Apr 07

April 7.10: Maine says he’s fine; gets start tonight.

There was a time when John Maine was considered a throw-in from Baltimore in the Kris/Anna Benson trade, but his strong showing at the end of the 2006 season and 15 wins in 2007 gave hope he could evolve into a dependable No. 2 starter.

“No. 2, that’s just a number,’’ Maine said. “I just need to get out there, stay healthy and I believe I’ll be fine.’’

Maine had shoulder surgery at the end of the 2008 season and admitted this spring that he rushed himself back last year contributing to his arm problems.

“I learned a lesson,’’ he said.

At 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA in spring training, it’s hard to defend Maine’s performance other than saying the numbers don’t count and he was working on things. Pitching with a migraine and stomach virus, Maine gave up four runs on six hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings in his exhibition finale against Washington.

(NOTE: Part of juggling the rotation was to avoid the Nationals getting another look at Maine so quickly).

Maine brushed off his performance, saying: “My arm feels fine. Shoulder feels good. That’s the top priority.’’

The numbers haven’t been there, but Maine insists he’s not worried and he’s throwing the ball better than anytime after the 2007 season. He said the ball is just flowing out of his hand.

“I think the last time it came out easy without trying to really force anything was spring training 2008,” Maine said. “I might have been throwing a little harder then, but it’s coming out good.’’

Sep 09

Tonight’s batting order vs. Fish

On Free Hot Dog Night at Citi Field, the Mets will send Pat Misch (1-1, 3.25 ERA) to the mound against Ricky Nolasco. In three starts since joining the rotation, Misch has given up three earned runs in 18 innings and three starts since August 23.

Here’s the line-up taking aim at Nolasco (10-8, 5.27 ERA):

Angel Pagan, LF
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Josh Thole, C
Anderson Hernandez, SS
Pat Misch, LP

will start for the Mets. Misch has been a pleasant surprise since being placed in the starting rotation.
Ricky Nolasco will start for the Marlins. It has been an up and down season for Nolasco, a low point coming on August 12 against Houston when he allowed 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings. He has been mostly ineffective against the Mets this season, as he has allowed eight earned runs in 10 innings in two starts, posting an 0-1 record.
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