NEW YORK -- A player named Mike made his first start at first base for the New York Mets. No, not that one.
Mike Glavine, the younger brother of former Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, started at first against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night. Mike Glavine, recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Sept. 12, batted eighth while his older brother made his last start of the season on the mound and batted ninth.
"Everyone thought it would be the other Mike playing first base," manager Art Howe said, referring to the often-discussed idea of Mike Piazza playing the position for the Mets.
Mike Glavine, 30, found out he'd make his first major league start in nine professional seasons from teammate Tony Clark, whose locker is next to his.
"I had no idea until Tony told me," said Mike Glavine, wearing No. 27. "Tony told me that I'm working today."
Howe told Tom Glavine a few days earlier that his brother was going to start, but didn't tell Mike.
"I didn't say anything to Mike in advance so he'd be able to sleep," Howe said with a laugh. "I mentioned it to Tommy and he was excited."
Glavine, a 22nd-round draft pick by Cleveland in 1995, hit .266 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 169 at-bats with the Tides this season.
I want to play well, I want to get some hits," the left-handed hitter said. "It's just another game for the season, but it's a big game for me."
Mike Glavine spent last season with the Somerset Patriots of the independent Atlantic League. The previous season, he hit .136 with two doubles and four RBIs for Atlanta's Triple-A Richmond team.
It's generally acknowledged that the Mets recalled Glavine as a favor to his older brother, but Mike wants to prove he's a bona fide major leaguer.
"It seems like everything I do, I don't get any credit for anything," Mike Glavine said. "It's been a little awkward, but I feel like I belong here. It's other people who don't."
Since being recalled, Glavine has played in three games - going hitless in three at-bats entering Thursday's game.
"I'm going to go out there and try my best," Mike Glavine said. "I won't be nervous, but that might change once I get out there."
Glavine said his parents would be in the stands to watch their two sons play together - the first pair of brothers to play for the Mets.
"I'm just looking to maybe help him win - maybe help the team win and get some hits," Mike Glavine said. "He knows I can play and he knows I can hit. But we'll see how thankful he is if I mess up."