July 25, 2007

Last Season Was Only The Beginning For Maine

“Last Season Was Only The Beginning” is the Mets slogan for their 2007 campaign towards their first World Series Title since 1986. To a certain extent this slogan is true. They may not be on pace to win nearly 97 games this year (on pace to win 92), there is one player in particular that this may hold an air of truth for.

John Maine came over, as a throw in, in the Chris Benson deal (Mets got Jorge Julio and John Maine) as we all know. We also knew that Maine had struggled in the Majors, while with Baltimore (2004: 9.82 ERA; 2005: 6.30 ERA). When he got to the Mets we, I for one, saw the same pitcher that was in Baltimore. That is until the Mets told us that Maine had a sever blister on one of his pitching fingers and placed him on the DL.

After Maine returned from his stay on the DL he quickly established himself as a pitcher the Mets could rely on to give them a quality start each time out. In 2006 Maine went 11-5 with a 3.60 ERA. That’s a far cry from his 2005 ERA of 6.30. Then in the Post Season, due to an injury to Orlando Hernandez, Maine was forced to take game one of the NLDS with no more than a few hours notice. Maine came through yet again to go 4.1 strong innings and only giving up 1 run. Then Maine was put to his greatest test when he had to keep the Mets from being eliminated from the NLCS in game 6. A lesser pitcher would have buckled under the pressure. Not Maine though. Maine went 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing no runs to secure a game 7.

This season it seems like Maine has picked up where he left off. Maine has had 20 starts this season and has an 11-1 record and an ERA of 3.04. Going at least 6 innings in 9 of his last 11 starts and only surrendering anything over 4 runs once this season (May 20th against the Yankees), Maine has proven why he will be the Mets Ace, if not next season then soon there after.

It’s truly a shame that Maine was looked over for the All-Star game, but then again he doesn’t have the track record as some of the more established National League pitchers and wasn’t a first round pick (6th round), so I really can’t blame La Russa for looking past him.

Maine has demanded respect from all that have stood in the batter’s box against him this season. Not from his word (he doesn’t really say much) but from his actions and the way he’s put the Mets pitching staff on his back.

So look for Maine one day to be at the top of the Mets rotation and when you look in the Mets opening day roster history, you will see John Maine batting 9th for years to come.

2 comments:

Maine Fan said...

he really has come a long way since his days with the O's...I bet they're kicking themselves for trading him now.HA!

Tommy said...

good article, john
im going to put it up on my site