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October 15, 1999

Tom Glavine


Q. Can you compare this game to the game you pitched against Cleveland?

TOM GLAVINE: Yeah, it's up there. Obviously, the game against Cleveland is a better game for different reasons. That game brought us a championship. This is just bringing us one game closer to trying to get into a situation where we can fight for a World Series. But it was a good ballgame for me, obviously. It's one that I'm very pleased with and very proud of. And I'm just happy that I was able to go out there and make the one run in the first inning stand up.

Q. Tommy, it seemed like Mora had a lot of good at-bats tonight. Were you surprised at his approach at the plate. Having not faced him a lot in the past, if at all, how did you plan on pitching him?

TOM GLAVINE: I don't know if I could say I was surprised because I really don't know much about him. And oftentimes, that's the hardest opponent to face is the guy you don't know much about. You don't know if the approach you're taking is the right approach or you seem to have him set up to pitch a certain way and you might be pitching to his strength. But he had some good at-bats, had a good approach, and even had a good at-bat against Rocker in the 9th inning. And he's looked good; and again, he looked good tonight, but fortunately there were just singles and didn't hurt us too much.

Q. Tom, it's a compliment to your staff where you can go from the best pitcher in the League one year to just kind of another guy in rotation the next year. How do you deal with that, is that just something that can happen from year to year pitching in this rotation?

TOM GLAVINE: That's part of pitching on our ballclub. We've got some pretty darned good pitchers, and you're not going to be "the guy" every year all the time. And I think that's one thing that all of us have been really good about is we understand that we're surrounded by good pitchers. And there's going to be times when some guys are having good years; some guys are having off years; some guys have a hot hand at a particular time and other guys don't. But I don't think any of us are really all that concerned about how much attention we get or how much we're doing better than the next guy. We genuinely want to see each other do well because we know if that's the case, it's going to put us where we want to be, and that's to have an opportunity to be a successful club and hopefully fight for a World Championship. I had an off year; it was a struggle at times. But you keep plugging away and trying to figure something out, hoping that when the stretch drive comes, you've got it figured out and you can be a factor in what goes on. And I feel like personally I was able to do that. But even while all that was going on, I sure a heck can of a lot of fun watching Millwood pitch the way he pitched all year long. It wasn't much of a problem.

Q. You had a lot of strikeouts tonight, what pitch was working best in that regard?

TOM GLAVINE: I don't know if it was one particular pitch as much as it was just location on the pitches. I think I had a couple of strikeouts on change-ups; I had a couple on inside fastballs; I had a couple on fastballs away. So it was a little bit of everything. The key for me tonight, as it always is, is I worked ahead in the count, and I was able to locate my pitches. And when I'm doing that, I've got a chance to pitch a good ballgame. When I'm pitching behind a lot and struggling with my location, those are generally the kind of games I'm going to have a tough time with.

Q. Did you reverse your approach on them?

TOM GLAVINE: No, I think that I let -- I guess I did, but I didn't have the intention of doing that. I went out there with my same game plan as always: Pitch off my fastball, move it in and out and change speeds. And when you get out there in a game and you see something particularly working very well, you kind of make adjustments off of that. And I had a good fastball tonight. I had very good location with it, so I kind of ran with it. And there were some instances where you could kind of see some guys taking a fastball or swinging late on a fastball where they otherwise probably were looking for a change-up. And I think in those instances when I saw that during the course of that at-bat, I stayed more with the fastball. But again, that's the kind of thing that I guess you let the flow of the game kind of dictate to you what changes, if any, you're going to try to make.

Q. Do you have any reaction to the way they tailored their line-up specifically to you, moved guys around?

TOM GLAVINE: No, not really. I expected some changes. I know that me being a left-hander, I know Ventura and Olerud are going to be in there. I figured that Hamilton probably wouldn't be in there and that Cedeno probably wouldn't be in there. But aside from that, that was pretty much the line-up that I expected to see. I was a little surprised, I guess, with the switch in moving Olerud up to the second slot and moving Robin down. I don't know if that was for me as much as it was to try to break up the lefties so that later in the game we couldn't just bring a lefty out of the bullpen and run with it.

