April 18.10: Chat Room, Game #12 at Cardinals: Pressure on Maine.

The pressure never ends.

As much as last night’s epic 20-inning victory – anything 20 innings plus is epic – has been written and mentioned as being a catalyst to turn around this sluggish season, it means nothing unless the Mets can sustain.

That means John Maine must step up, perhaps unlike at any other time during his career with the Mets, and pitch big tonight against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Mets exhausted their bullpen last night for 13 innings, and despite pitching one inning, Francisco Rodriguez was spent after throwing 100 pitches in an up-and-down evening warming in the pen.

If a starter won’t throw the next day after throwing 100 pitches, the same could be for Rodriguez tonight.

Maine, who seems to hyperventilate around the third or fourth inning, needs at least six, better seven innings tonight. He needs it for a lot of reasons, including to silence the Dillon Gee whispers.

You see, Maine isn’t pitching tonight to save the bullpen as much as he is his spot in the rotation. While it is likely Maine, barring a disaster, will get another start after this, manager Jerry Manuel has done nothing to dispel the speculation.

Aware of ramifications of a third hammering, Maine went to the videotape to look at his mechanics and pitch selection from 2007, when he won 15 games. Fundamentally, Maine concluded if he’s going down it would be with his fastball, which has atrophied after falling in love with his off-speed and breaking balls.

“I’m fine, my shoulder is fine,’’ Maine said after the Colorado debacle. “ I know the No. 1 priority is to get back and throw my fastball. That’s what I’m going to do in my bullpen. That’s what I’m going to do in my next start I’m going to get back to where I was.’’

Maine looked at everything from wind-up to delivery to release point and said he’s going back to his 2007 delivery and with it, hopefully that year’s fastball. Where Maine once touched the radar gun at 94 mph, he topped out at 91 in his last start, Tuesday night’s meltdown in Colorado.

“I’m just going to go back to that delivery, going back to throwing the fastball,’’ Maine said. “Hopefully it turns out fine. I may get hit, but, you know, at least I know I’m going out there, getting beat with my best pitch and not my second and third pitch.’’

Maine, 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA, has given up 12 runs in eight innings in his two starts, including eight runs in three innings at Colorado Tuesday.

“It’s hard. I’m doing my stuff in between starts,” Maine said. “I’m doing the right things. I just can’t put it together. … This is awful right now.”

****

Tonight’s line-up for the Mets (4-7):

Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Frank Catalanotto, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Gary Matthews, CF
Rod Barajas, C
Angel Pagan, LF
John Maine, RP

NOTES: Mike Jacobs was designated for assignment to make room for reliever Tobi Stoner, who was brought up to bolster their depleted bullpen. It’s obvious the Mets won’t go with a Fernando Tatis-Catalanotto platoon, so expect Ike Davis to be promoted. By designating Jacobs for assignment, the Mets open a spot on their 40-man roster.

101 thoughts on “April 18.10: Chat Room, Game #12 at Cardinals: Pressure on Maine.

  1. Thank Goodness the Mets are calling up Ike Davis this week! Mike Jacobs has been designated for assignment.

  2. Shoulda happened outta the gate. I’d still rather have Jacobs at first than Murphy. Hopefully, Murphy will be replaced a la Wally Pipp.

  3. Frenchy is the MAN! Remember how many times he used to nail Mets’ runners when he was a Brave.

  4. Morgan makes my ass tired. There are no outs and the third base coach held him up. What do you want him to do, challenge the outfielder and get thrown out at the plate?-JD

  5. Respectfully disagree, JD. Force the defense to make the play — Francouer likely goes to third on the throw. Leaving ‘em loaded for a slow-footed cather at bat is begging — though it didn’t happen — for a double play, especially with a force at any base.

  6. Absolutely not …. two outs, yes. But no outs? You have the whole inning ahead of you. Hale knows the runner and the outfielder arm.-JD

  7. If only Adam Wainwright could’ve made a throw like that back in the ’06 NLCS when Tom Glavine laid down that sacrifice in the bottom of the ninth in Game 7…oh yeah, wait a minute, that’s right. My bad. Willie Randolph sent up Cliff Floyd instead and he gave up a crucial out by going down looking…

  8. 15 JD, the way the Mets have lacked timely hitting, I would’ve sent Catalanotto. Thankfully, it’s now a moot point.

  9. Great inning by the Mets, except I have a headache from listening to Morgan.

    The replay on Matthews hit showed Hale had the stop sign on Catalanotto.

    I guess Morgan never looks at the replays.

  10. Joe Morgan and Joe Miller are going on about Jason Heyward for NL Rookie of the Year…I hope Ike Davis will overtake him when he’s promoted.

  11. 20 Yes, I did watch. Longest game I’ve ever watched on TV. I remember when I was a kid, being sent to bed on the night of that 25-inning game in ’74, because it was a school night. I had been listening on the radio. Woke up the next morning and even the NY Times didn’t have the result of the game.

