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Reyes Slams Mets Past Phillies

Mike SteffanosMonday, August 7, 2006
By Mike Steffanos

Mets 8 - Phillies 1

John Maine managed to shake off the rust of ten days between starts and extended his scoreless inning streak to 23, while Jose Reyes provided the offensive spark with a long grand slam homer in the pivotal fourth inning.

Maine's string of zeros was in jeopardy right off the bat, as Dellucci hit a 1-out double in the first and Utley followed with a soft liner to shortstop that Reyes mistimed his leap on, bouncing off his glove for a single. Maine came back to strike out Ryan Howard and retire Pat Burrell on a pop out to shortstop. Maine settled down nicely after that, but the Mets managed only Jose Valentin's 2-out double in the third against Phillies rookie Scott Mathieson.

When the Mets broke through in the bottom of the fourth, it was once again aided by a poor throw from the Phillies pitcher. The red-hot Paul Lo Duca led off the inning with a double, then after inducing a fly out from Beltran, Mathieson walked Delgado on 5 pitches. Wright hit an RBI double down the third base line to drive home the game's first run and advance Delgado to third. Jose Valentin tapped a 2-0 changeup back just to the third base side of the mound, but Mathieson's high throw and Ryan Howard's awkward play caused the ball to bounce away for an error. Delgado scored and Valentin and Wright advanced to second and third. Mathieson pitched around Endy Chavez, walking him on 4 pitches and bringing up eighth place hitter Lastings Milledge with 1 out and the pitcher on deck in what was probably the turning point of the game.

Milledge lined a 1-0 outside fastball up the middle to score Wright and reload the bases. Maine -- who appears in limited at bats to be another extremely weak hitting pitcher -- struck out for the second out, but then Mathieson fell behind Jose Reyes 2-0 and tried to come inside with a fastball. Reyes turned on it and lashed a majestic home run into the right field bull pen to effectively bust the game open. Jose Valentin's long home run in the fifth completed the Mets scoring.

Maine fought his control in the fifth, but survived back-to-back walks to Lieberthal and Nunez to emerge unscathed, and 2 more baserunners in the sixth by striking out Burrell and Rowand back to back. Maine gave way to Ring, Bradford and Oliver to finish the game out. Ring got touched up for 3 hits, including Lieberthal's solo home run in an inning and a third, while Bradford worked a perfect 2/3 of an inning and Oliver a perfect ninth.

Thoughts on the game
I thought Maine had a nice performance tonight, especially after going so long between starts. I suspect that the excessive layoff caused some of his control problems. Still, the final numbers weren't too bad -- of the 107 pitches he threw in 6 innings, 67 were strikes and 40 were balls. When he did lose it a little in the fifth and sixth, he was able to get it back and finish the inning. That was impressive. Lets look at what Maine has done in 5 starts so far:

John Maine

He's obviously been impressive so far, and should benefit from getting regular starts -- although I suspect he will eventually give up runs. He's been aggressive, and is starting to get some mileage out of his slider and changeup. Even though he hasn't been getting a ton of strikeouts, he has knack for getting them in key situations. I like this kid, I think he has a chance to help this team and possibly supplant Trachsel in the playoff rotation.

I don't know about you, my fellow Mets fans, but I'm not so worried about Lo Duca's second half swoon. His average is up to .322 now. He's been amazing. If Castro returns soon Willie should be able to give him more than enough days off down the stretch.

This game is being discussed in the MetsMerized Mets Talk Forum.

Box Score

Comments (12)

Good Morning,It was to late for me to watch the game and to wake up to see your recap and 8 to 1 win, it's a Good Morning....I think the main thing with Main, he is able to pitch out of trouble, and gives up no homeruns. How many of his outs are fly ball outs as to ground ball outs?...Its allso nice to see Reyes and Wright signed for a good couple of years.

Hi Mike-I think I need to see at least two more starts from Maine, but he looks good so far. We all know that the scoreless streak will end, the key is HOW it ends. Hopefully it won'tbe an implosion-I'm sure he'll have those during his career too, they all do. Once we see a couple more of his outings I think we'll know if he's the real deal or not.

