April 14.10: About Last Night; Maine in trouble.

I don’t know if last night was John Maine’s worst game as a Met, but it sure could have been. It definitely was as complete a loss as the Mets have endured in recent seasons.

* Maine gave up eight runs on seven hits and three walks in three innings. His ERA is 13.50 and his spot in the rotation is now under question.

* Met hitters were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, effectively eliminating any chance at making a game of it last night.

* Met pitchers walked nine and their hitters struck out 11 times.

Jerry Manuel talked about a 20-game window to determine what is a fast start. At 2-5, and a miserable 2-5, maybe they are already there. Maine, hammered in both starts, is not only off to a bad start, but he’s in trouble.

“When you have that much traffic in that few innings you have to be concerned,’’ Manuel said. “He got the two outs and couldn’t put them away. You have to have some concern.’’

Maine broke 90 mph. a few times but was consistently in the high 80s. Manuel doesn’t think there’s a health problem.

“This is a performance business,’’ Manuel said. “We don’t think there are any health issues.’’

Perhaps Maine isn’t hurting, but he’s also not strong enough to be throwing that way. In the past he’s been able to get by with poor location with his velocity, getting a foul tip instead of a double in the gap.

Manuel said that’s part of the problem and he’ll have “dialogue’’ with his coaches about Maine’s spot in the rotation.

Last night was a continuation of a trend of falling behind early. Save Johan Santana’s first start, the Mets have consistently fallen behind in their games, putting pressure on their listless offense. And, right now the Mets aren’t hitting well to compensate for their pitching.

“We wanted to pitch well,’’ Manuel said. “That’s the key to everything.’’

Right now, the Mets are thinking what’s wrong with Maine and what to do about it. If it is simply a matter of building up his arm, then sending him out has to be considered. A MRI to be sure about the structure of his elbow must also be evaluated.

Currently, Maine is not getting it done. But, unlike the coin flips known as Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey, he’s not showing any upside.

Ah, what the hell. I’m not going to wait for 20 games. This is a bad start.

NOTE: Vote in the new poll concerning what should be done about John Maine.

13 thoughts on “April 14.10: About Last Night; Maine in trouble.

  1. Delcos: Leave you for a while and I see no matter how hards you try, you are no longer the negative blog host. You seem totally positive comapred to the fan base…..
    As much as I hate to do thuis Delcos, I’m going to defend Manuel. Afterall, despite the fact he makes bad moves, they are based on bad players provided by whomever is the GM, so whatever choice he makes, he loses. Ultimately you have to balme the GM and not the manager for GMJ, Castillo, Maine, OP, etc. The manager can lobby but its wither Omar or Jeffy who made the moves. So Beltran is down and Manuel can pick a below average fielder with a little pop or a now below average fielder with no pop to play there. Last year at least he had no hit good glove man Cory Sullivan to man the big field. Manuel didn’t opt to keeep Castillo and his diminishing skills on the team. Other teams have released guys making far more money than him but who made the dcision the Mets couldn’t do it? Probably Jeff and not Omar. And who made the decision that the starters would return to ’07 form? Not Manuel. And just remember the fan base blessed Omar’s brilliance for not changing the rotation just a month ago. Now he is a bum. Well, certainly the manager didn’t make that bad decision. And who’s fault is it they all lost their speed? Manuel didn’t do that to Maine, OP, Santana. And neither did Warthen for that matter. So are they all on the verge of needing TJ surgery? Do they throw slower now because drug testing is better? Are they saving their arms for the day they play for someone else? Or is it just super duper bad luck?

  2. (1) If it were one or two guys losing their velocity, I’d be apt to call it super duper bad luck, but since it’s four, I think it likely reflects mechanics and/or training, both of which lead us back to a certain pitching coach.

  3. For a moment I thought you did the smart thing and turned off the game and were telling us how you watched the mid 80’s movie with Demi Moore, Rob Lowe and Jim Belushi.
    While far from a great movie it would have been a much better evening.

  4. I for one have been talking the starting pitching for several years now…

    Ok say we do the right thing and send John down to either work on his arm strength/location so the fans do not throw tomatoes at him.

    We have no one to take his place. We sent our spot starter to the Phillies in a trade.

