Friday, May 25, 2007
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
ATLANTA - John Smoltz became baseball's first pitcher with 200 wins and 150 saves, achieving the feat with a victory over one of his best friends.
Smoltz beat Tom Glavine with seven shutout innings and Matt Diaz homered to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 2-1 win over the New York Mets on Thursday night.
Making his third start of the season against Glavine, his Atlanta teammate from 1988-2002, Smoltz (7-2) became the NL's first seven-game winner.
The 40-year-old Smoltz gave up seven hits without a walk and struck out five. In back-to-back wins over Boston and the Mets, Smoltz has thrown 14 scoreless innings while allowing 10 hits and one walk.
Smoltz, 4-1 in May, lowered his ERA from 2.85 to 2.58.
Glavine (5-2) also pitched well, giving up only five hits and two runs in six innings for the Mets, who were denied their sixth straight series win.
The Braves won two of three in the series to cut the Mets' lead in the NL East to 11⁄2 games.
Bob Wickman pitched out of trouble in the ninth. After a leadoff single by Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green hit a grounder to second base that Kelly Johnson bobbled. Ruben Gotay bunted the runners to second and third, and Delgado scored on a ground out by pinch hitter Julio Franco. Wickman got Reyes to pop to short with the tying runner on third to end the game for his seventh save in nine chances.
Smoltz became the 106th pitcher to reach 200 wins and the first with at least 200 wins and 150 saves. He saved an Atlanta-record 154 games as the Braves' closer from 2001 through 2004. Dennis Eckersley entered the Hall of Fame in 2004 with 197 wins and 390 saves.
The only pitchers with more wins in Atlanta history are Phil Niekro (266) and Glavine (242).
Smoltz is 17-13 with 24 saves in his career against the Mets. This year, he is 2-0 in three matchups with Glavine. The Braves won all three.
Smoltz gave up five hits in the first four innings before retiring 10 straight batters.