Leave it to John Maine to take the ball when the Mets appear to be staring down the bleakest of days, falling deeper into an abyss of lost hope and shattered dreams, sailing into a sunset and watching the season fade into a maelstrom of darkness, as dark as the soul of the loneliest fan in the back row of UR48.
With another solid outing on Wednesday, Maine continued to provide a stabilizing force for the Mets. With his high fastball working well and setting up his slider (and his new looping slow slider), Maine efficiently threw shutout ball into the 9th inning—The 9th Inning!—before the Dodgers finally reached him for a run and he departed after 8.1 very solid and very important innings.
It helps that the bats woke up and gave Maine the backing he needed today, although the offense still remains the larger problem with the club. For once, the Mets situational hitting came through, plating 6 runs after 2 were out in the 5th inning, and even included a 2-run single by Maine himself, his first hit of the season. Ryan Church continued hot, Luis Castillo came up with a pair of hits, Wright finally broke out of an 0-11 skid and the Mets basically had one of those rare days where everything fell into place for them.
Now, I just hope that the Mets can do this without John Maine to provide the light at the faraway end of that dark, bleak tunnel, and play "the kind of game they're supposed to be playing" a few more times as they return home to face Cincinnati over the weekend.