Johan Santana gets the most media love out of the Mets’ starters. Well, aside from trying to figure out who is going to get the number 5 position. But I want you all to keep a close eye on John Maine this year. He’s only entering his third season as a member of the Mets’ starting rotation, and he’s coming off a season-ending bone spur injury that required surgery.
But when Maine is on, he has dominating stuff, and has even flirted with no-hitters a few times for the Mets, something we all know too well has never happened for this franchise. He also pitched one of the more spectacular games for the Mets in recent memory on September 29, 2007, when he struck out 14 Marlins and led the Mets to a 13-0 victory that prolonged their collapse for one day.
Maine has only gone 31-23 in a Mets’ uniform with a 3.93 ERA and 373 strikeouts in 421 innings of work. He’s currently no higher than #2 on the depth chart, with a less-than-pretty spring so far, and a solid performance Sunday only lowering his grapefruit league ERA to 10.00. But Maine is still young and learning and coming off shoulder surgery, and I have a feeling he will not only throw a no-hitter someday soon, but he will contend for the NL Cy Young Award.
He’s got the stuff and, for the most part, the mental makeup. And wouldn’t his emergence take some of the pressure off Johan and the bullpen? I hope I’m right.