Tag Archives: John Maine

Soggy Mets

I’ve always been a cynical sports fan. That’s what happens when you root for the Mets and Jets. But I think I sank to a new low last night when, watching David Wright poke a two-run shot in the second inning, my first reaction was “this isn’t going to be enough.” And after the tornado rain delay in the seventh, the Mets went on to prove me right, as Joe Smith and Duaner Sanchez shit a collective brick to give the game away to the struggling D-Backs. By the way, John Maine needs to figure out a way to get his pitch count down. There’s no excuse for having to turn to the bullpen so early when the team’s elite young pitcher is on the mound.

As a Mets fan, last night’s game was hard to watch. But as a baseball fan, there was something very refreshing that happened in the seventh inning. As Pedro Feliciano took the mound, Shea Stadium became the stage for a revival of the Wizard of Oz, with everything and anything swirling around the field. My experience in the last few years with impending weather at ballgames is that umpires will assume nothing until it becomes impossible to play the game. Everyone knew that the heavens were about to open on Flushing. Everyone expected to get wet. But instead of letting this happen, the umpires decided to stop the game right then and there. It turned out to be a great decision, as the grounds crew (with the help of Scott Schoeneweiss and Billy Wagner) got the tarp out there just in time.

MLB’s handling of rain delays has really bugged me this year. Baseball is so inclined not to postpone or cancel games due to so many factors that players are often put in harm’s way as a result. Recently I saw Odalis Perez leave a soaking wet Washington mound injured after it started pouring at a Nationals Cardinals game. The injury, no doubt, was a result of the conditions on the field. It just isn’t worth the risk.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pedro activated, Pelfrey stays

According to MLB.com, Pedro Martinez has been activated, replacing Carlos Muniz on the roster. Muniz will head back to Triple-A New Orleans, demoted for the second time this season. Claudio Vargas will shift to long relief, and Mike Pelfrey will remain the team’s fifth starter.

After watching Oliver Perez‘s performance last night, it’s clear to me that this team’s greatest weakness is the inconsistency of its starting pitching behind Johan Santana and John Maine. A [hopefully] healthy Martinez should help a lot here. Pelfrey has shown flashes, which is why the team kept him in the rotation, but he needs to step it up to keep his rotation spot.

-Jonathan Kraft

So is this Mr. Hyde?

This year’s New York Mets have shown flashes of brilliance, but have quickly slid back into mediocrity. The Mets limped home to Shea Stadium last week having gone 2-5 on the week, including a four-game sweep by the Braves at Turner Field. But they came home and made a statement, winning important series against the Marlins and the Dodgers.

Leading the way for the Mets was good starting pitching, including a great performance by Mike Pelfrey and, of course, an awesome outing by Johan Santana. Backing those efforts on the mound were superb weeks by Mets hitters, led by David Wright. David hit .407, .515, .741 with 2 HR and 6 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.256. Jose Reyes hit .367, .457, .767 with 3 HR and 4 RBI on the week for an OPS of 1.224. Luis Castillo emerged from mediocrity, hitting .348, .464, .652 with 2 HR and 4 RBI for an OPS of 1.116. And Carlos Beltran woke up, hitting .320, .438, .600 with 2 HR and 5 RBI for an OPS of 1.038.

Of course, there are still problems. Carlos Delgado is still not hitting. The starting rotation is still sketchy behind Santana and John Maine. Any reliever not named Billy Wagner, Scott Schoeneweiss, or Joe Smith terrifies me. But Ryan Church has returned to the lineup, as has the swagger of 2006. The question is, will this Mets team continue to play to its potential and win these important games, or will it go lose a series to a terrible San Francisco team and continue its slide from grace? Will Willie Randolph be redeemed by his club’s performance, or will he become a scapegoat yet again? It’s time for the Mets to step it up and prove that this last week was not a fluke, and that the 12th inning victory against the Marlins was a true turning point, not a rare glimpse of what could have been.

-Jonathan Kraft

Postgame: Braves 6-Mets 1 [BEAST-OFF]

It was clear that Tom Glavine would have to face his former team at some point this season. Glavine’s first start against the Mets ended in his second win of the year and an outing far better than the last time Tom Glavine pitched in a game that included the New York Mets.

