So it may be his last first. Or it could be his first last.
Welcome to the Confusion Corner. Everywhere Glavine turns there are questions and unknowns. Answers are in short supply.
"I'm not sweating it. I'm not even approaching it as a possible last time," he said Tuesday. "I don't want to start counting anything. In my mind, I haven't come to a decision yet. I'll take it a game at a time and see what I remember when the time comes."
Chances are he won't recall that much. The start Sunday will be the 636th of his career. Only 14 pitchers in history have made more. One start blurs into another after a while. Glavine knows he started for the Braves on Opening Day, 1990. He recalls little else about the 8-0 Giants victory. And even the details of the three Opening Day starts he has made with the Mets mingle with images of other games.
Memories or not, he knows "Opening Day is special" -- to players and fans alike. "It's a cool thing for everyone in the ballpark."
In the case of the 2007 season, it's special and important. "You want to get going as a team and as a pitcher," Glavine says. "When you don't, it can weigh on you."
Mets probable lineup|
|2.||C||Paul Lo Duca|
The Mets overcame inertia almost immediately last season. They won eight of their first nine games, 21 of their first 30. It began with a 2-1 victory against the Nationals at Shea Stadium. Glavine was the winning pitcher. He is 4-3 as an Opening Day pitcher. His record with the Mets in opening games is 2-1.
"I feel it in my stomach before every start," he says. "Opening Day is the same in that way. But you know everyone's watching because baseball is back. And everyone has hopes. But I want to win every game. But you can't win them [all] unless you win the first one."
NYM: LHP Tom Glavine (15-7, 3.82 ERA in 2006)
Glavine's ERA in April is 2.73. Only in October does he have a lower monthly ERA.
STL: RHP Chris Carpenter (15-8, 3.09 ERA in 2006)
Carpenter has a 1-2 record in three career starts against the Mets. He hasn't faced them since September 2005.
Players to watch
Moises Alou, a notoriously unproductive hitter in Spring Training, has a .330 average in April. He batted .360 with seven home runs and 24 RBIs with the Giants last April.
On the Internet
Official game notes
WFAN 660, WADO 1280 (Espanol)
Tuesday: Mets (RHP Orlando Hernandez, 11-11, 4.66) at Cardinals (RHP Kip Wells, 2-5, 6.50), 8:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: Mets (RHP John Maine, 6-5, 3.60) at Cardinals (RHP Braden Looper, 9-3, 3.56), 8:05 p.m. ET
Friday: Mets (LHP Oliver Perez, 3-13, 6.55) at Braves (LHP Mark Redman, 11-10, 5.71), 7:35 p.m. ET