During yesterday's brief stint, he threw 85 pitches, or about 21 an inning. Worse, he surrendered nine hits, three walks, and six runs, enough to make Willie Randolph wave a white flag and call for the cavalry.
“I think for the first time in a while, I didn’t feel good out there pitching and it showed,” the New York Post quoted Maine as saying.
If he was "feeling good" in his six starts before yesterday's, the Mets are in trouble. His ERA in his last seven starts is 7.07.
Coming into the game to try to stop the Maine massacre was a reliever who should have been called up a month ago. Willie Collazo was not only the best reliever on the Mets' Triple-A farm team, the Zephyrs, he was their best pitcher. He had the lowest ERA of anyone who pitched more than 35 innings (2.46), a WHIP of only 1.11, and a strikeout to walk ratio of 3.6:1. Against a Reds team red-hot for the day, Collazo pitched 1.2 innings of shutout ball. Though he walked one batter and gave up two hits, he also got two batters to hit into double plays.
His successor, fellow Zephyr Philip Humber, didn't fare as well. In the bottom of the seventh, he fell victim to two doubles and a single before he was able to get out of the inning. He did better in the eighth, not allowing a batter to reach base.
The bottom line? It's time to remove Maine from the starting rotation for at least one start and replace him with either Mike Pelfrey or Humber. Give Maine a breather. The season's taken its toll on him.
Radical? Some would consider it to be? Will Willie do it? No. He doesn't like to make radical moves. But in my view, it's riskier to remain with Maine.
***In Brooklyn, Dylan Owen excelled on the mound again. In seven innings, he surrendered just three singles, didn't walk a batter, and struck out 11. Though the Cyclones won, Owen didn't get the win, but he did lower his ERA to 1.49. He's my nominee for the Mets Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.