Glavine carries perfect game into sixth inning as Mets beat Astros 3-1
NEW YORK (AP)—Tom Glavine is pitching so well that he doesn’t need his best stuff to turn in a masterful outing.
“I didn’t feel great today,” Glavine said. “It was just one of those games where sometimes that’s a good thing for you, when you don’t feel overly strong. Then you kind of concentrate more on making your pitches and hitting spots and keeping your pitch count to a minimum.”
Glavine (13-6) needed just 86 pitches to earn career win No. 303, finishing with four strikeouts and no walks. He improved to 8-1 with a 3.27 ERA over his last 15 starts.
“He’s been having real good motion on his changeup, his delivery, keeping guys off stride,” manager Willie Randolph said. “For the last two or three starts, he’s been outstanding.”
David Wright matched his career high with his 27th homer for the NL East-leading Mets (80-61), who have won seven of eight to improve to a season-best 19 games above .500. Paul Lo Duca had an RBI double and Luis Castillo scored on a wild pitch.
Houston has lost six of its last seven and scored just nine runs in its last four games, all losses.
“A lot of times we’ve played just good enough to lose,” right-hander Woody Williams said. “You know, it’s just one pitch, one play or maybe one hit we don’t get.”
Glavine departed to a hearty ovation after allowing singles to Carlos Lee and Mark Loretta with no outs in the eighth. The left-hander doffed his hat to acknowledge the crowd as he made his way to the dugout.
Aaron Heilman came in and allowed Ty Wigginton’s RBI single before striking out three straight to get out of the inning. Billy Wagner, who had allowed at least one run in each of his previous five outings, pitched a perfect ninth for his 31st save in 35 opportunities.
“For his confidence, if it’s wavered at all—which I doubt it has—it’s always good to have your guy pitch well,” Randolph said. “Come into the game and have an easy inning.”
Glavine was so sharp that his defense faced mostly routine plays all day. Right fielder Lastings Milledge made a nice running catch on Lee’s drive in the second and third baseman Wright had some trouble pulling in Wigginton’s grounder in the fifth before he made a strong throw to get him at first.
Cody Ransom led off the sixth with a soft single into left-center for the Astros’ first hit, but Glavine then got Eric Munson to bounce into a double play. Williams then lined out to shortstop to end the inning.
“He was throwing to both sides of the plate, fastball in, changeup away,” said Ransom, who had never faced Glavine before the game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. “If he can hit both sides of the plate like that, it makes it pretty tough.”
Glavine hasn’t lost since July 2 at Colorado, and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 20 innings over three starts.
“I think since the All-Star break the big key for me is that I’ve been able to locate a lot better and because of that I’ve gone out there and consistently pitched well,” he said.
Wright drove a full-count pitch from Williams (8-14) over the wall in right-center in the third, giving New York a 1-0 lead. It was the fourth homer in 10 games for the Mets slugger, who also hit 27 homers in 2005.
“I still feel a little inconsistent, even throughout the course of a game,” said Wright, who went 1-for-3 with a walk. “It’s something that I’m working on to make the adjustments.”
The drive was almost a bigger play but Berkman made a diving stop at first and threw to Williams to retire Castillo before Wright went deep.
Williams allowed Lo Duca’s RBI double in the fourth but struck out Jose Reyes with runners on second and third to end the inning and limit the damage.
Williams was charged with three runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked three.
“That’s all you can ask of Woody,” Houston interim manager Cecil Cooper said. “He kept us in the game. You can’t expect he’s going to completely shut down a lineup like that.”
Wright needs one more drive to tie Bobby Bonilla for 10th on the Mets career list with 95 homers. … Houston dropped to 26-47 on the road—the worst record in the major leagues.