John Maine: 2006 NL Eastern Champion Mets Pitcher (2006 - 2010)

John Kevin Maine
was born on May 8, 1981, in Fredericksburg, Virginia. The tall six-foot four right hander played college baseball for Charlotte and was the Conference USA Pitcher of the Year in 2001. .

Maine broke several single-season school pitching records including strikeouts and wins. He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 2002, and became one of the top minor leagues pitching prospects. In 2003 at AA he was 13-4 leading all minor league pitchers in strike outs (185).

In 2004 he was moved up to the AAA level, then debuted in the big leagues for one game on July 23rd. He allowed four runs over seven innings taking the loss & returning back to the minors. 

He returned the next year, that August he got his first win, shutting out the Blue Jays for five innings at Camden Yards. He finished out 2005 going 2-3 with a 6.30 ERA. 

In January of 2006 he was traded to the New York Mets along with Jorge Julio in exchange for Kris & Anna Benson. 

Mets Career:  In 2006, Maine started out in the minors but was called up when rookie Brian Bannister went down with an injury. Maine himself got injured and after some more time at AAA Norfolk finally was up for good in July. 

He began the season at 0-3 but then pitched a four hit complete game shutout on July 29th at Shea Stadium, against the Houston Astros. All of a sudden he got hot & pitched well enough to earn a spot as the Mets number five starter.

Maine went on to win five straight decisions, pitching at least six innings each time, never allowing more than two runs in any outing. He threw 26 scoreless innings just shy of breaking Dwight Gooden’s record of 23 scoreless in 1984. 

He just fell shy of Jerry Koosman’s team record of 31 scoreless innings pitched. Maine finish 6-5 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out 71 batters in 90 innings.

2006 Post Season-NLDS: He wasn’t expected to start the in the post season, but when Pedro
Martinez & El Duque’ both went down, Maine got the ball for Game #1 of the NLDS against the L.A. Dodgers. 

He got no decision pitching into the 5th inning, allowing just one run, as the Mets won the game & swept the Series.

2006 NLCS:  In the NLCS vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, he started Game #2 and gave up three earned runs in four innings, but didn’t get a decision.

He didn’t get the ball again until the crucial Game #6 at Shea Stadium in a do or die situation for the Mets. Maine threw five scoreless innings and struck out five Cardinals along the way, beating that years Cy Young winner Chris Carpenter, sending the Series to a Game Seven. The Mets lost that game & the series.

2007: That April, he was 4-0 with 30 strike outs & a 1.35 ERA, earning the Pitcher of the Month Award. In his first outing, Maine pitched seven shutout innings of one hit ball, striking out six in a 10-0 Mets win over the Cardinals in St. Louis. 

After a no decision, he beat the Marlins in Florida, pitching seven innings allowing just two hits & two runs. The Mets supported him in a 6-1 win over the Rockies on April 23rd. On April 29th, he pitched seven shut out innings, against the Nationals, earning his fourth win as the Mets won a 1-0 game. 

He went to 5-0 lowering his ERA to 1.37 after beating the Diamondbacks in Arizona. He took a loss to the Cubs & in the subway series before collecting another victory in Florida.

By mid-June, Maine was 6-4, then went on another four game win streak. On June 29th, he tossed an eight inning two run, four hit victory in Philadelphia. On July 5th he struck out nine Astros in a 6-2 win at Houston. Although he had a great first half, he was not picked for the All Star team. He was tied for the league lead in wins (10) and had 92 strikeouts with a 2.71 ERA.

He cooled off in the second half going an overall 3-5. But he stepped up pitching the game of his
life on the next to last day of the season. 

One Hitter: The Mets were fading fast after losing their lead in the NL East and John Maine threw a one hit 1-0 shut out at Shea Stadium against the Florida Marlins, giving his team new life. 

He had a no-hit bid going until two outs in the 8th inning, when the Marlins backup catcher Paul Hoover played spoiler & singled. 

Maine earned the win, allowing just the one hit, while striking out a season high 14 batters, over 7.2 innings pitched. Willie Collazo & Carlos Muniz finished off the 32nd one hitter in Mets history.

That game featured a bench clearing brawl, when Marlins catcher threw a punch at his friend Jose Reyes.

He finished the season leading the club in wins as well as losses (15-10) strikeouts (180) and HRs allowed (23). He posted a 3.91 ERA & averaged a strikeout an inning becoming one of the leagues durable starters.

2008: The next year he lost his first start, it was in Atlanta, but Maine rebounded back to win five of his next six starts, posting a 2.81 ERA by mid-May. Although he was allowing two to three runs per outing, he was 8-6 by the start of July. Soon he began to have arm troubles. 

After a stint on the DL in August he returned with three solid starts but discomfort in his arm finished off his season. He was shelved by manager Jerry Manuel so as not to jeopardize his pitching career. 

In 25 starts with 140 innings pitched he went 10-8 with 122 strike outs 67 walks & 16 HRs with a 4.18 ERA.

One of the reasons the Mets fell short of the playoffs is because they lost Maine in the rotation. He had bone spurs removed in the off season and was never the same pitcher again. 

 In January of 2009 he signed a one year $2.9-million deal with the Mets, as they hoped he could recover & return to form.

2009: In April he got no decision in his first start & then lost his next two starts. He then came back to win three straights, showing some signs of promise once again, as he pitched six full innings in each win. 

But after one start in June he was placed on the DL again & did not return until mid September. He pitched into the 5th inning twice going 2-2 that month. His strongest outing was his last on October 2nd against the Houston Astros. Maine went into the 7th inning allowing one run on five hits, earning the win. 

He finished up the season going 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA & 55 strike outs in just 81 innings pitched in 15 games.

2010 was even worse for Maine, it began when he allowed four runs in five innings at Citi Field against the Florida Marlins in the second game of the season. Maine was 1-3 with a 6.13 ERA in just nine appearances. 

On May 5th he was removed from a game against the Washington Nationals after just throwing five pitches.

Pitching Coach Dan Warthen
explained there was concern about his arm going into the game. During the game, none of his pitches reached 85 mile per hour.

 Drama: Maine got into a public dispute with the coaching staff & manager Jerry Manuel. Pitching coach Dan Warthen, called Maine a "habitual liar" when it comes to his health.

John Maine had arthroscopic surgery to repair his shoulder. He would miss the 2010 season & his Mets career was finished.

Mets Career Stats: In his five-year Mets career Maine was 39-32 with 467 strike outs & 270 walks in 5442 innings pitched. He posted a 4.17 ERA in 97 games pitched. 

Post Mets Career: In 2011 he was granted free agency & signed with the Colorado Rockies pitching in their minor leagues. 

In January 2012 he signed a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox but was released that May. He signed with the AL New York club & would go 8-5 at AAA Scranton before being granted free agency.

In 2013 Maine signed with the Miami Marlins & made the Opening Day roster. He got into four games, pitching seven innings in total, but allowed ten earned runs & was designated for assignment.

Maine ended his eight year career going 41-36 with a 4.45 ERA. He struck out 499 batters walked 270 in 593 innings pitched in 112 games, with 105 starts.

Retirement: In 2015 he coached as an assistant with his alma mater, the Charlotte 49ers.


Popular posts from this blog

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

Remembering Mets History (1979) SNL's Chico Escuela Visits Mets Spring Training & Attempts a Career Comeback