Major Leagues: Glavine hurt in Braes’ loss
By Howard Fendrich
WASHINGTON ó Tom Glavine has made 672 starts in the majors. Twice, 19 years apart, he failed to record an out.
The second time came Sunday against the reeling Washington Nationals, when the Atlanta Braves’ 42-year-old lefty departed with a strained right hamstring and was charged with two runs. The reliever who replaced him, Jeff Bennett, walked in two other runs, then hit a batter who scored, too.
Essentially handed a 5-0 lead, the Nationals gave nearly all of that back, then escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the ninth to beat the Braves 5-4 and end a nine-game losing streak.
“That’s what it takes,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said, when asked about seeing Glavine leave.
“It’s destiny. You can always go hard in whatever you want to do. The guy above,” Acta said, and paused, pointing skyward. “He’s got the last word.”
Glavine (0-1) matched the shortest start of his 22-season, 303-win career. On May 16, 1989, pitching for Atlanta against the Chicago Cubs, he gave up hits to the first four batters and departed after spraining his left ankle while covering first base.
This time, he let the Nationals go double, bunt single, RBI infield single, walk. Then, facing the Nationals’ fifth batter, Glavine threw his 16th pitch of the afternoon and stepped off the mound.
“As soon as I landed, I felt it,” he said. “I don’t know that I would describe it as it having popped or something, but it definitely felt like it grabbed or it kind of rolled on me or something. So I knew right away it didn’t feel right.”
Glavine briefly doubled over, trying to stretch his hamstring, while manager Bobby Cox and a team trainer went out to check on the pitcher.
“I don’t recall Tommy coming out of a game for anything,” Cox said.
In the second inning, Bennett issued four walks in a row ó a string that included Cristian Guzman’s first free pass of the season and two with the bases full.
“Oh, boy, was I happy in that inning,” Acta said.
Bennett helped along Washington’s struggling offense again in the third by hitting Paul Lo Duca on the right hand. Lo Duca scored on Aaron Boone’s RBI single for a 5-0 lead.
Washington starter Tim Redding (2-1) and five relievers did just enough to protect that and end the Nationals’ longest losing streak since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital.