season.
“His track record speaks for itself,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s a tough pitcher on the mound. He’s a pro on the mound. He’s a presence on the mound. He’s got great stuff. The one thing is, our young pitchers should watch this. They should benefit from it. You don’t have to blow up a radar gun to be successful.”
Glavine never has. His approach never varies.
“You know all the cliches,” he said. “One pitch at a time. One hitter a time. I used them all.”
He lives on the corners and he was able to do that consistently yet again.
“He had them tied up in knots,” Mets manager Art Howe said. “Inside, away—that’s pitching.”
The two-time Cy Young winner struck out eight and walked one in the best outing of his stellar career. But in their 43rd season, the Mets are still without a no-hitter.
In the end, Glavine joined the long list of star pitchers who flirted with a no-hitter for New York, only to come up short, including Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone.
Nolan Ryan even began his career with the Mets, then went on to throw a record seven no-hitters elsewhere. Seaver, Gooden and Cone all pitched no-hitters for other teams, too.
It was the longest any Mets pitcher has maintained a no-hitter since Cone went 7 1-3 innings against Houston on April 28, 1992.
“Believe me, a no-hitter or a perfect game, that’s the last thing I expect to do,” Glavine said. “I’ve got a better chance of going 4-for-4.”
Glavine, who has pitched six two-hitters, threw 113 pitches, 71 for strikes.
New York (22-22) finished a three-game sweep and reached .500 for the first time since April 16, when it was 5-5.
After hitting a two-out RBI single in the sixth, Glavine walked leadoff batter Denny Hocking in the seventh, but he recovered to retire the next three batters. With the Shea Stadium crowd of 37,486 roaring, he sailed into the eighth against one of baseball’s best-hitting teams.
But Glavine (6-2) had them off balance all afternoon. He made the Mets’ best defensive play on a comebacker hit by Hocking leading off the fourth inning.
The 38-year-old left-hander, who had a disappointing 9-14 season last year after signing as a free agent, had the Rockies beating balls into the ground all day and worked the corners of the plate to perfection.
“He pitched to both sides with nothing in the middle,” said Royce Clayton, who was 6-for-10 in the first two games of the series.
Matsui led off the game with his fifth home run, his second leadoff homer intwo games.
Matsui’s fifth leadoff homer tied an NL rookie record set by San Francisco’s Chili Davis in 1982. Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra holds the major league mark of seven in 1997. … Mets CF Mike Cameron did not start because ofa sprained tendon in his right pinkie.