DETROIT -- John Smoltz has been anxiously awaiting this opportunity to go head to head with good friend and longtime Braves teammate Tom Glavine.
Early in their careers, Smoltz and Greg Maddux had plenty of chances to oppose each other. But when he is paired against Glavine in the second game of a four-game set between the Braves and Mets at Shea Stadium on Friday night, it will be a first for the two good friends.
"I haven't had time to talk to him yet," Smoltz said as he prepared for Tuesday night's All-Star Game. "But I'll give him a call tomorrow and start messing with him."
Glavine will be looking forward to opposing somebody he called a teammate in Atlanta from 1988-2002. But just as importantly he'll be attempting to end his woes against a Braves team that beaten him in his only two appearances against them this year.
In nine career starts against the Braves, Glavine is 1-8 with an 8.81 ERA. Each of these starts have come since he exited Atlanta and headed to New York before the start of the 2003 season.
"Glav is going to do whatever he can to make adjustments," Smoltz said. "He's certainly going to want to beat us. I try not to get caught up in those things."
After he has time to free his mind from his All-Star Game responsibilities, Smoltz will begin putting all his attention on Glavine, who has won his past two decisions and dropped his ERA from 5.06 to 4.94 in his past three starts.
"It's going to be interesting," Mets catcher Mike Piazza said. "Tommy has been pitching a lot better. So hopefully it's going to be a solid game."
Smoltz knows it's going to be odd for both of them to stare straight ahead and see their golfing buddy standing in the batter's box.
"He'll probably drill me," Smoltz said with a smile.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.