Notes: Glavine still adding to his legend
Two-time Cy Young winner pitching brilliantly at age 41
ATLANTA -- To get one thing straight: There is only one "Tom Terrific" in New York Mets lore, and that is Tom Seaver.
But Tom Glavine, who has already carved out a niche for himself as arguably the best left-hander of his generation, continues to earn admirers among Mets fans, who saw him dominate their team for a decade-plus while with the Atlanta Braves to the tune of 16-7 with a 2.86 career ERA.
One of Glavine's most ardent admirers is his current manager, Willie Randolph.
"He's amazing," said Randolph. "He keeps you off-stride. He's one of those guys that kind of knows what the hitter's thinking. Sometimes, when he's going good, he just seems to read your mind. Right now, he's changing speeds real well, he's using all his pitches. He's the leader.
"He's made a great adjustment the last couple of years, pitching inside a little bit differently and using different pitches in different angles and lanes," Randolph continued. "He's smart. He knows how to survive and make adjustments. There have been a lot of guys like him, but you can't compare them. He's unique."
This year, at age 41, he is the Mets' ace, and is literally the guy around whom this club has been built -- he is the only player still on the current Mets that was on the Opening Day 2004 roster.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and 1995 World Series MVP entered Saturday's start 1-0 after his masterful Opening Night start in St. Louis, and he stands at 291 career victories, fifth all-time amongst lefties. Glavine's attempt to get to No. 292 on Saturday was even more special, as he took the mound for the second time against longtime teammate and good friend John Smoltz, the first time they've hooked up at Turner Field.
"It's a classic, man," said Randolph. "I'm looking forward to watching it today and getting Tommy closer to 300."
Randolph's not alone in his appreciation of Saturday's matchup.
"It's a privilege at the highest level," said Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson. "These are moments that you almost feel you have to pay for a ticket to be able to be a part of this. To sit down and watch film today, to look at Tommy matching up with these guys and going over a game plan, to think that you're even a part of this -- you have to shake yourself.
"With the close friendship that he has with Smoltzie, [it] makes this even more special," Peterson added. "To them, probably, between the two of them, they probably hope for a 0-0 tie when they leave the game. That's how competitive they are. It's going to be exciting. I think the electricity in this ballpark is going to make it even more exciting."
Peterson's not far from wrong.
"I want to win, so I have to root for him to lose," said Glavine. "It's hard for that reason. It's not an easy thing to do in that regard. I want to win, but I don't want to see him do too bad."
Randolph understands that compassion but also knows that it will be replaced by pure passion to win once Glavine takes the hill.
"Tommy's special," Randolph concluded. "Consistency is the key, and he's been unbelievable when you think about what he's done all his career and [that he] is still going strong. He had a great year last year and we need him to step up again for us this year, and so far he's done that."
For whom the Pel(frey) throws: If there is still a question about the Mets' starting rotation, it concerns Mike Pelfrey.
With three days off in the first 10 days, the Mets have not needed their fifth starter. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound right-hander, selected in the first round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft (ninth overall) is still in Florida and will make a start for the Class A St. Lucie Mets on Saturday against the Devil Rays' Vero Beach affiliate.
Randolph expects Pelfrey to make his 2007 Major League debut during the next homestand, possibly in the series opener against the Washington Nationals on Friday the 13th.
"I can't say exactly when he's going to go, but he'll be ready," he said. "We'll bring him up in time. He'll get acclimated and get ready for his next start. I just know he's the fifth guy. He's in the rotation."
Jose's double-triple: When Jose Reyes tripled from both sides of the plate in the same game Friday night, it was the second time in his career he'd done so, having also done it on May 18, 2005, against Cincinnati.
While the feat may seem routine for Reyes, it's not nearly as common as he's making it look.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, over the last 40 years, only three players have tripled from both sides of the plate in a game twice. They are New York Yankees Roy White (1969 and 1970) and Bernie Williams (1998 and '99), and Dmitri Young, who did it with Cincinnati in 2000 and Detroit in 2003.
This date in Mets history -- April 8: A single off Steve Carlton in the ninth inning by Joe Torre, the 11th Opening Day third baseman in Mets history, drove in the decisive run in the Mets' 2-1 victory against the Phillies on this date in 1975. ... The Mets defeated the Expos, 6-5, on Ed Kranepool's pinch-hit, two-run home run off Stan Bahnsen in the ninth inning at Shea Stadium on this date in 1978. The attendance for the second game of the season was 7,259, just 4,477 less than the Opening Day attendance. ... Dwight Gooden achieved 14 outs on ground balls in a complete-game Opening Day victory in Pittsburgh on this date in 1986. Keith Hernandez drove in two runs in the 4-2 victory. ... Hubie Brooks stole home in the front end of a double steal on this date in 1991. The run was decisive in the Mets' 2-1 Opening Day victory against the Phillies at Shea.
On deck: The Mets conclude their three-game set with the Braves and their six-game road trip to open the season Sunday afternoon as Orlando Hernandez (1-0, 1.29) faces Kyle Davies (3-7, 8.38 in 2006). First pitch is set for 1:05 ET.
Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.