Originally created 07/30/00

Braves notebook: Glavine goes for No. 200 today



ATLANTA -- Tom Glavine is one of the top stoics in all of baseball, so it should come as no surprise that he's not making a big deal about his start today.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner goes for a hallmark achievement when he takes the mound at Turner Field in his first chance at 200 career victories, but so far he's checking his nerves at the door.

"I don't know about (today)," Glavine said.

Glavine (12-5) collected No. 199 Tuesday in the Braves' 12-5 win over the Marlins, and a victory today would also push him past Greg Maddux for the team lead in wins.

"It's something I'm looking forward to," said Glavine. "I'll be proud of it when I accomplish it. It puts you in an elite group of players, but I'm trying not to think about it. It's one of those things you can think about after the season."

BELINDA SIGNS:

Looking to shore up an injury-ravaged bullpen, the Atlanta Braves inked a blast from their past Saturday.

Right-handed relief pitcher Stan Belinda, who surrendered Francisco Cabrera's two-out, two-run single in Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series, cleared release waivers Friday and was signed by Atlanta on Saturday morning.

"He's a veteran guy who knows his way around the bullpen," said Braves general manager John Schuerholz. "He's been in big-game situations but the main thing we liked was his experience."

Belinda, 1-3 with a 7.07 ERA in 46 appearances with the Colorado Rockies, will be in uniform for today's game. The Braves cleared a roster spot for him by optioning rookie Jason Marquis to Class AAA Richmond. Marquis, who is 1-0 with a 4.28 ERA in 12 appearances. He pitched the ninth inning Saturday and allowed seven runs on seven hits in his last two outings.

Belinda has career record of 41-37 with a 4.06 ERA and 79 saves in 575 appearances.

RAINMAKER:

Andy Ashby has made four starts since joining the Braves, and his effectiveness in the three that have counted has been outstanding.

Sporting a 3-0 record after Friday's rain-lengthened 5-2 win over the Astros, Ashby has a 0.78 ERA since the July 12 deal, and he credits working with Atlanta pitching coach Leo Mazzone for the difference in his pitching since he arrived.

"I was so caught up in being frustrated that I'd go out and throw between starts like I was pitching a game," said Ashby, who was 4-7 with an ERA over 5.00 at the time of the trade. "The main thing was to slow it down where I could be under control. The ball has started to do what it should be doing."

Mazzone noticed a difference between the arm angle Ashby employed while pitching with the San Diego Padres and the one he used this year while with the Phillies, and all it took was two side sessions to correct it.

"His arm was too low in Philadelphia," Mazzone said.

The change in mechanics has solidified the Atlanta rotation, which before the trade looked as shaky as at any time in the past 10 years.

ROCKER ROLLING:

John Rocker, whose season-long battle with his control has turned the closer's role into a crap shoot, appears to regaining the form of a year ago. Friday's three-strikeout performance against the Astros marked the first time since May 13 Rocker logged saves in back-to-back appearances, and Cox feels Rocker is nearing the point where it is no longer necessary to warm up someone behind him.

"We've always had to hold a guy back," said Cox.

Rocker, who at one point had issued 35 walks in 24 1/3 innings pitched, has gone four straight outings without one.

"I've felt all along he was going to do that," Mazzone said. "You could see by how he was going about his work that it was going to happen."