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World Series 2001
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10/11/2001 01:19 AM ET
Glavine the man at Enron in Game 2 win over Astros
By Jim Molony
MLB.com

Braves 1 7 0
Astros 0 7 2
WP: Tom Glavine (1-0)
LP: Dave Mlicki (0-1)
SV: John Smoltz

HR: None


Video Highlights: 56k | 300k

  • More on the series
  • Box score

    HOUSTON -- Houston, you have a problem.

    If the Houston Astros are going to reach the National League Championship Series, they'll have to do what no Major League team has done before: Win three straight after losing two games at home in a best-of-five series.

    The Astros might need the Hubble telescope to see out of the hole they have dug themselves after Atlanta's Tom Glavine continued his mastery of the Astros with eight shutout innings and B.J. Surhoff scored the game's only run on a double-play ball as the Braves took a 2-0 lead in the National League Division Series with a 1-0 victory over the Astros Wednesday afternoon at Enron Field.

        Tom Glavine   /   P
    Height: 6'0"
    Weight: 185
    Bats/Throws: L/L

    More info:
    Player page
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    Mets site
    Glavine allowed six hits -- all singles -- walked two and struck out three. Only one Astro reached third base while Glavine was in the game. The veteran left-hander, who hasn't lost to the Astros since '95, is 9-0 (counting the playoffs) with a 2.36 ERA against Houston. Glavine, who finished the regular season 16-7 with a 3.57 ERA, has been beaten only twice in his last 22 starts.

    "Everything we needed to happen here for us to win happened," Glavine said. "It's a cliche that pitching and defense wins in the postseason, but it also happens to be true. We've gotten good pitching and great defense and (the Astros) haven't and that's why we're up 2-0."

    Glavine ranked his performance as among the best of his career.

    "It's certainly up there, not quite as gratifying as (winning) the World Series, but it was definitely up there," Glavine said. "As a pitcher you try for location and action, but I'll take action every time and today I had probably the best action on my pitches that I've had all year."

    John Smoltz retired the Astros on one hit in the ninth for his second save in as many days. The Atlanta defense contributed with three double plays, including a ninth-inning twin killing after Jeff Bagwell led off with a single. Smoltz has recorded more postseason saves in 48 hours than the Astros have had in their 40-year history.

    Julio Lugo throws low to first baseman Jeff Bagwell putting runners at first and third. It led to only run and the difference in the game.
    "I'm not going to fill the air with cliches, but it sure is nice to go home (ahead) 2-0," Smoltz said. "Tommy pitched an incredible game and the double play was really big for both teams today."

    The two teams combined for seven double plays, a Major League Division Series record, breaking the previous mark of six set by the Braves and Colorado on Oct. 3, 1995.

    Defensive lapses once again cost the Astros, who have never won a postseason series.

    "This is very frustrating, because we came so close to being ahead two games instead of the other way around," Bagwell said. "Obviously it will be very tough to come back. Not impossible, but very tough against a team like Atlanta. We just have to think about winning Friday and nothing else."

    Julio Lugo, whose eighth-inning error in Game 1 was pivotal in the Braves' four-run outburst, was at it again in this one. The shortstop's throwing error in the first inning didn't blossom into a Braves uprising but his throwing error in the second contributed to an unearned run for Glavine and the Braves.

    After Surhoff led off the second with a double down the left field line, Andruw Jones hit a hard grounder just to the left of second. Lugo made a nice stop, but his throw to first bounced in the dirt and Bagwell couldn't come up with it cleanly. Jones was awarded a base hit on the play, but once the ball got by Bagwell, Surhoff broke for third and Lugo was credited with his second error in as many chances. Surhoff scored the only run Glavine would need on a double-play ball hit by Rey Sanchez.

    "Once the ball got by (Bagwell) I figured I could make it, I got a good lead when (Lugo) threw and was able to get over," Surhoff said.

