Skip to content

NLCS Main(e) Points

First off, KUDOS JOHN MAINE. On the surface Maine’s performance in Game 6 last night fits into a nice historical perspective: no rookie pitcher starting an elimination game has ever lost that game. As concise as that sounds, don’t be fooled: John Maine was one pitch away from not making it out of the first inning. Which makes his 5 1/3 innings of shutout baseball all the more glorious. With one out and runners on second and third in the first inning, Maine whiffed Jim Edmonds on three pitches before retiring Scott Rolen with the bases loaded two batters later.This was a game earmarked for disaster, and the kid battled through it. He battled quite literally with himself, struggling all evening to locate his pitches (54 strikes, 44 balls), but refusing to give up another hit after that fateful first inning. He primarily kept his fastballs up in the zone, and had good velocity, 93-95 mph. After being boosted by a leadoff home run from Jose Reyes, it was undoubtedly Maine’s game…

Speaking of the catalyst, Senor Reyes, I think it’s safe to say that his postseason slump has ended. And a la Johnny Damon in Game 7 against the Yankees in 2004, opponents beware. Reyes is the single most dynamic player in the game today, and his non-presence in these playoffs nearly cost his team this series. Nearly…

Since every prediction I have made about the Mets has not come to fruition (see: Pedro, El Duque, Mets in 5) I will refrain from asserting that the Mets easily win this game tonight. So I will stick to the facts, and let conclusions be drawn as they may…

Reyes is baaaaaack, which bodes exceptionally well for the Mets offense, not to mention potentially disastrous for the Cardinals pitching staff. I have always deemed it next to impossible for an on-paper inferior pitcher to dominate an on-paper superior lineup twice in one series. This kind of stuff just doesn’t happen. Check it. Add to that the fact that the “inferior pitcher”, Jeff Suppan, couldn’t cut it as the mop-up man for the Red Sox two years ago and you get my drift…

The Mets have history on their side. Teams that have forced a Game 7 after being down 3-2 have won that seventh game in eight of 11 instances. The game also happens to be at Shea Stadium, a venue that has housed so much magic this year that David Blaine just might be angered that he finally has some competition in New York (and in Queens no less). So unless Jeff Suppan is counting on making his 90 mph fastball disappear, odds favor the Metropolitans…

Finally, this team has been hit with every possible hindrance that a squad predestined for the World Series could be dealt. From injuries to slumps; blown leads to series deficits, they have persevered through it all. And they have done so through toothy smiles and gags, headbumps and hairdos, intertwined with hasty heroics. Some of those traits sound familiar? To paraphrase an ex-champion in the context of this Mets team: it might just be “destination”.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

You may use basic HTML in your comments. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS