5/03/2006 10:27:00 AM
MAINE'S MAY DAY
I thought John Maine had a slight case of the yips last night and made one fatal mistake but on the whole he showed a little something and looked to be a pretty good fill in pitcher.
In his 5 full innings of work, he allowed the lead off batter to reach base 4 times, 3 by lead off double. Now most pitchers who do that don't live to talk about it but Maine did for the most part pitched OK but his big downfall and the turning point in the game came in the top of the 3rd when he faced Alphonso Soriano. With Marlon Byrd on 2nd via another double, Dookie set up a target outside for Maine to get Sori to chase a pitch as he's prone to do. But Maine got the pitch middle of the plate in and Soriano launched it into the mezzanine in LF for a 2 run HR and gave the Nats a 3-1 lead and the way Mike O'Connor was pitching that's all the Nationals needed.
With O'Connor on the mound it was a flashback to last year when teams would bring up minor league pitchers to face the Mets and they would turn into Sandy Koufax. O'Connor was solid last night changing speeds and showing exceptional command of his change up which he threw for strikes whenever he needed to. The Mets batters looked very confused with O'Connor's stuff and his delivery which reminded me a lot of Scott Kazmir.
Hopefully Maine will go over what went wrong last night with Professor Rick and Dookie (by the way Dookie is starting to grow on me as after they returned to the dugout after the 3rd inning Dookie went right to Maine and looked as though he was letting him know what he did wrong in pitching to Soriano) and get himself ready for his next start on Sunday against the Braves.