PHILADELPHIA -- What a strange night it must have been for Tom Glavine.
The Atlanta left-hander sat in the dugout and waited to see if he would get the chance to put the Braves into their third straight World Series. He sat there and wondered if he would get the opportunity -- finally -- to cap a great season with a great playoff series.
"Three or four days ago [after the Braves had won two of the first three games], I was hoping I wouldn't have to pitch again," he said before last night's Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, which the Braves trailed three games to two. "Now, I'm praying that I get to."
There were the obvious reasons, of course. The Braves won the NL pennant in 1991 and '92, only to have their quest for a world championship go unrequited. Glavine performed well in each of the past two World Series, but the NL playoffs were was another matter.
He was a combined 0-4 in the playoffs before getting a victory with a strong performance in Game 3. He sat on the bench yesterday knowing that a victory in Game 7 likely would make him the Most Valuable Player in the NL playoffs and wipe away any notion that he cannot win the pressure games.
Glavine has won 20 or more games each of the past three seasons, so there is little doubt about his talent. He would like the opportunity to remove any doubt about his heart, but he is troubled by the way his regular-season contribution seems to get discounted in October.
"Everyone wants to be known as a big-game pitcher," Glavine said, "but I think that's left up to people to perceive what constitutes a big game. Who's to say that all the games I pitched during the regular season aren't big games. I won a lot of big games over the course of the year to help us get here."
Fregosi on AL playoffs
Philadelphia manager Jim Fregosi said yesterday that he wasn't rooting for either team in the American League Championship Series, but the right team won.
"I said it about Atlanta and San Francisco and I'm saying it again," Fregosi said. "We hoped the best team would win. If we get there, we want to play the best team."
Fregosi on rules
The Phillies don't have a lot of clubhouse rules, but the club does prohibit the wearing of earrings on the field.
"The general manager doesn't like them," explained Fregosi. "When he told me that, I even told my wife she couldn't wear them."