    The Braves needed Glavine on top of his game. As good as Glavine was, Houston starter Dave Mlicki wasn't giving him any breathing room. Other than the unearned run he allowed in the second the 33-year-old right-hander matched Glavine scoreless inning for scoreless inning before leaving for a pinch hitter in the fifth. The Houston defense helped by turning four double plays behind him. Mlicki (0-1) gave up four hits and two walks and left trailing 1-0.


    "I'm not going to fill the air with cliches, but it sure is nice to go home (ahead) 2-0. Tommy pitched an incredible game and the double play was really big for both teams today."

    --Braves pitcher John Smoltz

    Glavine worked around what little offense the Astros managed to muster. He was touched for a pair of singles and two walks by Bagwell, but the lefty hung an 0-for-4 collar on leadoff man Craig Biggio and handcuffed clean-up hitter Lance Berkman, who not only went 0-for-4 but also came up three times with men on base and struck out and hit into a pair of inning-ending double plays.

    The Astros squandered their best scoring opportunity in the fifth. With one out, Vinny Castilla singled to left and took third when Brad Ausmus lined a single off the left-field fence. Ausmus' shot came within inches of leaving the ballpark, hitting just under the yellow home run stripe.

    "B.J. did a great job of fielding that ball and getting it back in quickly, otherwise Castilla might have scored," Glavine said. "It actually helped us that Ausmus hit it so hard on a line like that. A little higher and it's 2-1, not quite as hard and it's probably an RBI double.

    "When he hit it I was just hoping a fan wouldn't reach over and catch it. For a second it looked like somebody might."

    Unfortunately for the Astros, the ball stayed in play.

    Dave Mlicki came up big for the Astros, but Tom Glavine was just a little bigger.
    "I wish we had a kid out there like they had in New York," Ausmus said, referring to youngster Jeffrey Maier, who reached over and caught a ball that would've gone off the wall and instead became a home run in the '96 ALCS.

    Said Surhoff: "Well, I knew Brad hit it real good. There's one spot on the that wall that has padding. It's the Bud Light sign. I knew it was right above (the sign). I was looking to play it off there. If it's anywhere else you have no idea where the ball is going to go off this wall. It went above, and there's a little ledge between the yellow line on the top of that sign, and it hit right in that ledge area."

    With runners on the corners and only one out Astros Manager Larry Dierker went to go to his bench rather than let Mlicki hit. Of the Astros' best pinch hitters -- Orlando Merced, Daryle Ward and Tony Eusebio -- only Eusebio hits right-handed. The other right-handed options are veteran infielder Jose Vizcaino, outfielder Glen Barker and backup third baseman Chris Truby. Dierker decided to go with Truby. Truby, who hit .206 this season with 38 strikeouts in 136 at bats, hit .265 against lefties this year, including 2-for-3 including a homer in a game against Glavine earlier this season and he hit .455 (5-for-11) against Atlanta pitching this year.

    "Truby is kind of a free swinger, doesn't get many walks, I was hoping he'd be able to get the ball to the outfield," Dierker said. "Other than Vizcaino, I can't have anybody else on the buench to put up there, and usually with Vizcaino they move the infielders in. A lot of times he doesn't hit the ball far enough out there to get a sacrifice fly."

    The move almost worked, as Truby worked the count to 3-0 before Glavine came back to ring up the strikeout.

    "Actually I was looking for a double-play ball from Truby so I wouldn't have to go after (Craig) Biggio," Glavine said. "When I fell behind I knew he'd be taking on 3-0 so I threw a fastball down the middle and on 3-1 I gave him to chase one off the corner. He swung over a changeup down the middle on 3-2."

    That left it up to Biggio, who grounded out weakly to second to end the Astros' best scoring opportunity.

    "It's very hard to come back from a one-game deficit in a short series, and extremely difficult to come back from 2-0," Glavine said.

    Even Dierker agreed with that assessment.

