Earlier, John Young responded to Mike over at A Citizen's Blog regarding who had the edge between the Mets or Phillies. I couldn't help but notice one bewildering question, and insinuation, made by the Phillies blogger, regarding John Maine in the clutch. And I couldn't resist pointing out that Mike had no leg to stand on with this one.
Mike: Do you really feel comfortable, Mets fans, with Willie Randolph handing the ball to John Maine on the last game of the season?
Quite simply, the attempt to proclaim John Maine as a guy not to be depended on, with the game on the line, is ludicrous. In fact I'll take Maine over anyone in the Phillies rotation save maybe, the Phillies ace. Read on:
Last season, John Maine, the Mets CURRENT #4 pitcher, finished in the top ten in the league in both W and K, with an ERA under 4.00. You may have been picking on the wrong guy when trying to project some false idea that Maine is not to be counted on.
More importantly and relative to the idea of "clutch", perhaps you missed the last time Randolph handed the ball to Maine with the season on the line. The date was September 29, 2007. Maine gave up 1 hit and 0 ER in a 14 K, dominating performance, which he carried deep into the 8th inning. Glavine got rocked the next day to no fault of Maine's, but Maine was clutch when he had to be. For more on Maine's clutch history, I'll take the 2006 post season performances as further evidence to support the idea that your insinuation is rather bogus.....
Maine's 2006 Post Season:
In 13.2 IP he K'd 13 with a 2.63 ERA.
Let's see how the Mets #4 pitcher, John Maine, compared to the Phillies Ace, Cole Hamels, in IP, ERA, BAA, W, and K's last season.
15 W (tied)
15 W (tied)
So basically the guy you are knocking Mike, a guy at the back end of the Mets rotation, was on par with the best pitcher the Phillies have to offer. Now I'll be fair and admit that Citizen's Bank Park is a joke of a stadium, which inflates offensive production drastically. And Hamels had 5 less losses than Maine. So the edge goes to Hamels. But isn't it scary Mike, that our #4 man isn't so far behind your #1 guy? And do you feel comfortable with Charlie Manuel handing the ball to your ace, in the clutch? A fact for you, Maine's last NLDS numbers compared favorably to Hamels', who went 0-1 against Colorado, allowing over one base runner per inning, with a 4.05 ERA in the clutch, an ERA almost 1.5 runs worse than John Maine.