Heading into his final start with the New York Mets, this pitcher had a 13-7 record and 4.14 ERA. The club was coming off a 13-0 win the day before and needed another victory from him in what would be the last start of his Mets career.
This historically bad exit from the organization didn’t happen all that long ago. The day was September 30, 2007. The man, as you may have already guessed, was Tom Glavine.
In one of the biggest regular season games the Mets have had in the 21st Century, Glavine turned in an absolute dud of a start.
This wasn’t the exit plan the Mets had for the 2007 season
The Philadelphia Phillies caught the Mets late in September and were on their way to the postseason for the first time since 1993. The Mets, who were hoping to repeat as National League Champions in 2007, faded in the final weeks of the season. They had one final chance in game 162 against the Florida Marlins.
Everything seemed to be in the Mets’ favor. The Marlins were one of the worst teams in the league. There was no way, in this situation with nothing to play for, that they could possibly win. Their lineup had Jeremy Hermida hitting third and Cody Ross batting fifth. They weren’t killers.
It all began with a walk to Hanley Ramirez. So what? Four balls don’t cost a team a game.
Dan Uggla grounded into a fielder’s choice to record the first out. Hermida followed up with a single to put runners on the corners. Before the Mets even got to the plate, Glavine was in trouble.
Miguel Cabrera then knocked one into left field for a base hit. The Marlins were up 1-0. Then came the ugliest play of the inning that opened up the flood gates.
Ross would double into right field and drive in both runners on base. However, he would also score on the play when Glavine himself made a throwing error to third base. Just like that, the Marlins were up 4-0 following this little league home run.
A single. A walk. A single. A hit by pitch against the opposing pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, and Glavine’s day was over. The Marlins had batted around, been retired once, and led 5-0. Jorge Sosa was summoned from the bullpen. The scoring would continue. A double by Uggla would plate two more and before the Mets could blink they trailed 7-0.
This wouldn’t turn into one of those games where it became out of reach. The final score was actually only 8-1 with the Mets scoring their lone run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first. They would manage only five hits all day with three coming in the first inning.
Glavine’s final line on the day was the real story. He managed to toss only 0.1 of an inning, allowing 5 hits, 7 earned runs, and walking two. Parting can be such sweet sorrow. In this case, there was nothing sweet about it.
The time Glavine spent with the Mets was interesting. From 2003-2007, he was 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA. Twice an All-Star, he was much better than most 37+-year-olds are in the league.
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The final start would, however, completely alter how fans view him. This wasn’t the guy who pitched six shutout inning in the 2006 NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He wasn’t even the man who mustered 11 innings with a 2.45 ERA versus the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS. Nope. He was the former Atlanta Braves ace whose last start for the Mets representative an epic collapse. It couldn’t have been much worse.