Who else is looking forward to a Tom Glavine vs. Kevin Brown interleague matchup? (Advice to gamblers: take the over.) Both aging hurlers got their heads kicked in last night -- Glavine gave up eight runs (seven earned) in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies and Brown got flambéed (eight earned in 5 IP) by the powerhouse Devil Rays. For the season, their numbers are gruesome: Brown is 0-4 with an 8.25 ERA; Glavine is 1-4 with a 7.02 ERA. Can either of them bounce back from such horrid starts?
When we discussed aging stars in Chatter Up last week, many Mets and Yankees fans volunteered the names Glavine and Brown for early retirement. I stuck up for Glavine then and I will do so again. Glavine has two main problems right now: his control (a career-high 6.47 BB/9 IP) and something called BABIP -- Batting Average on Balls In Play. Glavine is allowing a BABIP of .331; basically, anybody putting the ball in play against him becomes Stan Musial. (Glavine's BABIP last season was .266.) Fortunately for Glavine, BABIP depends largely on luck and the defense behind him (nice misplays by Jose Reyes last night), not just on a pitcher's effectiveness. It's reasonable to expect that .331 rate to go down. The control problems are probably mechanical in nature and should be correctable, give or take the presence of a Questec machine.
As for Brown, there aren't any sabermetric tools known to man to defend him. He's done.
-- Jacob Luft (2:00 p.m.)
As I watched Pat Burrell and the other Phils take those rich, deep, flat-footed cuts on Glavine last night I thought, yup, must be the defense. -- Tim, Brooklyn (2:31 p.m.)
Glavine is done. He no longer benefits as much from the off-the-plate calls he used to get before the arrival of Questec. The only brightside will be if he continues to get yanked after three or four innings and doesn't get enough innings pitched to trigger that fourth year in his contract. -- Michael Garcia, Aliso Viejo, Calif. (2:36 p.m.)
Being a Mets fan and having seen what Tom Glavine has not accomplished, I have to say he is worse. At least Kevin Brown has the excuse of injury. I can't believe how terrible Glavine has been, especially against divisonal foes. -- Franco, Hoboken, N.J. (2:42 p.m.)
Glavine's ineffectiveness hurts the Mets more then Brown hurts the Yankees. Glavine is the No. 2 starter on a team trying to make an identity for itself and is relied on to win 15 to 18 games. Brown is the fifth starter on a team with a $200M payroll and an expectation of winning the World Series. As a fifth starter, he needs to only win eight to 10 games. But both are overpaid, old and done. -- Brian, Kearny, N.J. (2:41 p.m.)
Brown is in much worse shape then ol' Captain Crafty. Brown is an old power pitcher who never really relied on his head, only his ability. Glavine can adjust. He never had to rely on his stuff much, just like Greg Maddux. Control can be regained. Velocity? Well, we all know the answer to that. -- Filip, Belgrade, Serbia (2:45 p.m.)
If there are different degrees of "done," then Brown takes the cake. He's Kevin Costner's career type of done. -- Paul, Va. Beach (3:30 p.m.)
I'd love to see a sequel to For Love of the Game, but we can all do without another The Postman. -- JL (3:58 p.m.)
Sorry, but I think we all know exactly when Tom Glavine's career came to an end: the day he left the Braves. The vast majority of pitchers in the major leagues are going to turn into Cy Young candidates while pitching under the tutelage of Leo Mazzone. No more Leo, no more Glavine. -- Tom, San Francisco (4:21 p.m.)
You're wrong that there are no sabermetric tools to defend Brown. I know he hasn't looked good, but that's mostly due to a horrendous BABIP of .401. He has 16 Ks, two walks and two homers allowed in 29 innings. That is very respectable. His defense independent ERA is well under 4.00 -- Jake, Los Angeles (4:53 p.m.)
Good points, Jake, but I have to disagree. The reason Brown isn't walking anybody is because hitters can't wait to tee off on his meatballs. How else can you explain the radical difference between his real ERA of 8.25 and a DIPS of 3.62? No defense is that bad, not even the Yankees'. He's getting hit extremely hard in bunches; very little of the damage is scattered. -- JL (4:56 p.m.)
Stick a fork in Touchdown Tommy's noodle left arm. He's done. What's worse, the BABIP data shows that Glavine has actually been helped by the Mets defense the last year or so, not hurt by it. -- Norm, New York (5:21 p.m.)