Greg Maddux offered a fine scouting report on the pitcher he faced Friday night.
“He’s got good stuff -- a good slider and changeup,” Maddux said. “Sneaky quick.”
Of course, Maddux had seen this guy before. It was his old teammate, Tom Glavine.
Maddux hung on for his 277th career victory while Glavine gave up a career-high four home runs in their first-ever matchup as the Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets, 5-2.
“It was kind of fun,” Maddux said. “But I try to never make it personal. I wasn’t facing him, I was facing the Mets. The only time I was facing Glav was when he had a bat in his hands, or I had a bat in mine.”
Gary Sheffield, Chipper Jones, Julio Franco and Mark DeRosa hit solo homers in Atlanta’s third straight win.
The much-anticipated meeting between the Cy Young Award winners fizzled from the start. After a 32-minute rain delay, Glavine was tagged for a solo homer by Sheffield in the first and Maddux gave up five hits in the bottom half of the inning.
“I’ve never seen the ball carry so good at Shea,” Brave Manager Bobby Cox said. “It looked like everybody was using aluminum bats and Titleist golf balls.”
Maddux (4-5) was pulled after five innings and 83 pitches, giving up two runs and seven hits.
“Right at 90 pitches, that’s a complete game for him,” Cox said.
Glavine (5-5) lost to his old team for the second time in a week, leaving after giving up five runs and nine hits in seven innings. He stayed stuck at 247 wins.
“It was a little bit odd,” Glavine said. “We were teammates a long time. I watched him pitch a lot.”
Maddux and Glavine, both 37, pitched together on the Braves from 1993 until last season. They began this game with 523 combined victories, the most for a pair of opposing starters since Aug. 16, 1992, when Nolan Ryan (319) faced Frank Tanana (230), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
John Smoltz, who teamed with Maddux and Glavine to give Atlanta an awesome rotation for so many years, struck out all four batters he faced for his 20th save in 21 chances.
While the crowd of 26,439 saw the Mets lose on the day that pitcher David Cone retired at 40 because of a bad hip, fans at Shea Stadium had a big reason to cheer.
Reliever John Franco pitched for the first time since Sept. 29, 2001, having been sidelined after having ligament-replacement surgery on his left elbow.
The 42-year-old Mets’ team captain got a standing ovation when he jogged in from the bullpen in the eighth inning for his 999th major league appearance.
Franco raised his left arm and waved his hat as he walked off the mound after giving up two singles in a scoreless inning, and the Mets greeted him with hearty high-fives in the dugout.