CHICAGO – Tom Glavine joined pitching's most prestigious club with a vintage performance, changing speeds and fooling hitters in the manner that made him one of baseball's best.
The stylish left-hander earned his 300th victory Sunday night with nervous family and friends looking on from near the Mets' dugout on the first-base side.
Glavine left with a five-run lead after 6 1-3 innings, and New York's bullpen held on for a 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
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Wife Christine Glavine wiped tears from her eyes as Billy Wagner retired Mike Fontenot on a grounder for the final out. Glavine, who watched from the dugout, came out in a warmup jacket and exchanged hugs and slaps with teammates. He then hugged his children, and his wife, giving her a kiss, received congratulations from his parents and waved to the crowd.
"It's over with now," he said after his hugging his youngest son.
Glavine (10-6) became the 23rd pitcher with 300 victories, the first since former teammate Greg Maddux reached the milestone in 2004 while with the Cubs. The 41-year-old Glavine, only the fifth lefty to win 300, capped a momentous weekend in baseball. On Saturday, Barry Bonds hit his 755th homer to tie Hank Aaron's career mark and Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 500 homers.
Now the question is: Will the latest 300-game winner be the last? Randy Johnson has 284 wins but back problems have plagued him and he turns 44 in September.
Six days earlier in his first try for No. 300, Glavine left with a one-run lead at Milwaukee only to watch his bullpen blow it.
Christine, who slumped in her seat at Miller Park, didn't have her hopes dashed this time — although the bullpen made it close before the Mets pulled away late. Carlos Delgado backed Glavine with four RBIs, and Luis Castillo had four of New York's 16 hits.
Before a crowd of 41,599 on a muggy night, and with flashbulbs popping all over the old neighborhood park, Glavine allowed two runs and six hits, struck out one and walked one.
He left after Angel Pagan doubled on his 102nd pitch, getting a high five from manager Willie Randolph on the mound and a standing ovation as he left the field.
Guillermo Mota came in and gave up a single to Jason Kendall, Pedro Feliciano then relieved and gave up an RBI grounder to pinch-hitter Jacque Jones. Fontenot's double made it a 5-3 game, bringing on Aaron Heilman, who retired Ryan Theirot on an inning-ending flyout.
After Delgado hit an RBI double in the eighth off Will Ohman, causing Christine Glavine to get up and applaud, Paul Lo Duca followed with a run-scoring single against Michael Wuertz.
Glavine was the third pitcher looking for his 300th win at Wrigley Field in the last five seasons. Roger Clemens (June 7, 2003) and Maddux (Aug. 1, 2004) both failed.
Glavine, won his first game with the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 22, 1987, was a five-time 20-game winner with the Braves and joined Maddux and John Smoltz to give Atlanta one of baseball's most formidable rotations for years. He captured the NL Cy Young Award in 1991 and 1998, was the MVP of the 1995 World Series and is a 10-time All-Star. He went to the Mets as a free agent after the 2002 season.
Before Glavine, no pitcher had won his 300th game in a Mets uniform although some 300-game winners have pitched with New York — Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan and Warren Spahn, who won four games in 1965.
There was big news for the Cubs, too,
Kerry Wood pitched the seventh in his first major league appearance since June 6, 2006 after a long bout of shoulder problems. The crowd began chanting "Ker-ry! Ker-ry!" and Wood retired Lo Duca on the first pitch he threw as even more flashbulbs began going off. Wood allowed one hit in a scoreless inning.
Chicago had an early threat against Glavine in the third but instead it ended with a leg injury on the basepaths for Chicago star Alfonso Soriano.
Soriano singled with two outs for the Cubs' first hit and when Ryan Theriot followed with a single to center, Soriano took off for third. But Soriano pulled up lame between the bases, favoring his right leg and as he tried to hop to the bag was tagged out easily. He was helped off the field with a strained right quadriceps and left the game.
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Soriano will be sidelined at least two weeks and up to a month.
"It's going to be a tough loss. I don't know what we'll do," Piniella said. "Losing Soriano is the toughest thing about this homestand."
Entering with a .231 batting average this season, Glavine showed his prowess with the bat, hitting a two-out RBI single in the second to put the Mets ahead.
Run-scoring doubles by Delgado and Shawn Green off Jason Marquis (8-7), Glavine's former Atlanta teammate, made it 3-0 in the fifth. Reyes had a run-scoring single that chased Marquis in the sixth and scored on Delgado's groundout.
Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez hit back-to-back two-out doubles in the bottom half.
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