Emerging from the depths of mediocrity midway through the Mets historical 2006 run to the NLCS was 26 year old John Maine. He arrived to the “big show” early in May after now former Met hurler Brian Bannister went down with a severe hamstring injury.
At that moment, not one single Met fan could tell you who he was, or where he came from. He yielded four runs and fell short of going a respectable six innings in his Mets debut against the Nationals, days later he was summoned to the disabled list due to blister issues. To say Met fans were not overwhelmed with excitement after his appearance would be a severe understatement
Maine was an under the radar throw in, along with since departed Jorge Julio, in the deal that sent Kris and Anna Benson to Baltimore last winter. Upon his initial call up with the Amazin’s, he seemed to be nothing less, and nothing more, just a throw in who could make the occasional spot-start.
There is no situation that seems to effectively shake the confident poise of the Virginia native. Much like teammate Oliver Perez, Maine seems to take the field every time out with a chip on his shoulder. Both were foolishly given up and cast away by their original clubs, who are currently starved for pitching. Likewise, each started their Mets tenures un-heralded and under the radar in Triple-A.
A magical electricity runs ramped whenever Maine gets the ball. His heart and emotion is evidently left out on the field, and he delivers with a passion that makes it clear why Mets fanatics claim to bleed blue and orange
His twelve victories in 2007 have all come in nothing short of dominant fashion. He posts a 2.92 earned run average after his start against Washington earlier today in which he did not allow a run and surrendered only a first inning hit before retiring 14 Nationals in a row.
There is an undoubting, confident trust that is being built between Maine and the Shea faithful. If he has not already, he is rapidly approaching acclaim and attaining the title of “Mets ace.” You would be hard pressed to find another starter who you would not hesitate to award them with the ball in a must win game and demand from them a solid chance to win. In hindsight that is indeed what Maine strives to do each time out, and thus far he has been nothing short of brilliant.