  5. Harry

    Regardless of the items you list beyond Sybils control. Can you defend making Jacobs our cleanup hitter?

    My point is regardless of the fact we pay a lot for our great players, Sybil still likes to undermine his players after building them up to be superman so he can tear them down. He also likes to forgive the stupid play of his pets.

    I will not let him off the hook for his part in the bad play of this team.

  6. 6. No dave, I think he’s a bad manager and I cannot defend the strange lineups and player changes made by Manuel. I cannot defend making a pitching change in the middle of the 8th down by 8 or 9. But, no matter where he would bat Jacobs and or Tatis, since those were the guys given him they have to bat somewhere, and therein lies the problem. He has to bat Castillo somewhere or his junior Castillo Jr otherwise known as Cora, he has to bat Pagan/GMJ somewhere.
    2. It may be the pitching coach but do you think Sanatana listens to Dan Warthen? Maine didn’t have his fastball late last year, OP has been losing his fastball gradually since he came here. Maine and OP thought they could get by with their fastball beofre Dan Warthen was here. Now that they don;t have fastballs they are trying to do what the should have done when they were 20 and that is learn off speed stuff. That isn’t on Warthen either.

  7. (7) I don’t know if Santana listens to Warthen, but I imagine he, too, might occasionally be in need of an outside pair of eyes to tell him that his shoulder’s flying open or that his hips are opening too quickly. Mechanical things like that are typically culprits that cost pitchers 3-4 mph out of the blue.

    As for Ollie, I imagine you must have seen him during his days playing where the rivers meet. By the end of his time there, he was throwing about 86; after a short time with the Jacket (dare I say “ten minutes”?), he was back up in the low 90s.

    I think both Maine and Perez have learned other, off-speed pitches. The question is whether the other pitches are good enough to offset the loss of velocity on the fastball.

    Barajas might have said it best last night when he noted that when Maine was in the strike zone (in the high 80s), his fastball was straight, but when he went out of the strike zone (in the low 90s), there was movement. That short analysis pretty much explains the pitcher’s problems. Of note, Barajas offered no remedy for this problem.

  8. what I have noticed is warthen has turned our pitchers into the mediocre pitcher he was once.
    As dave stated and I have stated, Manuel is consistently inconsistent. And many managers before him were able to tell the GM to shove it and put people in the lineup the way he wants not the way the gm wants.
    We need a nousy manager that will be fair and square, reward and punish with purpose. not at his whim.
    Let’s face it we bellyached willie because he was too quiet like his mentor Joe Torre. But in the end he did less to get fired than M&M.
    as for the catcher, if the catcher sees the problem then its up to the pitching coach to figure out how to fix it. oh wait we dont have a pitching coach.
    You know.. maybe Seaver or the Koos should take over…and kick warthen to the curb.

  9. 8. The last time I saw OP before he joined the Mets was when he was in Norfolk in Aug 06. I happened to be there when he pitched and went to see him. He was throwing 94-95, and the oitching coach at Norfok was?….. I don’t know. Was it Warthen that far back? As for seeing baseball where the rivers meet, rarely except when the visiting team comes from NY. You make good points about technique. In Ollie’s case there never has been a real technique, and I believe Maine has never recovered properly from his surgery in 08.

  10. (9) I don’t know of too many managers who make a living by defying the will of their GMs. I’ve seen them make a point by leaving a player favored by the GM — but unwanted by the manager — in a game to fail, but I don’t know of managers who have basically defied their GMs and kept their jobs. Indeed, I think the dance between a manager and a GM can be one of the most delicate aspects of a baseball organization.

    (6) As for Jacobs hitting clean-up, where else in the lineup do you put your only lefty power bat? If you hit him seventh (where Jacobs theoretically belongs), then you have righty bats 3-4-5-6.

  11. 11. Excellent point. Not too many professions where you last long disobeying your boss.

    For everybody complaining about the Mets’ subs being so crappy, the great and mighty and perfect Phillies put Rollins on DL and who did they bring up? Wow! None other than the great Met reject Wilson Valdez.

  12. 7

    i dont put a marginal player who was cut by his last team in the cleanup spot.

    i rather have the same side back to back than a marginal player in the most important power spot in the lineup who is there solely to break up the order.

    i think that is stupid. it breaks up your lineup by having a week bat where you want strength.