Game 110: Win
Mets 8 Phillies 1
John Maine pitched another six scoreless innings before giving way to the 100-pitch count; he’s now at 23 consecutive innings without allowing a run (still not even halfway to Don Drysdale’s 58 1/3, but impressive nonetheless).
For the second day in a row, a Phillies starting pitcher threw a ball to first that Ryan Howard couldn’t handle on a routine groundball. And for the second day in a row, the Mets took advantage of the mistake, this time hammering seven runs in the fourth, capped off by a grand slam by Jose Reyes. The granny was an absolute rocket, scorched high and far over the right-center wall and into the parking lot. Maybe the hardest ball Reyes has ever hit; even in slow-motion it looked blistered, leaving the stadium in a blurring hurry.
Though John Maine has not given up any runs in a long time, it looks to me like he might be having an issue with his mechanics. He has a tendency to either leave his throwing arm a little behind, and/or fall off toward first base just as he releases the ball. The result is he leaves his arm high upon release, and the ball floats up and in to the righty / up and away to the lefty. It’s not a huge problem, though it did seem to affect him in the sixth inning, when he had trouble throwing a strike. Hopefully the Jacket notices the issue and makes the necessary minor adjustment.
Royce Ring finally got a chance to pitch, as there was an eight-run lead (I believe the threshold is six for Ring—the same Heath Bell). Unfortunately, he quickly gave up a home run to Mike Lieberthal leading off the seventh, and got himself into a bit of a quandary by allowing singles to Jimmy Rollins and David Dellucci. However, he ended the threat by striking out Chase Utley looking on a wide-breaking sidearm curve.
Darren Oliver pitched a perfect ninth in his first appearance since his win in Atlanta on July 30th.
Paul LoDuca should bust his thumb every year. He has been red hot lately, collecting another three hits today.
Day off on Monday … then Steve Trachsel vs. Woody Williams and the Padres in Mike Piazza’s return to Shea.
Oh, by the way … the Mets’ magic number is 42 …