Mets(courtesy of mlb.com)
Most pressing for the Mets is to see signs of a turnaround from right-hander John Maine, who is coming off two starts that have created the perception that he is pitching for his spot in the rotation.
Manager Jerry Manuel also wouldn’t mind hearing some noise from Jason Bay, the big-ticket offseason acquisition who is without a homer in 84 at-bats (since Sept. 21, for the Red Sox) following an 0-for-7 on Saturday that included four strikeouts.
Bay, however, has some rope to work with. Quiet starts aren’t foreign to him. In 2005, he did not connect for his first homer until Game No. 16, and wound up with 32 of them. Good for Mets fans to know, since prospects for him breaking out aren’t great against Adam Wainwright, who has begun the season as if intent on improving his third-place finish in the 2009 National League Cy Young Award vote.
Maine would appear to be on a shorter leash, coming in with a 13.50 ERA for two starts in which 20 of the 44 men he faced reached base.
“I know I’m better than this. I’m not Cy Young by any means, but at least I can go out and give the team a chance to win. I especially didn’t do that last start,” said Maine, referring to an 11-3 loss to Colorado he departed after three innings, with the Mets already down, 8-0. “That’s just upsetting. It’s more of a letdown to the other guys on the team.”
Maine acknowledged feeling some compounded stress from his club’s overall slow start.
“After what happened last year with the whole team and how we started this year — outsiders point fingers,” he said. “And I understand that. It’s New York. If I don’t pitch well, they’ve got to do what they got to do.”
Why won’t we yet see Jose Reyes in the three-hole this weekend? Manuel’s take on the shortstop still playing catch-up after a long absence with a hyperactive thyroid issue: “He’s on hip-hop, we’re playing jazz.”
Mets also DFA’ed Mike Jacobs to bring up Tobi Stoner.
Cardinals(courtesy of mlb.com)
Matt Holliday (4-for-7 lifetime against Maine) will be seeking to snap an 0-for-16 drought; he was back in the lineup after being sidelined by illness Friday, but he went 0-for-5, including fouling out to end the 10th inning with the bases loaded on Saturday.
An excerpt from the St. Louis book of pitching would work. For the ninth time in 11 games, a Cardinals starter allowed two runs or fewer when young lefty Jaime Garcia blanked the Mets on one hit through seven innings on Saturday.