Game 82: Loss

Pirates 11 Mets 1

Um … just what the heck is going on?

After taking two of three from the Toronto Blue Jays, the Mets have had a meltdown. OK, I can understand being intimidated by the Bosox and Fenway and getting swept. I can sort of (but not really) understand losing two of three from the Crankees. But after dealing with the AL Beasts, you’d think the lowly Pirates (yes, they’re still in the league) would be a cakewalk.

Indeed, it seemed it would go that way. For the first four innings, last-minute replacement John Maine struck out six and walked none, shutting out the Pirates.

Then came the fifth.

According to the US Navy: “… terrible explosion on board Maine shattered the stillness in Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than five tons of powder charges for the vessel’s six and ten-inch guns ignited, virtually obliterating the forward third of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of Maine’s crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters in the forward part of the ship when the explosion occurred.”

Oops, that was the USS Maine, circa 1898. It was a second-class battleship sitting outside Cuba during the Spanish-American War whose gundpowder magazines exploded, thereby destroying itself (imploding). However, the report otherwise fits pretty succinctly.

John Maine imploded in the fifth, much like the USS Maine of 1898. After getting the first two outs of the fifth, all of a sudden he was walking people left and right, including the opposing pitcher. Somehow, he managed to escape the inning (and the game) giving up only three runs. The Mets, however, much like the USS Maine’s crew, continued to sleep or rest in the enlisted quarters for the remainder of the game.

Things got ugly in the seventh, when the usually lights-out Chad Bradford allowed five runs to cross the plate. His LOOGY buddy, Pedro Feliciano, must have felt bad for Chad, and gave up three runs himself, including back-to-back homers by some guys named Paulino and McLouth (or was it McMillan and Wife?).

Notes

For a while there, it looked like John Maine might be the answer for the #5 spot in the rotation. Maybe not.

Alay Soler was optioned to Norfolk to make room for Maine. Maine is likely to stay on for another start on Saturday, while Soler simmers in the minors.

Cliff Floyd had two hits, a walk, and a stolen base.

Jose Reyes looks hot again, as he stroked three hits, stole a base, and scored the Mets’ lone run.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.