Monday, September 24, 2007

Maine stays afloat as Mets pull out win

Whatever problems John Maine's been having on the mound continued yesterday. In his last 11 starts he's been able to get past the sixth inning just once and in three of those starts wasn't even able to make it to the sixth.

Yesterday, he lasted for five innings. He didn't give Willie Randolph much choice about letting him pitch longer because after five innings he'd thrown 102 pitches. That's more than 20 an inning.

During his five-plus inning stint he gave up six hits, two walks, and three runs. Only one batter grounded out. The other 14 outs came on either fly outs (4) or strikeouts (9), with Maine averaging about five pitches per strikeout.

The Fish scored their first two runs in the bottom of the third on three straight hits: a single, double, and single. The third run that was charged to Maine scored in the bottom of the sixth on a single off Pedro Feliciano.

In the sixth Maine, after giving up a single to the leadoff hitter in an seven-pitch at-bat, walked the next batter on four straight balls. Randolph replaced Maine with Feliciano, who allowed the run-scoring single by Todd Linden. Feliciano was one of eight relievers the Mets used over the remaining six innings. Two gave up runs.

Aaron Heilman gave up two runs in his one-inning stint and Billy Wagner blew a save by giving up a homerun; however, the Mets managed to win in the eleventh on singles by Reyes, Castillo, and Wright.

At game's end, the Mets had left 21 runners on base with the first four batters in the lineup, Reyes, Castillo, Beltran, and Wright leaving a total of nine runners on base.

Two Mets hitters continue streaks
Wright's been on a streak in his last six games. He had at least two hits in all but one of those games and was 13 for 27, a .481 average. Unfortunately, the top three hitters in the Mets' lineup didn't perform as well. In those same six games Reyes hit only .273, Castillo only .231, and Beltran only .200.

Fortunately, Wright hasn't been the only Met hitting well. In his last 10 games Moises Alou has hit .415. His two hits in yesterday's game extended his hitting streak to 27 games, a franchise record. It's also the longest hitting streak this season in the major leagues. Mike Piazza and Hubie Brooks are in the Mets #2 spot with 24-game hitting streaks. No other major leaguer Alou's age, 41, ever had more than a 21-game hitting streak.

An ex-Met continues to pitch well
Ex-Met Matt Lindstrom pitched 1.1 innings of shutout ball to lower his ERA to 3.27. He surrendered neither a hit nor a walk. Lindstrom has 16 holds this season. That number would place him third on the Mets: Heilman has 21 holds and Feliciano 18.

Can you name the two players the Mets got in return for Lindstrom and Henry Owen?

Mets pitcher to get first start
On Wednesday the Mets will give one of their September call-ups his first major league start. Philip Humber will take the mound at Shea against the Washington Nationals, a team that's been playing the Mets tough lately.

In exchange for Lindstrom and Owen the Mets got Adam Bostick and Jason Vargas.

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