Braves 2, Mets 1
NEW YORK (AP)—They are old pals and teammates who helped Atlanta win 11 division titles. On Friday night, though, John Smoltz of the Braves and Tom Glavine of the New York Mets faced off for the first time.
Each of them pitched seven gritty innings on a hot, muggy night. When it was over, the Braves had a 2-1 victory.
“I spent a lot of energy tonight on a lot of things other than pitching,” Smoltz said of what was an emotional matchup with his old friend. “I’m drained. I’m beat.”
Smoltz said he drew energy watching his teammate of 15 years and offseason golf buddy squirm out of a number of jams before leaving the game tied at 1-all.
“Tommy pitched great, the way I’ve always seen him,” Smoltz said. “There’s times where you draw adrenaline watching him get out of bases-loaded situations. That’s something I learned from him.”
Smoltz said he and Glavine talk frequently, but not on Friday.
“We try not to let more than a week or 10 days go by without talking,” he said. “Not tonight. You’ve got to be professional and go about your business. There will be tomorrow, though.”
Glavine was pleased with his performance, if not with the outcome.
“I was happy with the way I threw the ball,” he said. “As far as using both sides of the plate and using all my pitches, that’s as good a job as I’ve done all year.”
His old boss, Braves manager Bobby Cox, agreed.
“The matchup couldn’t be better,” Cox said. “It was a tight game with great pitching by both sides, one of those good, old-fashioned National League games we saw years ago. And Tommy didn’t get the loss.”
Julio Franco hit into a double play, but Wilson Betemit’s grounder took a bad hop past shortstop Jose Reyes for an RBI single, giving the Braves the lead. It was the first run allowed by Hernandez in 18 appearances, dating to May 25.
“It’s a routine groundball,” Reyes said. “That should be the inning right there. No run, no nothing. Instead, they get a win.”
Smoltz (10-5) earned his sixth straight victory, allowing just four hits through seven with one walk and five strikeouts, including the 2,500th of his career, before turning the game over to the bullpen in the eighth.
Chris Reitsma pitched the ninth for his eighth save in 12 chances.
Glavine allowed one run and six hits, walked four and struck out two in seven innings, a much improved effort against his old team. He came in with a 1-8 record and an 8.81 ERA against Atlanta.
The Mets scored in the second inning when David Wright hit his third home run in two days. Wright’s 14th homer of the season came on his first pitch from Smoltz. He also connected on a first pitch Thursday night against Horacio Ramirez.
The Braves tied it against Glavine in the third. Brian McCann singled with one out, moved up on a sacrifice by Smoltz and scored on a triple into the right field corner by Rafael Furcal. He was stranded when Glavine got Kelly Johnson to bounce out.
The Braves threatened in the fifth when Jeff Francoeur doubled with one out and moved to third on McCann’s second hit. But Glavine got Smoltz to ground into an inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the fifth, Miguel Cairo singled with one out and moved up on a sacrifice by Glavine. Smoltz then struck out Reyes for his 2,500th career strikeout.
Furcal opened the sixth with a double and was sacrificed to third by Furcal. After Giles bounced out, Jones was walked intentionally and Franco walked to load the bases. Betemit stretched the count to 3-2 before grounding out to end the inning.
Francoeur opened the seventh with a single and moved up on a one-out sacrifice by Smoltz. The Mets then walked Furcal and Glavine struck out Johnson, stranding the runners.
In the bottom of the seventh, Wright walked on four pitches and Cairo singled with two out. Jose Offerman, 6-for-9 as a pinch hitter since joining the Mets last month, batted for Glavine and bounced out, ending the inning.
Wright’s home run traveled an estimated 405 feet. … The Mets have added fireworks to their home run celebrations, leaving a smoky haze over the field. … Furcal’s triple was his eighth this season. … Mets 1B Doug Mientkiewicz (hamstring) was 2-for-3 with a single and double in a rehab game with the Gulf Coast Mets.