  12. 26. My vote for worst national play-by-play TV person would be Dan Shulman.

  13. 28 Tiffany, you’re absolutely right on the money. Thankfully, Hagin isn’t national. Hagin apparently is a disciple of the DeWayne Staats school of over-eninciation.

  14. JD(21) ESPN should put Morgan and Valentine in the booth together. Could be more interesting than the game.

  15. 35 You were expecting another outcome with John Maine on the mound? He’s the king of the five-inning, 100-plus pitch outing. Kinda like Al Leiter was in his last couple of seasons with the Mets.

  16. 42 Tiffany: Brendan Ryan hit his first ML home run three years ago at Shea, off Scott Schoeneweis.

  17. 46 Maine has the nerve to look at Warthen as if to say, “what the %$## are you doing out here?” Then I read Maine’s lips as he described his “bleeping” fastball. Maine needs to realize Warthen came out because he walked the freaking pitcher and he never seems to be able to last five innings without throwing a ton of pitches. Maine also had the nerve to question Jerry Manuel’s decision about whether to keep him in the starting rotation. Maine ought to worry about performing to justify his spot, not to argue that he should have it based on what he has done in the past.

  18. Anyone want to offer any real reasons why John Maine should still be in the starting rotation? He hasn’t been the same pitcher since ’07. And JD, if you’re gonna keep calling Oli Perez “coin flip,” may I suggest the nickname “pinata” for Maine? Batters consistently treat his pitches like one.

  19. Gil (54): I like Pinata. Maine pitched better tonight in spots, but overall, it still wasn’t good. He threw 115 pitches, which is way too many for five innings. But, at least he didn’t leave trailing, although he very well could have had.-JD

  20. 56 Maybe Maine is better suited for long relief. At this point, he’d be ineffective as a short reliever, because he might not be able to harness his stuff. Maybe he needs to be sent down to AAA to get himself together. All this stuff with his shoulder appears to have taken a serious toll on Maine’s pitching.

  21. 58 Dave: ESPN showed the trailer for her upcoming movie, “The Losers.” Just saw her in “Death at a Funeral” Friday night. That movie is hilarious.

  22. 56 I dunno about that, JD. I’m really starting to believe Maine peaked in ’07. He may never again be as good as he was then. Same with Perez.

  23. Gil (63): Maine was better tonight than he had been so far this year. But, he’s a far cry away what he has been and was is expected. He’ll get another start because they really don’t have many better options.-JD

  24. didnt know he has a win.

    remind me again why we cut him but kept green? or mejia for that matter.

  25. it should be david/jose/jason

    that way figgy can keep his right left thing and have a hitter where he shouldnt be

  26. 70 Mejia did well yesterday, Dave. Got himself out of trouble. He’s gonna be a good one. Green? Not so much.

  27. gil

    jenrry should be in AA working on his stuff, not in the majors throwing only fastballs.

  28. 75: Disagree, Dave. The Mets are not a playoff team this year. Let Mejia — and now Ike Davis — get some on the job training, yake ytheir lumps and work out their kinks, so next year or the year after when the Mets may contend, they’ll be that much better. That formula worked pretty well for the Dodgers and all their young talent.

  29. Wow. excuse me. “yake ythier lumps”? Yikes. Must be the effect of the Bailey’s in my rocky road ice cream!

  30. gil

    if u want jenrry up that is fine. then let him do it as a starter. if he cant do that then he needs to be in AA learning to pitch.

    he has one pitch. u can get by as a reliever for a while – see parnell – but not as a starter – see pelfrey.

  31. 78 Ever had Bailey’s in a milk shake? One of the ice cream chains actually sells it. Had one a few months back at Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.

  32. 79 Dave: Disagree again. Both Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez began their careers in the ‘pen before being promoted to the starting rotations of their respective teams. More recently, the Dodgers did the same thing with Chad Billingsley (an All Star last year) and Clayton Kershaw.

  33. 81

    i also think jenrry is too young. i had the same argument with tiffany a few weeks ago.

    one more thing.

    keep all our young players away from sybil

  34. 81 Too young for exactly what, Dave? Would you have held Doc Gooden back in ’84 when he was 19? I’m not saying Jenrry is the next Doc, but come on. Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett and LeBron James were also really young when they entered the NBA, but it didn’t stop them from being successful. Dude, youth shouldn’t be held against a player and used purely as a reason not to have him be on the squad.

  35. This doesn’t bode well at all. We had to go 20 innings — and be shutout in 18 of those — to get ONE win in this series. And we were pretty well kept in check at the plate by two POSITION PLAYERS who pitched. We still have lost every series we’ve played in this year. That’s why it makes sense to have Mejia and Davis on the team. The Mets have nothing to lose and are no worse off without them.

