10/08/2004 1:26 PM ET
Glavine: Astros get slight edge
Former Brave sees advantages for both teams
Mets ace and former Cy Young Award winner Tom Glavine pitched in the postseason 11 times while with Atlanta, including five World Series. Now back home in Georgia, Glavine sits down with MLB.com to offer his thoughts on the National League Divisional Series between the Braves and Astros. Here's what he had to say after Atlanta's victory in Game 2 on Thursday.
|Tom Glavine is watching the Red Sox-Cardinals series closely. (Jeff Chiu/AP)
Going back to Houston for Game 3, you can make an argument that both teams are in a better position than the other. You can make an argument for the Braves that they are in a better position because they are in the same boat the Astros were going into the series. They only need to get a split now and then go home for Game 5.
But the Astros have an advantage because they did get a split. Now they get to go home to a park where they have been impossible to beat for a month. Before the series started, if you were looking at Houston and they were going home with a split, you probably would have given the Astros the advantage. But I don't think it's a huge edge.
Now they have to take advantage of being at home. Obviously, they accomplished what they wanted to in Atlanta. Whoever has the advantage now, though, it's negligible at best.
Potentially, the Game 2 loss could be demoralizing for Houston. But as time goes by and they have their off day, they'll come to the conclusion that they did what they wanted to do. They got the split, and they go home to play where they are awfully tough.
Winning that first game, though, changed the mindset a little. You now have a better opportunity than you were realistically planning on. There is some disappointment when you have the opportunity to sweep and you don't. The end result is still the same as what you wanted going into the series, though.
They needed a split, and that's the amazing part. Before the series the Braves simply would have wanted to take care of home-field advantage, and Houston wants a split. Now, Houston splits and is disappointed, while the Braves get a split and couldn't be happier. That's the nature of the postseason and how it changes.
It was a good, well-played game, and in the end, the Braves did what they had to do. They manufactured runs, and then they got the big hit to win it. Now they can both go to Houston feeling both good and disappointed at the same time. That's the beauty and the agony of the postseason. One game can change your point of view so much. That's why it's so emotional.
As for Phil Garner bringing Brad Lidge in when he did, it's certainly not the norm. But the hard part is knowing what's going on in the bullpen. You don't know the inside scoop on that, and what the matchups are. Lidge might be a guy who can pitch that long. And with the off day, managers will ask their closers to pitch longer than they normally would because they can count on the off day.
Bringing him in when he did is probably a little earlier than expected. But without knowing the status of the bullpen, he probably felt like he had an opportunity, and he felt Lidge was capable of pitching that long. He had an opportunity to come out of Atlanta with a two-game lead, and it didn't work out.
Right now, I don't know if I'm pulling for either team as much as I am for individuals. I have guys I'm friends with, and I'd like to see them do well. Otherwise, I'm just trying to watch and enjoy it from a player/fan's point of view and appreciate the nuances that happen during the course of the game.
Tom Glavine's analysis, as told to MLB.com reporter Kevin Czerwinski. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.