Game 96: Win

Mets 7 Astros 0

Wow … what more can you say about John Maine, who threw a four-hit, complete-game shutout.

OK, we enjoyed it, it was beautiful, kudos to John … now let’s fall back to earth and look at this in perspective.

The Astros have been struggling at the plate of late. In addition, they’ve never seen John Maine, and since he’s only pitched a few times, there’s little or no scouting report. So let’s not expect Maine to suddenly turn into Francisco Liriano.

At the same time, let’s also give credit where credit is due. John Maine threw an outstanding ballgame, consistently getting ahead of batters and pounding the zone with lots of strikes. So, putting the game in perspective, if this is the best that Maine can do, and his July 1 start vs. the Pirates the worst he can do, then the guy in middle should shape up to be a nice #4 or #5 starter.

Unfortunately, the Mets staff is riddled with back-end of the rotation guys. But maybe Maine’s emergence makes Steve Trachsel available in a package that could bring us a guy like Barry Zito (fingers crossed).

Maine was the “main” attraction in this game, but there were other stars. Chief among them was Jose Valentin, who has become something of a practitioner of the grand slam. His four-run blast in the second gave Maine a comfortable lead, and Carlos Delgado accentuated it with his 24th bomb of the year. Delgado looks to be out of his mid-year slump, and will hopefully start bombing away without recourse.

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.