Q. Tom, you and the Mets have a pretty good rivalry now, even though you guys have been on top just about the whole time. I know you always want to series as quick as possible, but I imagine it would be extra sweet to sweep these guys and close the book on this season and the rivalry with them and let them know you are the team to beat?

TOM GLAVINE: Well, just beating them is going to be good. We obviously have an opportunity to go out there tomorrow and win and sweep the series. But I think that our approach tomorrow is going to be the same as it has been every game. We're going to anticipate a very tightly-played game and the kind of game we can't afford to make mistakes, and just go out and see what happens. We've developed a good rivalry here with these guys for whatever reason. It seems to have taken on a life of its own this year. I think a lot of it is because last year they were a good ballclub and they were kind of in a position where they tested us a little bit. And I think everybody knew coming into Spring Training this year that they were going to be probably the club we had to contend with, and that in itself tends to develop a rivalry. But it's been fun playing these guys. I know a lot of things have been said, and I'll be honest with you, I think from a player's standpoint, there's no disrespect for each other. I think both clubs respect each other an awful lot. Honestly, I look forward to the challenge of going out and playing these guys, because they're a good ballclub. I think they play the game the right way. They go out and play hard, and there's not a lot of showmanship going on. They just go out there and play the game. That and the fact that seemingly every game we've played against these guys, barring one or two blowouts, has come down to the last inning. When you have consistent games against a club like that time in and time out, it tends to add to the rivalry.

Q. Alfonzo has been the Mets hottest hitter. Can you talk about how you shut him down tonight?

TOM GLAVINE: I don't know what I did any differently against him. I hate to say this because I know I'll jinx myself. But I've had success against him for some reason. One of the things I always do before a game is you kind of go over the stats and see who is doing what against you. He's one of the guys, from a statistical standpoint, I've had decent success against. I don't know what it is. Just like for some reason I've had success against him. For some reason I've had a hard time getting Piazza out. There are guys like that. Either you have their number or they have your number. And in an instance where you've had success against somebody, you don't change anything. You just keep doing what you're doing. I don't know if he just hasn't seen the ball well off me, I don't know. He's just been looking for the wrong pitch or whatever the case may be. But again, for some reason, I've had success, and I guess I just tried to stay with the same game plan, which really isn't any different than anyone else.

Q. Tommy, you said you were a pretty darned good pitching staff, an exceptional pitching staff. Do you ever think about how history will look back on the Glavine, Smoltz, Maddux trio in baseball?

TOM GLAVINE: You know, the only time I really think about it is when I get asked about it. I think that's the kind of thing that you don't think a whole lot about when you're still playing, because you don't want to think about how history is going to look at you, because you're admitting that the end of the line is coming, and I don't think any of us are ready to do that yet. I think we're in a position now, where number one, we're fortunate that we've been able to pitch together for a long time. It's been a lot of fun. I think for us, we're just trying to go out there every year and give it what we have and try and be successful and try to add to all those things we've done. And when it's all said and done, the fact that people are even talking about us and trying to compare us with the pitching staffs in the history of the game, it's a great thing to be a part of. But again, I think that because we're still actively playing, it's the kind of thing that you don't think about a whole lot.

Q. Tom, going back to the rivalry thing, John Rocker coming in and getting the save for you. Your reaction with what went on with the fans and coming in here and pretty much get the shutout and save for you?

TOM GLAVINE: Well, he's created some controversy up here, but he went out there tonight and walked the walk and he talked the talk, I guess. That's for him to -- that's his thing. If that gets him motivated, then so be it. I know it's an awful lot different than most of us. Most of us just want to quietly come in town and beat somebody and get out of town. It works for him. John is an extremely intense individual. I know for me personally when I pitch on the road and there's 50,000 people that want you to do poorly, it's a motivation. I was motivated to go out and pitch well tonight because I knew everybody here didn't want me to. I don't want to say anything to add to that, but he seems to thrive on that kind of a thing. Some guys are just emotional, and as much as we may not like it, at times you have to be careful not to take that emotion away from them, because it may affect the way they ultimately do their job. He's the kind of guy that feeds on emotion, and it's hard to argue with the success he's had all year.

End of FastScripts…

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