We watched all offseason as one starting pitcher after another signed with other teams. John Lackey. Randy Wolf and Joel Pineiro. Ben Sheets and Rich Harden. Even Jason Marquis and Brad Penny. All the while the Mets insisted that those pitchers were either too expensive, too injury-prone, or just not as good as starters they already had in the fold. Seven games is too early to pass judgment on much about this team right now, but John Maine has been unimaginably bad through his first two starts in 2010.
Are you ready for the good news? Maine almost certainly isn't this bad. He has faced 44 batters and allowed 15 hits, three home runs, he has walked four batters (and hit another) and struck out seven. The walk rate -- four in eight innings -- is only barely worse than his 3.94 career walks-per-game mark. The seven strikeouts over the same eight innings is pretty good. He also has, by my admittedly spotty math, a .429 BABIP so far, including .545 on Tuesday (6-for-11). That's unsustainably bad.
I'm not saying Maine is good. He could very well be mediocre or worse. The batted ball results in last night's game aren't just bad luck; his command was woeful. Check out this strike zone plot.
It looks like Andrea Bocelli's dartboard.
Two lineup mainstays had breakout games for the Mets' offense, as Jose Reyes went 2-for-5 and David Wright went 2-for-2 with two walks and his second home run of the season. Jason Bay went 1-for-3 with a walk and his for rib-eye steak of the season (chug!) and saw 21 pitches in four trips to the plate.
Rod Barajas drove in the other Met run with a sacrifice fly, and is now the proud owner of that rare early-season feat: an on-base percentage lower than his batting average, .192 versus .208.
He once bid for a perfect game
But now, John Maine is not the same
His fastball's limp, and rather flat
The hitters find his slider fat
His change is really status quo
It may be time for Maine to go
Big winners: David Wright, +2.6% WPA, Raul Valdez, +0.5% WPA
Big losers: John Maine, -31.5% WPA, Jeff Francoeur, -4.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Smith flyout in second, +5.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Hawpe two-run double in first, -16.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -31.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -18.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Clint Barmes
Nice job by Gina; her effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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