    "It's very difficult to get down this far to a good team in a five-game playoff and still win," he said. "But we have been a better road team. If we are able to win two games there, then I feel like we're due to win one here."

    Jim Molony is a regional writer for MLB.com based in Houston.

    Box score

    Braves 1, Astros 0 Final
    at Enron Field in Houston R H E
    Braves 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 0
    Astros 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 2
    Braves AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Marcus Giles - 2B 4 0 1 0 2 0 1 .375
    Julio Franco - 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .222
    Chipper Jones - 3B 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 .333
    Brian Jordan - RF 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 .143
    B.J. Surhoff - LF 3 1 2 0 3 0 0 .429
    Andruw Jones - CF 4 0 3 0 3 0 1 .625
    Rey Sanchez - SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Paul Bako - C 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
    Tom Glavine - P 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .333
    John Smoltz - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    Totals 31 1 7 0 9 3 5 -
    Batting:
    2B - Surhoff (1, Mlicki); Giles (1, Jackson). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Bako 2, Jordan 1. GIDP - Sanchez. Team LOB - 7.
    Baserunning:
    SB - Surhoff (1, 3rd base off Wagner/Ausmus).
    Fielding:
    DP: 3 (Sanchez-Giles-Franco, Glavine-Sanchez-Franco, Franco-Sanchez-Franco).
    Astros AB R H RBI TB BB K AVG
    Craig Biggio - 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 .125
    Julio Lugo - SS 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Jeff Bagwell - 1B 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 .600
    Lance Berkman - LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 .125
    Moises Alou - RF 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 .125
    Richard Hidalgo - CF 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .250
    Vinny Castilla - 3B 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .429
    Brad Ausmus - C 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 .286
    Dave Mlicki - P 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
    Chris Truby - PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
    Octavio Dotel - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
    Mike Jackson - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
    Nelson Cruz - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
    Jose Vizcaino - PH 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 .500
    Billy Wagner - P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -
    Totals 30 0 7 0 7 2 3 -
    Batting:
    Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Biggio 1, Lugo 1. GIDP - Berkman 2, Castilla. Team LOB - 5.
    Baserunning:
    CS - Bagwell (1, 2nd base by Glavine).
    Fielding:
    E - Lugo 2 (3, throw 2). DP: 4 (Castilla-Biggio, Lugo-Biggio-Bagwell, Castilla-Bagwell 2).
    Braves IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Tom Glavine (W, 1-0) 8 6 0 0 2 3 97 36-61 29 0.00
    John Smoltz (S, 2) 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 3-8 3 3.00
    Astros IP H R ER BB K PIT B-S BF ERA
    Dave Mlicki (L, 0-1) 5 4 1 0 2 0 72 31-41 18 0.00
    Octavio Dotel 2 2 0 0 0 2 23 5-18 8 0.00
    Mike Jackson 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 8 4-4 2 27.00
    Nelson Cruz 0.2 0 0 0 1 1 8 2-6 3 0.00
    Billy Wagner 1 0 0 0 0 2 17 5-12 4 5.40
    Pitching:
    WP - Wagner. IBB - C Jones (by Cruz). HBP - Surhoff (by Wagner). Pitches-strikes: Mlicki 72-41; Dotel 23-18; Jackson 8-4; Cruz 12-6; Wagner 17-12; Glavine 97-62; Smoltz 11-8. Ground balls-fly balls: Mlicki 6-6; Dotel 1-3; Jackson 1-0; Cruz 0-1; Wagner 0-1; Glavine 13-7; Smoltz 2-1.
    Umpires: Chuck Meriwether (HP) Mike Winters (1B) Brian Gorman (2B) Jim Joyce (3B)
    Time of game: 2:41
    Attendance: 35,704
    Weather: 70 and No Clouds Wind: 0 MPH
    BOXSCORE COURTESY OF SPORTSTICKER ENTERPRISES, L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED