April 28.10: Chat Room, Game #22 vs. Dodgers: Another Maine event.

The first-place Mets ride a six-game winning streak into this afternoon’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. John Maine will attempt to give the Mets their third straight series win and second straight sweep.

The Mets’ starting pitching has been strong, with the exception of Maine and Oliver Perez last night. Still, the Mets are staying with Maine, who threw over 100 hard-to-watch pitches in his last start, which only lasted five innings.

If the Mets are going to do anything this season they will need Maine to snap out of it.

Snapping out of it is what David Wright did in the second game of last night’s doubleheader sweep of the Dodgers. Wright collected his 1,000th career hit and cleared the bases with a bases-loaded triple.

154 thoughts on “April 28.10: Chat Room, Game #22 vs. Dodgers: Another Maine event.

  1. Now here’s something interesting — when’s the last time you saw a team bat its catcher in the leadoff spot the way the Dodgers are doing today with Russell Martin?

  2. I dont know if anyone saw MLB Network last night, but Harold Reynolds did an excellent job analyzing Reyes in the 3rd spot as opposed to the leadoff role. The thought as a leadoff hitter he was bound to see more fastballs than breaking pitches as opposed to 3rd, where he might rarely get a fb to hit. Sure enough, four pitches to Reyes in his first AB today were all changeups.

  3. Steve 0 (4): I didn’t see that. But, it does make sense. Nobody wants to walk the leadoff hitter and they are always pitching the 3-4-5 guys carefully.-JD

  4. Steve O (4): But Jerry is hell bent on doing this. Now that the Mets are winning he won’t change, even though the switch isn’t the reason for their success. Bay, himself, said he was coming out of it.-JD

  5. Do you see where Tony Bernazard told FOX the Mets are blaming him for last year. I thought the Mets already blamed last year on injuries. Fact is, a lot of things conspired to make last year what it was, and Bernanzard’s handling of the minor league system was one of them.-JD

  6. Question: Did Jerry say he’s batting Jose third only until — if and when — Carlos Beltran returns this season?

  7. #1 John Wathan in Kansas City in the 1980s.

    Wright passes Ed Kranepool for most doubles by a Mets with 226. Does that seem like an absurdly low figure? But the Mets are in first and all is right in the world.

  8. Dodgers are afraid of the mighty Bat of Barajas so they have to headhunt. One of Torre’s drugged-up goons did that back in 2000.

  9. 12 Dan: I hope so much dirt is dug up on that drugged-up goon he doesn’t get voted into the Hall.

  10. My goodness! What team is this we’re watching and cheering for again? So far, except for the starting ptiching, I’m not recognizing this bunch from last year.

  11. Putting a whuppin’ on the last-place Dodgers. Torre whining to his media buddies on how Dodger ownership lied to him and have cut payroll. Loves it!

    Speaking of last night’s doubleheader sweep, anyone remember how in the mid 70s when they regularly played doubleheaders, the Mets regularly lost both games? Very frustrating since the team was above average.

  12. Gil (14): They are playing alert, aggressive and smart baseball. You’re right, something that we didn’t see much of last season.-JD

  13. Now here’s a test for Maine. He’s got to focus on getting the third out, not staying pissed that the inning should be over, with no runs scored…

  14. SteveC. (23): It’s Bud’s baby. It creates excitement in two or three cities, and that’s about it. It makes the schedule unfair and impacts the integrity of the pennant race. Not everybody is running the same course. It is a shame. It is the first thing I’d change.-JD

  15. 23 Steve, I gotta disagree. I know I get super-amped for the Mets-Yankees games and even if they loathe to admit it, the players on both sides do, too. Think of how many great battles have been waged in the Mets-Yankess series. In ’06, there was the D-Wright walk off double off Mariano Rivera; Billy Wagner’s epic meltdown, then his redemption the next day. In ’08, there was Delgado’s team record RBI in a single game affair, and then last year there was…OK, well, no. Let’s not go there.

  16. All those damn wrappers blowing all over the field makes it look like Candlestick Park…

  17. Gil (26): Some players say it is exciting, but trust me on this. I’ve talked to enough where the majority don’t like it. They are bored with it. … And, the Mets aren’t crazy where they have to play the Yankees six times while the Phillies get six with the Blue Jays or Orioles. It is not fair.-JD

  18. Dan (12): Sorry. I meant to get to this earlier. But speaking of drugged up goons, notice how nobody misses Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.-JD

  19. 28. agreed. save the exciting mets-yankees games for series. its no longer exciting the world series has become another interleague game in my eyes.

  20. Steve C (29): Did you notice how Bay turned it up a notch when he saw the throw to second to try to get Franoeur, so his run would count if the hitter was out?-JD

  21. 28 So maybe it’s time to institute Keith Hernandez’s idea of making the Interleague games purely one home-and-home series against geographic rivals. That’s fine with some teams, but what close opposite league rivals do teams like the Braves, Red Sox, Pirates, etc. have?

  22. 35 I was opposed at first to Interleague play, but then I warmed up to it. MLB rakes in serious cash with Mets-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox, Dodgers-Angels and A’s-Giants games.

  23. Gil (34): None. That’s the root of the problem. They try to make it like the Red Sox and Braves are rivals because the Braves played their some 60 years ago. It’s nothing. You can force a rivalry with each team if you stretch enough.-JD

  24. 34. thats keith’s point. he can be very subtle sometimes. everyone expects him to blurt out no interleague play. then he says that. mm no rivals. ok then no interleague. less games for the pitchers to blow their arms out on..
    thats it hey tiffany the pitch count came because of interleague!!!

    get rid of interleague..

  25. Gil (37): Really? The Yankees, Cubs, Dodgers and Angels sell out most games regardless of the opponent. A lot of empty seats in Oakland.-JD

  26. Bad walk there by Maine. Come on! Two outs, none on and a four-pitch walk? Where’s the killer instinct to finish the inning?

  27. No one ever says get rid of interleague play in other sports. Well, maybe Larry Brooks (NY Post) about the NHL. But as usual, only baseball is singled out.

  28. FOURTH INNING: Gil (42): Finishing innings have been a problem with Perez, Maine and Pelfrey. So far, Pelfrey has gotten over it. … Maine got out of it there.-JD

  29. 43. its way too many games. plus it affects wins/losses/ERAs everything.
    if you are going to do this .. then get rid of the 2 leagues.

  30. OK, so Maine got through the inning. What’s the one thing we’re NOT seeing from him today that usually dooms his outings? Fouled-off two strike pitches. He’s making much better two-strike pitches — good enough ones where he’s saying ‘OK, here, try to put it in play.’ That’s an improvement.

  31. Dan (43): Maybe because the other sports haven’t had 100 years of tradition they threw away. It was never an issue in the NFL and NBA when they merged.-JD

  32. FIFTH INNING: Dare I say it? Maine has thrown only 62 pitches so far. He was approaching 100 in his last two starts at this point.-JD

  33. (39) LOL!!!

    In his last 9 starts at age 22, Mark Prior’s pitch counts were 131, 129, 109, 124, 131, 133, 132, 115, 119, respectively. In the last decade, eight pitchers have thrown more than 109 pitches in 9 consecutive starts — and half of them needed reconstructive arm surgery.

    Aren’t pitch counts hilarious?!

  34. This is why Maine is best suited for long relief, not starting….Always comes unraveled in the fifth or sixth inning…

  35. Gil (58): Remember a couple of years ago when they toyed with the idea of moving Maine to the pen when the relievers were so bad?-JD

  36. Nice job by Maine to hold his own. 83 pitches thru 5. There is an outside shot that he pitches thru the 7th if he has an easy 6th. Hopefully the Mets can pick up those two runs.

  37. FIFTH INNING: It looks as if Wright is better. Going to right and up the middle has always been a good sign for him. He keeps this up and the homers will come. The thing I’d like to see is him cut down on his strikeouts.-JD

  38. #54 ESPN Classic had on the “Bartman” game last week and in the late innings Thom Brennaman mentioned Prior’s high pitch counts in recent games. Made you wince.

  39. JD, interesting point about mets vs. yanks while phils play weak teams. I wonder if that affected the results at the end of the 07 and 08 seasons.

  40. (64) Ray: Not at all. Shoddy pitching, starters in 07 and the pen in 08 affected the team.

  41. pitch counts start in the minor leagues and maybe earlier nowadays. thats why these guys cant go more than 6 innings. A 7 inning guy is considered a horse today.

  42. Ray (64): I don’t know off hand what the respective interleague records of the Phillies and Mets were those years, but they did lose the division by one game.-JD

  43. (62) JD: I didn’t see this last night, but apparently Keith broke down his swing from earlier in his career and now and showed a big hitch in his swing that he didn’t have. Earlier his bat was coming thru the hitting zone nice and clean, but now not so much. Now if Keith can notice that, can’t HoJo?

  44. maine is looking better. maybe pelf told him. hey dont listen to warthen its done wonders.

  45. (67) JD: Should I remind you of 7 1/2 games with 17 left to play? The interleague series the Mets played had zero effect on the results.

  46. (69) I don’t think college coaches follow pitch counts; rather, I think they use their pitchers like pieces of meat they’ll have no use for over the long haul. That’s why you’ll find college starters throwing a ton of pitches — and then relieving the next day…because their coaches are completely focused on the short-term. And that’s why drafting college pitchers (see Humber, Phil; Wilson, Paul) is something of a gamble.

  47. Beautiful job by Maine. Glad to see he will be coming out for the 7th.

  48. 71 Steve O: You’re exactly right. And let’s not forget the Phillies sweeping us in late August in Philly, then sweeping us at Shea in September and the Mets getting abused by the Nats in DC and in New York in September.

  49. Steve O (71): I beg to differ. A loss counts the same in the standings in June and July as it does in September. It’s just more people pay attention in September.-JD

  50. Not sure this is a good idea sending Maine back out there for the 7th with only a two-run lead. If it’s 5-1, OK, but 5-3? Not so much.

  51. (77) Gil: I think that the pen needs a rest. Plus he went thru a pretty easy inning. I think it is a worthwhile gamble.

  52. Wow. Nieve again. He’s going to have 162 appearances this year the way he’s been used. LOL

  53. 78: JD, I gotta take Steve’s side on this one. Interleague play had nothing to do with the Mets ’07 demise. Not rising to the occasion and having one of the worst bullpens of any team in recent memory did. Games in June may count as much as ones in September, but September — not June — is when most pennants are won. The Mets failed miserably that month in every facet of the game. Even if by some miracle the Mets had won the division by a game, they were sure to go three-and-out in the NLDS, as they would have in ’08.

  54. Solid outing by Maine. Not beautiful. Solid. Encouraging. But let’s see him put together a few more outings like this before we again have complete confidence in him.

  55. Gil (75): Let’s also not forget the Mets lost six games to AL teams in 2008. There’s no guarantee those games would’ve been won vs. NL teams, but no guarantee they wouldn’t have, either. If they had just split those games they could’ve won the division depending on what the Phillies did vs. AL.-JD.

  56. (76) If a loss counts the same, regardless of the month of the season, does the same hold true for an inning — that, say, the fourth inning is just as important as the ninth?

  57. Gil (82): The fact is, the schedules are unbalanced, which by definition is balanced to one team over another. The fact is two different teams have different degrees of difficulty in their schedules, that their course is different. It’s a marathon, yes, but one team runs 26 miles and the other might run 25 1/2 miles. It’s just different. The integrity of the schedules are compromised.-JD

  58. I have a man crush on Fernando Nieve. (I’m secure enough in my manhood to admit that by the way lol)

  59. And Reyes hits theeeeee….FASTBALL! lol. Stupid pitch by the pitcher

  60. 84 86 JD: Playoff teams overcome difficult schedules, survive injuries, take advantage of opportunities and ultimately, rise to the occasion when everything’s on the line, no excuses. The 2007 Mets weren’t a playoff team because they failed the difficult tests laid out before them, squandered opportunities and therefore didn’t deserve to make the playoffs.

  61. 92 Steve C: Easy there, friend. It’s only April. Let’s see if the team’s flowing in September.

  62. SteveC (92): They do look awfully good. But, as they say, a team is never as good as it looks when it is going good, nor as bad as they are when they are losing. Of course, the 62 Mets an exception. … I’m really curious about this weekend.-JD

  63. 91 Except part of the reason the Mets were given such a difficult schedule was by virtue of their excellence in ’06. The Mets had to face the Yankees, Tigers, Twins and A’s Interleague play — all those teams made the playoffs the year before. If anything it should’ve motivated the Mets beyond the “boredom” Carlos Delgado claimed he and his teammates had and inspired them to step up their game.

  64. ok. yes there’s plenty of season. but in this game for whatever reason they look cleaner.

  65. Gil (97): Sorry Gil, that’s a reach. I’ll never cave on this one. This is baseball, it isn’t college hoops where strength of schedule helps determines whether you get in the tournament.-JD

  66. EIGHTH INNING: All those fears about the bullpen because of the doubleheader weren’t realized. Nieve and Feliciano were sharp today.-JD

  67. Did you know that the Mets sweep of the Dodgers in a DH was the first time they did that since 1971? I wonder just how many DH they played against the Dodgers since that year.

  68. Nearly forgot it was a day game. Just tuned in, saw the Mets were winning, quickly tuned out again. It’s all so hard to believe, don’t want to jinx anything…

  69. 100 Not trying to get you to cave, JD. We’ll have to agree to disagree. :)

  70. 107. nope. something happened. maybe Manuel is finally doing something right? nnaaah. the players are just breaking out of their slump. because look at how hes screwing with rotations and lineups.

  71. I hate when the closers are brought in in a non save situation. But at least it will keep him sharp which is good. That is something that Jerry didn’t do enough of last year according to K-Rod.

  72. Steve O (112): K-Rod said he wasn’t used right. They were going to use K-Rod today regardless so he’d be sharp heading into Philly.-JD

  73. (107) JD: The only times it was done was in 1969 and 1988. All in all, two pretty good years.

  74. (111) I think it’s the fine start turned in by Maine. Just him going out for the 7th was a huge step. IMO, by far the best thing to come out of today’s game.

  75. 116. agreed. I would rather send ollie down and keep maine. i think he is more salvageable.

  76. Maine is back on track? Ain’t no stoppin’ us now!
    Wait — that song was on Philly International. Probably not appropriate…

  77. Excellent homestand. But now comes a big early-season test at Philly. It’s gonna be a very interesting weekend.

  78. Gil (123): I think the Mets would like to start that series tomorrow. Phillies are the team suffering with injuries right now, but it is early. Real early.-JD

  79. The Mets are like the Mafia. Every time I think I’m out, they keep pullin’ me back in…

  80. Another win in the books by New York’s only first place team. Take a day off and then off to the City of Brotherly Love to take those Fillies a lesson. Maybe in the off day, Minaya and Manuel will get five year contract extensions.

  81. Dan G… thanks for the reality check! Yeah, THAT’s the organization I know and love…

  82. A QUICK WRAP/Game #22

    FINAL: Mets 7, Dodgers 3.
    RECORD: 13-9.
    THUMBNAIL ANALYSIS: The offense was hot, but the real story was the dramatic improvement of John Maine, who pitched according to expectations. Not his own, of course, because he’s always hard on himself. But, this was a definite plus for the struggling pitcher.
    ON THE MOUND: Maine gave up three runs on four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts in six innings. … He was picked up by Fernando Nieve, who got four outs on five pitches.
    AT THE PLATE: The Mets took control with four in the second (Angel Pagan’s two run triple was the key) and broke it open with RBI hits by Jason Bay and Ike Davis in the seventh.
    IN THE FIELD: Davis didn’t stretch enough to scoop a low throw by Jose Reyes, which led to a Dodgers run.
    LOOKING AHEAD: The Mets are off Thursday, then open a three-game John Maine starts tomorrow afternoon. -JD

  83. JD, the Phils got all the breaks the last few years. I wont cry for them, especially after last year. We are short a few players too anyway.

  84. JD, Looks like it could be a fun year. btw with the rejuvenation of the mets farm system,(at last) bernazards firing may deserve a second look. Hes in the papers today giving his side of the story.

  85. JD, true but the same chiche. btw where is Annie? no one puts it in the books anymore except howie.

  86. Ray (139): I saw that. There has been a positive aspect about the minor league system with Davis, Mejia and F-Mart. There does appear there’s some young talent available.-JD

  87. Ray (140): I got an email from Annie the other day that her computer has crashed and she hasn’t been able to replace it. (She sent it from a friend’s computer.). I hope she comes back soon. Like you, Ray, she has been around from the beginning.-JD

  88. watching manuel’s interview. not sue I like the way he speaks to the media. oh well, even though he should have been fired 3 times over they will win this year and he will keep his job.

  89. SteveC (146): To be fair, Minaya has gotten Francoeur, Bay, the Japanese relievers, Nieve, the catchers, and others. …. If this holds, Manuel has kept the team together. Players hustle for him and that’s a sign he has their respect. … I’m not always crazy about how he juggles the bullpen, the switch of Reyes to third and a few other things. But, the confidence he has shown Maine by letting him come out for the sixth has been important. Also, how he has handled Davis and resisted the urge to bump him up in the order are important.-JD

  90. yeah i hear ya. i am trying to be fair as well. i also dont want to throw rose colored glasses on ..

  91. (151) Brian Schneider made the play of a lifetime (well, at least, his) in the final inning of that game. Not sure he got ‘em, but he got the call.

  92. (137) Sorry Ray, I knew I’d seen it used before, but thought it was longer ago than that. Didn’t mean to step on your theft!
    (145,147) Steve, they’ve played 22 games. When they lost a few we had M&M fired. Now they’re playing well and you’re worried about M&M not deserving their inevitable rehiring after they win it all? I assume yo’re kidding. If not, man, this is some rollercoaster…

  93. Jeff: I dont think they are earning it. we have seen the same thing from them. I am not convinced that anyone of them stepped up. I think the players themselves are finally stepping up and breaking out of slumps. despite it all if we win great. But I rather have a new manager. But we shall see..