By Mike Steffanos
Pirates 11 - Mets 1
Please excuse my waiting so long to post on the game. I was so disgusted by the damn thing that I felt anything I wrote on it last night would fall in there somewhere between a whine and a rant. As Mets fans, we've been through enough this past week, and I just didn't feel it would contribute anything of value to put something like that out there.
With a night's sleep under my belt, and freed from the need to blow off steam, there still isn't much to say about last night's game. What can you say? Putting aside for a moment the collapse by the overworked bullpen, the failure to get any big hits makes it all a moot point. Watching the Pirates score 11 runs was ugly, but seeing the Mets score 1 lonely run was truly exasperating.
Thoughts on the game
John Maine comes to town and throws his hat back into the ring for fifth starter, and through 4-2/3 innings, he showed us all the things the Mets liked about him. You could see why he led the minor leagues in strikeouts in 2003, and why he was once counted as one of the top 100 prospects in the game. I was even impressed with his breaking pitch, which has been a work in progress for him. In the first couple of innings he threw some really nasty ones, and they were effective.
One knock on Maine, though -- and it's the reason he's fallen as a prospect and the O's were willing to move him in the Benson trade -- is that he can lose his mechanics quickly, and perhaps that's what we saw in the fifth. Willie thinks maybe he got tired, and Maine himself felt he lost his aggressiveness. Whatever happened, the night took a sharp downturn as the Pirates scored 3 runs and it went into freefall after that.
Does Maine deserve another start? With the rumors that Jose Lima might be coming to town, Maine is looking a whole lot better. With the natives getting restless in these parts, the fans are going to resent Jose Lima getting another chance after pitching so badly. Anything less than really solid pitching from Lima will be met with an extremely negative reaction. At least John Maine has shown enough to suggest that he can make a contribution in the future here at Shea. All Lima has shown is that the reports of his demise have not been exaggerated.