Mets Win With A Round House, 12-6

The talent search for the postseason's Number Three starter continued yesterday with John Maine taking the stage before what was deemed a national audience although if you aren't a Mets fan, this was certainly not must-see tv. Not even if you are a Nats fan...

If you compare it to El Duque's performance the night before, well, five walks, two hit batsman and four earned runs over five innings pitched was not exactly a stellar performance. Then again, with El Duque's postseason saavy and his almost mystical postseason success, I rather think this is all an elaborate shell game. Starting a rookie over a seasoned veteran in the postseason would be a crazy and desperate move so in my mind anyway, this start by Maine is more to game a Doomsday scenario wherein Pedro wasn't ready for the postseason.

Putting up seven runs in the first four innings made it appear as though Steve Trachsel were on the mound instead of Maine and although Maine struggled, he managed to earn his 6th victory of the season against 5 losses.

Yes it is nice to see David Wright, with his 25th homer of the year, a double, a triple and 3 RBIs to boot, leading the attack. It was nice to see LoDuca, who was supposed to be resting his aging bones, hit a homer. It was nice to see Jose Reyes getting three hits after a night off, inching ever closer to the 200 hit mark for the season. And yes, 17 hits makes one cringe, worrying about the Mets saving some of those hits for the postseason but it was even nicer to see Lastings Milledge and Shawn Green bang out a pair of hits apiece.

Then again, the opponents were the Nats and the pitching, courtesy of Michael O'Connor, was less than how shall we say, top shelf, but it's easy to forget that back in May this same Michael O'Connor two-hit the Mets over seven innings to earn the first win of his stillborn career.

The story wasn't the victory or John Maine or the break out offence rather the story was the poignant reminder served of last season's miserable fate when Nick Johnson
suffered a fractured right femur in the 8th crashing into teammate Austin Kearns. Kearns is 6'3 235 pounds, more the size of an NFL fullback than a National League outfielder and the collision was, as they say, ugly. Weirdly reminiscent of last season's collision between Mike Cameron and Carlos Beltran.

It was so ugly Willie Randolph opened his postgame press conference by saying a prayer for Johnson's quick recovery.

"It's sobering, because you realize in a blink of an eye, things can happen that can take you away from this game you love to play," David Wright observed after the game. "It puts things in perspective and you realize how fortunate we are to play this game for a living."


The Phillies, winners of nine of their last eleven games, moved into the National League wildcard lead with a stirring 8-6 victory over the Florida Marlins. Food for thought: Shane Victorino and Chase Utley both had four hits apiece for the Phillies and Ryan Howard was walked a pair of times in four at-bats, still stuck on 58 homers and 143 RBIs in what will likely be an MVP season should the Phillies qualify for the playoffs.

Meanwhile Trevor Hoffman saved his 478th game, tying him for the All-Time mark with Lee Smith as the Padres beat the Pirates 2-1 and maintained their NL West lead over the Dodgers.

The Dodgers, inexplicably, were busy losing to D-backs, 9-3.

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