Glavine scratched from Game 1 start due to `family' flu

Braves lefty's kids, wife ill, too

he'll start third game

October 24, 1999|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

ATLANTA -- One of the reasons Atlanta manager Bobby Cox decided to start Tom Glavine in Game 1 of the World Series was so his left-hander wouldn't have to work on too many days' rest.

Now, rest is exactly what Glavine will get. And Cox can only hope it provides a cure.

Glavine was scratched from last night's start because of the flu, which has been sweeping through his family. Greg Maddux took his place, with Kevin Millwood receiving the start tonight in Game 2.

Where does this leave Glavine, besides home in bed? Cox has him tentatively scheduled for Game 3 in New York on Tuesday, though he's at the mercy of a bug. If he hasn't gotten any better, John Smoltz would move up one spot in the rotation.

Cox reached Glavine by phone around 11: 15 Friday night. "He told me he couldn't pitch at all tonight," Cox said. "I said, `I've got to get a hold of Maddux. He said, `No, I've called him and he's ready to go.'

"I saw Greg this afternoon and he's fine. He's ready to go."

Maddux backed up his words, throwing seven shutout innings before the Yankees rallied in the eighth.

Cox said he hasn't been told that anyone else in the clubhouse is sick. As a precaution, the left-hander will be kept away from Turner Field until he no longer is contagious.

"I'm a little concerned about that, actually," Cox said. "Tommy's family has been sick since we were in New York [during the National League Championship Series.] His wife had to leave a game there because she was sick. Their children had it and I think his mother and dad, who are staying there, had it. It ran through his family. There's nothing we can do about it."

It must be an Atlanta thing. Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler had to leave last Sunday's game because of the flu.

"It's unfortunate," Cox said, "but things like this do happen. Tommy has pitched at times with a bad arm, shoulder, elbow, two broken ribs, two bad knees, a bad ankle, an infected toe and never missed a start that I can remember. He's really sick, dehydrated. They've got some fluids in him.

"He wasn't feeling good when I was talking to him. And I'm sure that he feels badly that he can't start the opening game of a World Series. Yet, if he goes Tuesday he can still get in two ballgames."

Glavine hasn't pitched since Oct. 15, when he blanked the Mets over seven innings in Game 3 of the NLCS. If he's ready by Tuesday, he'll be working on 10 days rest. He'll also bring a 1.75 ERA in four career World Series starts.

Smoltz hasn't pitched since entering Game 6 in relief on Tuesday. He allowed four runs in the seventh inning, the last two on a homer by Mike Piazza, that wiped out a 7-3 lead.

Cox said he'd be reluctant to use Smoltz in relief last night, but only because he might have to start on Tuesday. "If John pitched an inning tonight he'd have to go on two days' rest. I don't think it would hurt him, but it might."

The Braves continue to go with a nine-man staff. Cox called general manager John Schuerholz and proposed adding another pitcher if there was a chance Glavine would remain sick beyond tonight.

"I talked to the doctors early this morning and they felt that he would be fine by even tomorrow, maybe. They more or less assured me he would be absolutely fine. But I thought about it a lot," Cox said.

"The good thing is nobody is pitching on short rest in place of Tommy or anything like that. So it doesn't really hurt."

Holding Glavine back until the series shifts to New York actually could work in the Braves' favor, since lefties have more of an edge at Yankee Stadium. But Cox denied that was a consideration.

"I just think he'd be a little weak tomorrow after what he's been through. He's got to get his stamina back a little bit," Cox said.

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