2 Erstad, RF
14 Bourn, CF
10 Tejada, SS
17 Berkman, 1B
27 Blum, 3B
21 Wigginton, LF
31 Newhan, 2B
41 Backe, RHP
7 Reyes, SS
4 A. Reyes, 2B
5 Wright, 3B
21 Delgado, 1B
15 Beltran, CF
28 Murphy, LF
19 Church, RF
23 Schneider, C
33 Maine, RHP
UPDATE, 6:54 p.m.: This will be your in-game thread tonight as John Maine (10-7, 3.82) opposes Brandon Backe (7-12, 5.62).
Backe has struggled vs. the Mets in his career. Carlos Beltran is 5 for 12, and Carlos Delgado is 3 for 10 with a home run and three walks.
Overall, Backe is 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA in six career outings, four of which are starts.
John Maine, on the other hand, is 3-0 with a 1.57 ERA in three career starts against the Astros. He’s struck out 16 and walked just four.
UPDATE, 7:13 p.m.: Who said John Maine hadn’t been sharp lately? Nine pitches in the first, two strikeouts, 91 MPH on the gun…not bad.
UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Things turned ugly for Maine and the Mets here in the third. Ironically, despite all the talk about his velocity dipping it doesn’t appear to be the issue. He’s been in the 90s all game. On the brushback to Miguel Tejada he actually hit 94 on the gun, and was at 93 earlier in the at-bat.
I dunno. Maybe it’s just a poor start.
Before the game Jerry Manuel told Dan Warthen, “I want your eagle-eye on him tonight.” Warthen’s eagle-eye can’t like what he’s seen: five runs, five hits and 60 pitches in three innings.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: Bring back Castillo! Reyes is 0 for 2 and 2 for his last 12 with no walks.
Seriously though, I know the club is playing well, but Castillo may be the best option at this point. Easley’s last extra-base hit was on Aug. 2, and Reyes hasn’t had one since July 25. The idea that Castillo won’t provide adequate pop is absurd. These guys haven’t either.
UPDATE, 8:19 p.m.: Hey, maybe chemistry accounts for something. Why? Get a load of this:
Mets with Castillo â€” 28-37
Mets without Castillo â€” 44-20
UPDATE, 8:25 p.m.: Rejoice Met fans! Daniel Murphy’s walk was the Mets first baserunner in their last 35 batters. Roy Oswalt retired the last 20 hitters he faced yesterday and Brandon Backe retired the first 14 tonight. Ugly.
The Mets last hit was Brian Schneider’s home run last night.
UPDATE, 8:35 p.m.: If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about Ryan Church tonight, it’s that he looks tentative in the field. That’s the third in-between ball he’s let drop in. All three were tough plays â€” probably too tough to expect him to make â€” but it’s either his hesitance or a reluctance to go full-out.
His glovework was one of the Mets highlights in April and May.
UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Here’s the line on John Maine tonight: 5 2/3 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.
Here’s the line on Maine since June 30 (his last nine starts): 2-2 (four ND), 5.09 ERA, 38 H, 28 BB, 43 K.
In spring training he looked like a budding ace. Not anymore.
UPDATE, 9:26 p.m.: Brian Schneider now has four home runs in his last six starts. He’s also 14 for 43 in his last 14 games, good for a .326 clip.