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Tom The Unlucky

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Following his fine start and subsequent no-decision on Wednesday, Tom Glavine had this to say RE: Fortuna:

"As a starting pitcher you go through things like this every now and then, but it has happened to me a lot. I don't know what I have to do but it seems that I am, in a way, running into a lot of bad luck. I might have to start throwing complete games from now on in order to ensure the team wins when I pitch. Loop has done a good job but eventually you have to close out big games."
It's a pretty classless thing to say about your teammates, but Glavine has a point. He has rarely been Tom Terrific since signing with the Mets prior to the 2003 season, but he's been pretty decent for the most part. Unfortunately for Glavine, the southpaw has been the recipient of low run support and shoddy relief pitching in many of his starts (welcome to the club).

I went back through all of the starts Glavine has made as a Met, focusing on games in which he game the Mets a very good opportunity for a victory. I narrowed it down to a set of games in which Glavine allowed three runs or fewer and did not wind up with the win. I used total runs allowed instead of earned runs allowed because the former is a really a better measure of a pitcher's performance.

ALLOWED NO RUNS AND DIDN'T WIN

        ND
2003     2
2004     1 
2005     0
----------
Total    3


ALLOWED ONE RUN AND DIDN'T WIN

        ND      L
2003     4      1
2004     2      0
2005     4      1
-----------------
Total   10      2


ALLOWED TWO RUNS AND DIDN'T WIN

        ND      L
2003     1      0
2004     1      3
2005     0      2
-----------------
Total    2      5


ALLOWED THREE RUNS AND DIDN'T WIN

        ND      L
2003     1      1
2004     1      1
2005     2      0
-----------------
Total    4      2


ALLOWED THREE RUNS OR FEWER AND DIDN'T WIN

          ND    L
2003      8     2
2004      5     4
2005      6     3
-----------------
Total    19     9
Tom Glavine has made 94 starts as a member of the Mets and in 28 of those (29.8%) he allowed three total runs or less and did not pick up the victory. All I can say is "Wow". I figured it would be a decent number of games, but I had no idea that Glavine would either lose or get a no-decision in almost one-third of the starts he made in which he gave the Mets at least a reasonable chance of winning.

Breaking it down a little more, Glavine had 22 games (23.4%) in which he allowed two runs or fewer and didn't get the win. He also had an astonishing 15 games (16%) in which he allowed zero or one runs and did not get the "W".

Glavine has not been a great pitcher for the Mets, but he hasn't been an awful one either. If the Mets offense had scored enough and their bullpen pitched well enough for Glavine to win just ten of those 28 games, he would currently stand at 282 wins for his career. Add in a few more wins by the end of 2005 and Glavine would have had a decent shot at winning #300 in 2006 -- needing around 15 wins after this season. As it stands now, Glavine will need to pitch at least two more seasons beyond 2005 if he wants to crack 300.