  36. gil

    simply put i dont think he is ready. if you want to make him a reliever, fine. i think he has enough poise. but i want him as a starter. we have enough relievers. in fact we cut them.

    we dont have the starters. he has had exactly one successful season. i can look up doc, but i would hazzard that he did not have only one good season in the minors before being brought up. also i believe he had two primo pitches. he also had control which has not been jenrry’s calling card.

    and dont talk to me about the nba. its a very different game. also if they like you they just give you points.

    when shaq came in they let him foul ppl and the other player took the foul. when ewing did the same years before he fouled out. also many stars walk. 2/3/4/5 steps.

  37. A QUICK WRAP

    FINAL: Cardinals 5, Mets 3.
    RECORD: 4-8.
    THUMBNAIL ANALYSIS: John Maine was better, but by no means good. The Cardinals had guys on base all night but didn’t break through until Colby Rasmus’ three-run homer in the fifth. Ryan Ludwick’s two-run homer off Ryota Igarashi in the eighth was the winner.
    ON THE MOUND: Maine gave up three runs in five innings, throwing 115 grueling pitches. He’s still not there. Not close.
    AT THE PLATE: Another listless night. Three runs scored on one play on Angel Pagan’s two-run single and a throwing error. … Adam Wainwright retired the last 11 hitters.
    IN THE FIELD: Frank Catalanotto played first. … Jeff Francoeur threw out a runner at the plate.
    LOOKING AHEAD: Jon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez will start the next three games against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field.-JD

  38. I caught only the last 2 innings. Let’s see if I understand this: the Mets designated Jacobs for assignment in order to bring up some Stoner, who was the losing pitcher. And some guy named Catalanotto played 1st base? Meanwhile the Cards got a complete game out of their starter, while Maine was saved by the defense and pitched just well enough to get another chance?

    John, you should change it from A QUICK WRAP to A FISH WRAP.

  39. 90. Maine was atrocious. You wanna know how bad he was. Warthen came to the mound to tell him to throw more fastballs and Maine said I am throwing my fastball. Delcos says Maine was better. What he didn’t say was pretty horrible is better than extrmely horrible.

  40. Regarding Mike Jacobs: How many guys go from cleanup hitter to DFA in the first two weeks of a season? Does that sequence of events give you the idea that the Mets do not have a clear, set plan of building a winner?

  41. (92) Jacobs was only batting clean-up because their projected lefty power bat (Beltran) is on the DL. Jacobs was likely only the roster because Murphy is on the DL. Either way, Jacobs was this year’s Danny Heep: A place holder until the inevitable.

  42. I was lucky this weekend. Games were broadcasted on Fox and on ESPN so i was able to catch both games.
    I commented to someone that the 20 inning was reminiscent of the july 4th/5th game and mention about how a poorly called strike on straw was the ump saying at this time of night its a strike. then the same incident occurred.
    Last nights game went fast which is good. I officially cannot stand Joe Morgan and Jon Miller. Morgan is an idiot and I am tired of the hatred he shows towards the mets. I was shocked by Tim’s McCarver’s turnaround. he used to bad mouth every chance. but I guess the 20 inning game he forgot he hated them. I guess because he and kiner hosted that game and it brought back good memories.

    We should have won last nights game. and you know what this was another instance when they should have left maine in.
    yes his pitches were getting wild but then he found his control. Stoner was ok but his pitch location was so-so as well.
    I dont get putting Cantalope(Cantalonatto) as cleanup. just give it to wright at least he’s been hitting.
    Morgan and crew would HARP On the 2006 loss like you wouldnt believe it made watching the game unbearable.

    so when does M&M lose their job>

  43. 93. Danny Heep and Mike Jacobs??? No way. Danny was on the Mets for 4 years I think. He was Angel Pagan with less natural talent but with an understanding of how to play fundamentally. Jacobs was Omar’s Valentin fantasy for this year. Only with a bad start Jacobs doesn’t get the chance to make Omar look good like Valentin did.

  44. 94. “We should have won last night’s game?!?! Really. Wainright was outstanding. Maine was a bum, lucky to give up 3 runs vice the 10 a hot hitting club would have pounded him for. The Cards are not hitting. Maine gets zero credit for that. The only thing Maine earned last night were three letters…. D F A.

  45. (96) Harry: The Mets won one out of three!!!! According to Omar we should be happy, so let’s all celebrate!!! Yeech…no wonder this team and this fanbase have such a losers mentality.

  46. (98) Hey Steve C, if it’s good enough for Omar, it’s good enough for me! On another note, I am so glad he didn’t sign Jason Marquis who has been nothing short of horrendous so far.

  47. 99/97;
    Of course we all should be happy. If LaRussa wouldn’t have played clown, it would have been a sweep. Ok, so Marquis has been Maine-like, but how about the bread man Piniero?