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The Little Comeback That Wasn't

Mike SteffanosFriday, July 20, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Padres 5 - Mets 4
Played Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Just a couple of quick thoughts on Wednesday night's game, which I didn't have time to write about yesterday. Those five innings against Maddux were ugly to watch, but at least this time when they were stymied it actually seemed to be more about how well Maddux was throwing rather than poor at bats by the Mets.

One thing I've been concerned about in the second half is how well John Maine, Oliver Perez and Joe Smith would hold up.

Obviously Smith is in fairly uncharted territory as far as length of season, and I'm not surprised he's showing a few cracks in the armor. I thought they have been handling him pretty well, and I think he'll be fine. After a pretty rough June, he has been good in July up until the San Diego series. It bears watching, though, how he will fare during the dreaded dog days.

As great as Maine has been, a bump in the road isn't hard to understand. Maine pitched 150 combined inning in 2004, 168 in 2005 and 151 last year. Already at 120 innings after 19 starts, he's handling the workload of a big-time major league starter for the first time. He's been so great that it's almost shocking to see him pitch fairly badly two starts in a row, but he's got some adjustments to make, too.

John Maine (Last 5 Starts)
Season   (19 Games)120.145419810145133.071.1912-7

View John Maine's Full Season Stats

After pitching 196 innings for the Pirates in his signature season of 2004, Oliver Perez pitched 113 combined innings in 2005 and 163 last year. I'm not very concerned about him, since he's been there before in 2004 and knows what to expect. Still, missing a couple of starts with the bad back probably was a very good thing for Perez.

Rick Peterson had experience in Oakland nursing young pitchers through their initial taste of the demands of a major league season. That experience should serve him well this year.

There are no moral victories in major league baseball, but given the way the season is going it was probably a very good thing for the club's psyche that they were able to fight back in a game that looked like a lost cause. We'll see if they take anything out of it going forward.

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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