Our Maine Man!!
Last night’s game was a doozy! Where to begin!? Oh, right. Batting practice. Yeah, ok, so I knew it was supposed to rain, but I’m such an optimist. Surely the rain would stop in time for me to see my first batting practice!
Finally the game started at 8PM with–wait–that’s not El Duque. Nope. It’s Maine! Willie decided to put him in instead. Don’t we all wish we could hug Willie Randolph? When Rob saw John Maine walking with Rick Peterson from the bullpen, he exhaled, "Come on, Maine. Pitch the game of your life."
John Maine? Thanks for listening!!
The air was thick with fog, making photos fuzzy. But the excitement started in the second inning when we couldn’t believe that David Wright was safe at 2nd on an error (despite Phil Garner’s arguing), with Floyd at first. Valentin stepped to the plate and–as he’s been able to do in a clutch–sent the ball soaring for a screamworthy grand slam! We wouldn’t be giving up that lead, with an excellent double from Lo Duca that would turn into an RBI for Delgado on a sac fly still to come. And then, in a Carlostastic inning, Delgado knocked out a 2 RBI homer for him and Beltran! The smoke from the fireworks hung in the air for minutes, making the whole thing look like a fairy tale.
And how ’bout that DEFENSE?! The team owed Maine a win. But they gave him a shut-out! Starting around the 6th inning, I kept nudging Rob and saying "Hey, look at that pitch count!" Maine would keep it tight for most of the game, lasting 9 innings, giving up only 4 hits and 1 walk, and ending with a pitch count of 98. You go, kid!!
The rookie got into a bit of trouble in the 8th, but on what would have been a sacrifice fly, Lo Duca managed to block the plate and tag the runner out at home! We couldn’t believe it! A great play from Duc.
And how about Cliffy!? Not the best day for my man offensively, but he stole a homer away from the Astros and let Maine keep his scoreless game. We cheered him hard. Cliff also managed to foul a ball off his knee for some drama in the 8th, and to that, I can only say: Oh, Cliff. Just because everyone’s doing it, don’t go hitting yourself.
Winning fireworks smoke is the prettiest! Can’t leave you without shouting out to Cow-Bell Man and my #30. Check out more fun pics in my latest photo album. It did occur to me that our last complete game shut-out was…Alay Soler’s. Let’s hope that’s just irony, and that Maine will continue to add a much needed boost to the back of our rotation.
Off to Shea again Sunday! And Tuesday! Maybe I don’t bleed blue and orange like David Wright, but I think I probably shvitz it.