You hear the term 'ace' all the time in baseball. Every teams needs one to be successful. Players know that when the ace pitches, they have a great chance is at winning. No matter how bad the team is, they believe they can win when their ace is pitching. It becomes even bigger in the playoffs. Look at how the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001 World Series. Schilling and Johnson both pitched 3 times in that series.
So one role for the ace is to give the team confidence when he is pitching. But a more important role for an ace is when he serves as a stopper. A stopper is someone who comes in and stops the bleeding. They breakup losing streaks or bad stretches of baseball and get the team back on track. They are those rare kind of pitchers that not only stop bad momentum, but they generate good momentum.
And that is what Tom Glavine did on Friday night. Coming off a game in which Oliver Perez failed to help deliver a series victory, Glavine pitched 8 innings, while only allowing 1 run. He was able to set a tone for the weekend. When I was watching the Saturday night game, I had confidence the Mets would find a way to win the game. Glavine helped start some positive momentum. You combine this with the good games by El Duque and Maine, Wrights walk off hit and Reyes play where he scored on his own bloop single (who else can turn a bloop single into an inside the park homerun). It was nice to see all the pitchers go deep into games and preserve the pen. Hopefully the bad baseball is behind us and we can enjoy a summer of great baseball.