|Tom Glavine||Andy Pettitte|
|7 - 8, 4.69||8 - 7, 2.73|
Having made this month the winningest July in team history last night, the Astros hope to push forward and make July of '05 their best month ever with wins in the last two of the four-game series vs. the Mets.
The Astros currently stand at 21 - 6, while the 1998 team went 22 - 7 in August of that year. And yes, I'm thinking what you're thinking: after getting wins to open the series with Zeke and Wandy, it'd be a shame not to break out the broom with Pettitte and Roy Oz finishing out the series.
The ERA suggests that Glavine might not be all that difficult for Pettitte to beat tonight, and in truth, that 4.69 he's sporting is much closer to Wandy than Andy. And in his last start, at Colorado to open the Mets' current roadtrip, Glavine did give up 5 over 6.
But contrary to what you may be reading on ESPN, Thomas Michael Glavine has not hit any brick wall. It is more that he has been sidetracked by a few largish obstacles in the road from time to time. Note that Glavine is fifth in Quality Starts among NL lefties with 12, and that he is also fifth among the same subgroup in Defense Independent ERA, and that he's also had a couple tough losses to skew the W/L. But three or four times (including on Opening Day) he has also gotten taken to school a little bit. Most notably, he gave up seven over 4-1/3 to Atlanta at home in April, and 6 over 2.1 at Seattle in the middle of June. So three or four games have shifted the ERA and the WHIP more than what might actually be faithful to the quality of his game overall.
He's still quite capable of shutting your ass down. And if you doubt me, just ask the Cardinals, who accumulated a grand total of 4 hits and zero runs over seven innings against Glavine on May 13, at Shea.
Make no mistake, Pettitte is the better pitcher this year, as he leads Glavine and the rest of the lefty-throwing league in that Quality Start thing previously mentioned, in WHIP, in strikeout to walk ratio, and probably a couple others I've missed.
A devout Christian like And would never be tempted to phone one in, and that's a good thing, not only in general, but specifically tonight, when he faces a proven winner who is probably in a pretty comfortable position: that of not being expected, for a change, to win.
Washington lost (again!) to Florida and if you check out my new handy dandy Wild Card-O-Meter next door, you'll see that the Astros will be pulling for the Nationals in the series finale tomorrow.