Glavine was very effective, surrendering just one earned run in six innings of work on a home run to Luis Castillo, of all people, in the first inning. He walked one and struck out four on just 82 pitches. The Mets countered with John Maine, who did not pitch well. Maine was unable to keep his fastball down in the zone and paid dearly, surrendering four earned runs in just four innings of work on eight hits, walking three and striking out two on 99 pitches–hardly the dominant stuff he showed in his last few starts. Maine drops to 5-3 on the year.

Aaron Heilman continued his fascination with giving up the long ball, giving up his fifth of the year in just 22.2 innings of work, this one a three-run shot to Brian McCann in the 7th. Also driving in runs for the Braves were Mark Teixiera, Yunel Escobar, and Kelly Johnson.

David Wright and Jose Reyes combined to go 2-8 on the day. Once again, when Jose doesn’t get on base, the Mets don’t score runs. The Jekyll and Hyde season continues.

-Jonathan Kraft

Pregame: Mets at Braves [BEAST-OFF]

The Game: New York Mets (22-19) at Atlanta Braves (22-21)

The Matchup: John Maine (5-2, 2.81) vs. Tom Glavine (1-1, 4.41)

The Story: The Mets face Tom Glavine for the first time since the last game of last season, when Glavine pitched only a third of an inning but surrendered….okay there’s no need to repeat what happened, the words “monumental collapse” do it justice enough. If last year’s collapse hasn’t been talked about enough this year, just wait until the broadcast today; it’s going to be nonstop. The Mets roll into Atlanta having taken two-straight from the Yankees, after losing three of four to the Nationals. New York’s core players, Jose Reyes and David Wright, have finally started to turn a corner and hit consistently, which is necessary for the Mets to succeed.

Consistency has been hard to come by for the Mets but also for the Braves, who have seen flashes of brilliance from pitching (Jair Jurrjens, Tim Hudson) and hitting (Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Mark Kotsay), but not from their bullpen, which has suffered greatly from the losses of Rafael Soriano and Peter Moylan.

John Maine takes the mound for the Mets as the Amazin’s second most valuable starting pitcher. Maine hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his seven last starts. Glavine has had less success this year, and just picked up his first win of the season in his last start. He hasn’t been bad by any means, though, and looks to pick up his 305th win today against his old club.

The Lineups:

Mets: Reyes (SS), Castillo (2B), Wright (3B), Beltran (CF), Church (RF), Alou (LF), Delgado (1B), Schneider (C), Maine (P)

Braves: Escobar (SS), Kotsay (CF), Jones (3B), Teixiera (1B), McCann (C), Francoeur (RF), Johnson (2B), Blanco (LF), Glavine (P)

Mets Beast of the Week

The New York Mets Beast of the Week is…

David Wright, 3B. A good week for David (.346, .393, .654, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2 BB, 2 SB) turned into a great weekend for the Mets, as the lineup (finally) started to fire on all cylinders against two tough Yankees pitchers in Andy Pettite and Chien-Ming Wang. If those stats look a bit lean, it’s because the entire team went to sleep against the Nationals. David remains one of the two most important hitters in the lineup, and his production is crucial to the team’s success.

Runners-Up: Jose Reyes, John Maine, Oliver Perez

The Mets least of the week is…

Aaron Heilman. The man who was once considered one of the league’s elite set-up men is now eating innings in middle relief. Maybe he’s injured, maybe he’s just ineffective. But for the week, Aaron pitched a whopping third of an inning in last Wednesday’s loss to Washington. He wasted no time, though, surrendering three earned runs on three hits and a walk, coming in with a whopping 81.00 ERA and 12.00 WHIP on the week. It seems that the days of Aaron Heilman in a Mets uniform may be numbered.

Runners-down: Carlos Delgado, Marlon Anderson, Jorge Sosa

Jonathan Kraft

State of the Mets

Every Mets blog seems to be publishing a novel today on the State of the Mets, so why not add my two cents. I understand that we just lost 3 of 4 at home to Washington (so much for that 5 for 7 in the homestand) and that we’re going in the Bronx as a .500 team, but all is not lost here. Sure, this was a hiccup. Sure, this was a missed opportunity. Sure, we’re in third place right now, 2.5 games behind the Marlins of all teams, but come on, all is not lost here. It’s only May. I understand that at some point the “it’s only [insert month here]” mantra turns into “yeah, but when are we going to start playing well,” but this team has nowhere to go but up at this point.

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