Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Return of the Death Cab

"I think I was really rushing myself and I concentrated this time and in my bullpen session on really slowing myself down. For some reason I just get a little too excited out there and it hurts me."
-John Maine

If there was ever a quote that was, basically, tantamount to "Don't Think. It can only hurt The Ballclub," that might be it.

Maine's solid outing probably wasn't the biggest story of last night's game, but in the long run, it's probably going to be the best.

John Maine so far this season had made three starts. One in which he looked pretty good but got beat on a couple of instances, and two in which he started strong and then imploded in the middle innings, generally when he ran into a rough situation.

Last night, Maine looked like the Maine from 2007 that we remember. The Maine who was battling out of every jam, making the big pitches when he had to, and performing like a Pitcher, not just a guy up there throwing the ball and hoping it goes where he wants it to.

Basically, last night was the Return of Death Cab for John Maine. The return of the pitcher who will dig deep inside to confront the demons that threaten to rise up against him and will his way out of the dark morass on his way to victory. The kind of pitcher he needs to be if he wants to be a man, worthy of being selected as one of the Key Mets players for this season.

Yes, Maine battled through a difficult first inning, that appeared to be unraveling before he even had a chance to get started. And yes, it helps when your unheralded backup catcher delivered what appears to be the first truly clutch hit the Mets have had all season, staking him to a 6-1 lead after 1 inning. But Maine still had to go out there and pitch his game, and he was up to the challenge, throwing as hard as he's thrown all season and working his way through the Marlins lineup with ease.

If, as it has appeared so far, it's going to be the case that the guy that is #3 in the rotation is going to be gigantic question marks (and I don't think I even need to mention his name, it's incumbent upon Maine to step up, prove that his poor year was directly due to his shoulder injury and his problems this season a result of overthinking and pushing himself too hard. If he's going to be out there, he needs to be there with a clear mind. Trust your stuff, John. We'll go places with it.

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