Glavine pulled in debut for Mets

NEW YORK (AP) -- Tom Glavine got off to a great start -- for all

of one pitch.

Glavine opened the season with a called strike, then completely

fell apart. Booed off the mound in the fourth inning, the Mets'

prized newcomer was long gone by the time Corey Patterson finished

with two home runs and seven RBIs Monday in the Chicago Cubs' 15-2

romp over the embarrassed New Yorkers.

It was the most-lopsided opener in the major leagues since the

Chicago White Sox beat up the St. Louis Browns 17-3 on April 17,

1951, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, baseball's


"It certainly wasn't what I envisioned or hoped for,'' Glavine

said. "But I guess in the scheme of things, it was just one game

and I'll try not to read more into it than what it was, which was a

bad day for me and a bad day for us.''

Sammy Sosa stayed stuck at 499 career home runs, hitting an RBI

single and drawing three walks before leaving early. Everything

else went right for the Cubs in their highest-scoring opener since


"It was nice to be a part of,'' Sosa said. "We're going to

take it from here.''

New manager Dusty Baker saw ace Kerry Wood win with five

effective innings on a cold, blustery afternoon and watched Juan

Cruz tie a team record by striking out six straight batters in


"To me, it's a victory. It's No. 1, hopefully of many,'' Baker


His Cubs hope to follow the same formula.

"Dusty's been telling us, 'You try to jump them early and try

to get them to quit,''' Patterson said.

For new Mets manager Art Howe, his debut was an utter disaster.

Glavine struggled, and New York's defense -- which led the majors in

errors last year in a last-place finish -- looked even worse. Mets

pitchers walked 12 and gave up 16 hits.

The sold-out stands at spruced-up Shea Stadium were half-full by

the middle innings, with fans sitting through a gametime

temperature of 39 degrees with winds at 20 mph. Yet that didn't

stop the bundled-up crowd from jeering when the Mets couldn't even

throw the ball around the infield without a mistake.

"We're not going to lose any sleep over that. It wasn't a

pretty game, but we can only get better,'' Howe said.

By the late innings, it had become a nonstop boo-fest. The lone

break came when fans chanted "Lenny! Lenny!'' as former Mets

pinch-hitter came to bat for the Cubs.

Overall, the Mets set a team record for runs allowed in an

opener. Not a good omen for them, considering they started the

afternoon with the best winning percentage on opening day -- .634 --

in major league history.

"Obviously, this team is fighting the stigma of what happened

last year and to come out and have things go the way they went

today, I'm sure there's going to be a certain amount of 'same old

Mets' or 'there were go again' and all that stuff,'' Glavine said.

"But you know what? It's one game.''

Glavine never found his rhythm, walking the leadoff man and

giving up four runs in the first inning. The two-time Cy Young

Award winner spent the past 16 years pitching for rival Atlanta,

but left to sign a $35 million, three-year contract with the Mets.

Patterson hit RBI singles in the first and third innings as the

Cubs took a 5-2 lead. He also made a nice catch on Mike Piazza's

deep drive to center field, and that was plenty as Wood limited the

Mets to two hits and two runs in his first Opening-Day start.

Patterson hit a three-run homer off Mike Bacsik in the sixth

that made it 10-2.

Bacsik walked the bases loaded in the seventh and Mark Bellhorn

lofted a high fly that center fielder Roger Cedeno lost in the

wind, with the ball dropping 30 feet behind him for a three-run

triple. Patterson followed with a two-run homer.

The Mets were charged with two errors, but the day was filled

with misplays and misadventures. Gold Glove second baseman Roberto

Alomar skipped a nonchalant throw on a routine grounder, right

fielder Jeromy Burnitz stumbled toward the wall on Patterson's

first homer and no one covered second base on an early hit.

Game notes
Piazza's hearing on his appeal of a five-game suspension was heard shortly after the final out. The All-Star catcher was

penalized in spring training for charging Dodgers pitcher Guillermo

Mota and later going into the locker room looking for him. Piazza

and the Mets hope to get a decision Tuesday. ...Patterson had his second multihomer game. The other came in Colorado last season. ... The Mets fell to 26-16 in openers. The Cubs are 70-56-2 in their 128 openers. ... Glavine fell to 2-3 in

Opening-Day starts.