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John Maine Is Good

Mike SteffanosWednesday, May 14, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 37: Mets 6 - Nationals 3

It's clear that John Maine is someone who you really have to see pitch to appreciate. Most die-hard Mets fans who have seen many of Maine's performances over the last 2+ seasons believe the young right-hander is the real deal. The Mets as an organization clearly believe in him. Yet, with the exception of Oliver Perez, no player on the Mets has performed as well as Maine has done only to met with tremendous skepticism from the world outside of Flushing.

I can't count how times I have read or heard someone in the national media talk about John Maine as if he's still unproven. I've read bloggers for other teams and scads of self-appointed Fantasy baseball experts who confidently assert that Mets fans "overrate" John Maine.

Maine had a solid year for the Mets last season, but faltered at the end. Rather than cut him some slack in his first season of pitching major innings, many commenters felt the post-Break Maine was the "real John Maine." (I'm looking at you, John Kruk)

I strongly suspect that the "real" John Maine is the pitcher we have seen over his last 7 starts. Thank God for that in a season where many things have not gone very right for the Mets.

Other observations from this game:

The only reason why I refuse to admit that I was wrong about Ryan Church is that I'm afraid the minute I do he stops hitting. So I refuse to admit I was wrong. Even if I was. Which I'm not saying...

If Moises Alou can avoid another long spell on the DL -- a big if -- I think the offense will be okay. He just amazes me. I always knew he was good, but I honestly didn't realize what a great hitter he was until these last 2 seasons watching him a lot. I know it won't happen, but if I was a writer with a Hall of Fame vote I would consider casting it for Alou when he becomes eligible. He might be one of the top 10 pure hitters I've actually had the chance to watch.

Duaner Sanchez has solid cast iron cojones. If he could just find that extra 4-5 mph on his fastball.

View John Maine's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (4)

" Cast iron cujones" You made me laugh with that one, thanks Mike, I needed that.

Suprise! A 96mph fastball that explodes through the hitting zone!

Agreed with it all, with all your qualifications in place.

As for Maine, I am perfectly happy to have the acknowledgement of his abilities remain a Flushing thing. He is good (probably not quite THIS good), and I expect him to prove durable over time. And he is ours, joy.

Now, what SHOULD be happening is that some other young pitchers with exploding fastballs watch the John Maine show, and figure out that they, too might benefit from going up the ladder once in a while. So many pitchers and pitching coaches seem to believe that the only place to throw the ball and be successful is low and preferably away. John Maine creates a bigger strike zone for himself, and prospers.

2010.....if all goes well, sometime during 2010 John Maine will win his 67th game as a Met, and take over 10th place in the Mets all time records. And not a second too soon; there is something plain wrong about reading Steve Trachsel's name on that list, alongside Tom Seaver, Dwight and Koosman.

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