Originally created 07/20/00

Braves notes

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Tom Glavine has no explanation for his lack of success at Pro Player Stadium, no answer why the Marlins have clobbered him almost every time he faces them.

"I wasn't that aware I'd pitched badly here until it was brought to my attention," said Glavine, who will work tonight's finale of a brief, two-game series. "I've pitched some decent games against the Marlins, but they've also beat me a lot."

Now, there's an understatement. In 19 career starts against the Marlins, he's 6-11 with a 4.07 ERA. At Pro Player, he's 2-8 with a 5.25 ERA, and he hasn't won here since May 3, 1995. Since then, he's lost all five starts and posted a 5.20 ERA.

"I guess for all the reasons I've had great success in Cincinnati, I don't have it here," he said. "I can't say I look forward to pitching here, but I don't look at the schedule and say, darn, I have to pitch in Florida."

One of the reasons why the Marlins have better success against Glavine than other clubs is because they're a collection of free-swingers who regularly take his outside pitches to right field. But, knowing their approach doesn't mean Glavine is going to alter his plan of attack.

"I'll see how it goes," he said. "I'm not going to go out and change my game plan because things haven't gone all that well for me. I'm not going to make adjustments just to make adjustments.

"I think you approach each game like it's the first one."


Wally Joyner was sad to see interleague play end. He was a .262 (11 for 42) hitter against the American League, is a career .365 hitter in interleague play, but he's unlikely to play in eight straight games again this season.

"Obviously, you get a little more confidence when you play eight straight games," he said. "Getting comfortable in the batter's box is the key. Usually when you're coming off the bench, it's a crucial situation and there's a lot of pressure on you."

Joyner, who boosted his average from .196 at the start of the Red Sox series just before the All-Star break to .218, hopes averaging four at-bats a game for the last week will carry over to his pinch hitting duties.

"I've had a lot of practice at what my job is," he said. "Maybe I have some things to go on and maybe I can do better in the second half."


Bobby Cox was happy to return to National League ball here for another reason. He likes the idea of the Braves acclimating themselves to the humid conditions at Pro Player before returning to hot and sticky Atlanta for a weekend series against the Mets.

"It's our advantage to be in the heat, but if we go back without playing in it, it's no advantage at all," Cox said. "I think when it's hot in Atlanta, it's hotter than it is here. We're five miles from the ocean here, and you have a breeze. When you get a breeze in Atlanta, it's just hot air."


The Braves still hold out hope a trio of pitchers at Class AAA Richmond will be of some help in the second half, but their numbers suggest otherwise.

Steve Avery was battered in another start Tuesday, allowing eight hits and 10 runs in 5 1/3 innings in a 13-5 loss to Buffalo, dropping his record to 0-3 with a 12.38 ERA.

Luis Rivera started Wednesday afternoon's game against Buffalo and gave up five hits, four walks and three runs in four innings, then Kevin McGlinchy worked the seventh, allowing a pair of hits and one run, and was saddled with the loss.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com.


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