Mets, Maine Beat Nats 5-2

New York- John Maine (1-1) got his first win of the season pitching 6.2 innings giving up five hits, four walks, and two earned runs to go along with four strikeouts. He wasn’t quite as sharp as we saw in spring training but it was good enough for a win tonight. Joe Smith finished off the seventh and the eighth innings. Billy Wagner closed out the ninth for his second save.

The Mets had an unusual power surge with home runs from Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and Ryan Church against his former team. Luis Castillo also had a quiet 3 for 4 night.

The Mets secured the series by taking the first two games of the three game set. They’ll finish the series tomorrow night at Shea Stadium with John Lannan (0-2) up against Nelson Figueroa (1-0).

Box score

ESPN Video Highlights 

MLB.com Video Highlights 

Luis Castillo Needs More Rest?

Multiple media sources are reporting that Luis Castillo told the press after last night’s game that he needs more rest. The good news is that Damion Easley and Marlon Anderson are capable back up’s at second base. The bad news is that we have to watch Luis Castillo with the Mets for the next four years. His contract will probably be one of the worst in Mets history. There couldn’t have been any other teams offering anything close to that.

From MLB.com:

“Sometimes, I do [need a rest],” Castillo said. “When I play three or four games in a row, maybe I can get a day off. I’m going to ask Willie [Randolph] about it.”

On Deck: April 12, 2008

Milwaukee Brewers (6-4) at New York Mets (5-4)   1:10pm   TV: SNY   Radio: WFAN

Ben Sheets (1-0) vs. Johan Santana (1-1)

What to watch:  This is a big-time premium pitching match up, ace vs. ace. Luis Castillo should return to the lineup for the Mets and Jose Reyes will probably be out with a tight hamstring.

Luis Castillo Day To Day

Luis Castillo left today’s game after four innings due to knee soreness. He’s had knee problems since he arrived in New York via trade with the Minnesota Twins last season. He blamed the cold temperature after chasing a foul pop up in the first inning for the pain.

Castillo expects to miss tomorrow’s game but may be back soon. From MLB.com:

“I’ll play when I’m ready,” he said. “I want to be 100 percent before I start playing.”

The Mets have Damion Easley and Marlon Anderson that can fill in. It would be nice to have Ruben Gotay right now.

John Maine in Mid-Season Form Again

The Mets beat the Orioles 1-0 today and John Maine was fantastic again. His spring ERA is down to 1.85. He went six innings giving up only one hit with six strikeouts. Luis Castillo was 2-3 with an RBI and Ryan Church was 1-3 and showed off his wheels by stealing second. He only had 3 SB’s last season and 2 CS. That just goes to show that Willie Randolph will run with anyone, which I like. I know the “moneyball” theory places little value on stolen bases but I disagree.

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Luis Castillo Back In the Lineup Today

Charlie Nobles of the Times reports that Castillo felt good today after playing in his first game of the spring. He had off season surgery on his right knee. He appeared to be hobbling around after his mid-season trade from the Twins last year.

Carlos Delgado hit a home run today. Hopefully, his spring slump will come to an end soon. It would be difficult to watch the Mets cleanup hitter go through another dreadful season like he had last year. He’s always been a streaky hitter throughout his career.  Maybe the streak will start going in the right direction.