Couple of thoughts....Maine looks sharp...Omar's a whiz. Perez didnt look sharp, but its seems mechanical and not functional, so I for one, am convinced he could take some off the sting out of the dreadful Kazmir trade...a thought... why didn't they send Franco home early on when he contracted "the fu", instead of aerosoling the plague, by sneezing the germs into every corner of the clubhouse...nothing personal just good sense...pass the Gamma Globulin please...also, wondering where Aley Soler is?... admittedly unimpressive and ineffective, he wasn't even mentioned in this weeks minor league evaluation of pitchers as prospects..have we sent him back to inspire Fidel's recovery. For the stretch run, it seems we've got the cavalry, Owens, Smith, Lindstrom, waiting in the wings, so IMHO, the future of the relief core is still promising, so all that radio chatter is just that....thanks for your good work..stay healthy

"John Maine Pelfrey"? Who's that? :)

Rev, I'm not sure, but he gets a lot more fly balls than ground balls. He's a much different pitcher than Pelfrey, who gets more ground balls. He did give up those 3 solo home runs to the Marlins the last time anyone scored off of him, I'm not sure what pitches they hit out.
Shari -- I agree with you there. The main thing (no pun) now is to let him pitch every 5 days for a few starts and see what you have. I like to see what happens after a guy has a bad outing. Does he come back strong next game or is he afraid to throw strikes?
Anonymous -- (n8genius?) Good point about sending Franco home. Diseases seem to go through major league clubhouses like they do through kindergardens. Soler is in Norfolk, but last I heard is still on the DL with a strained calf. Thanks for the kind words.
Joe -- John Maine Pelfrey sounds like a famous 30s gangster. Actually he's a guy who shows up when you are writing while very tired. Thanks for pointing it out so I could fix it.

Shari: I respectfully think you are waaaay off. Or you are a natural conservative.

John Maine is real.

The media rocks both ways but i'll reference this article;


and John heymans in my arguement.

Just likee in the Seo trade, the Valentin signing, the Franco signing Omar got ROASTED for trading Benson for Julio and Maine. Maine was top prospect for the O's but in Spr had lost ground to Loewen, Chris Ray, and some others having been 'marginal' as a rushed rookie.....not unlike pelfrey. His Spring was baaaaad, and his ML debut was suspect.

But as Mike points out, his last 5 starts...his last appearances since being recalled have been awesome. Yes awesome. In every start he has shown dramatic improvement. In his Pitt start there was that 'pop' injury, then in his Fla start he gave up 3 solo shots...and got no run support. Since then nothing!!!!!!

He pitches with velocity (94mph), good movement, decent offspeed stuff, and he attacks. He as Cerrone (?) said looks like Benson. But he is transcending Benson and is doing exactly what got benson could not.....pitch in crunch time!! add to that Peterson (and Pedro) have influenced this maturity.

Omar has his THIRD starter now. Now he can focus on 4 and 5.

'So he was making his first start last night since claiming the No. 5 job when Pelfrey received a ticket down to Class AAA Norfolk on Wednesday. Actually, it was Maine's first start after 10 days' rest. The time off didn't hurt. The 25-year-old righty's scoreless streak is now up to a Mets' season-high 23 innings — 22 as a starter — after he fired six innings of three-hit, three-walk ball'.............Heyman

In the Omar way....he brought in Maine, pelfrey, Soler, bannister et al. Maine secured his spot. Hopefully the soon to be Ollie can get right (again) cause we NEED a power lefty, then pelfrey and Bannister develop. With Maine coming on less is needed from bannister this year. But I still think Bannister (or other, maybe Olllie) can supplant Traxx for the playoffs. Before discounting Ollie, again look at Maine, if the issue is control Ollie still has 2months to work it out and like Maine Ollie has ML experience (as a staff ace no less). My fear with Ollie was injury. If that is not the case, then control and confidence are manageable tasks. Once Ollie gets over this hump the baseball world will annoint Omar as a master.

Heaven forbid but if humber comes on, with Ollie, Pedro, Maine, and possible Zito then Pelfrey could be traded.

Don't forget he almost traded Perez for a setup man. I think he believes in him as much as you do, Ed.

One other thing. Assuming one of Soler, Bannister, Devaney, Pinango, Pelfrey or Humber works out plus Lindstrom and Owens can fill out the pen ...barring injury, we have very few holes. Now i can understand why Omar went after Abreu too.

I still think the Mets are better off without another big salary, Ed.

Hmmm. But that deal fell thru....I think Perez for Linebrink was kneejerk and when the Padres wanted more he said no. I think he's glad he did.

2. No wonder Omar simply waits and buys his FA.

The mets will probably spend on either a FA OFer or Pitcher, especially if floyd leaves.

Padres say they turned it down. Might turn out to be a bad decision on their part if Perez can be fixed. Scott Linebrink is good, but...

I think Floyd needs to go to an AL team where he can DH about half the time, and I think we'll need to find someone.

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