The Headcase That Is John Maine

Nick Carlo@@carlo2612Analyst IIApril 15, 2010

DENVER - APRIL 13:  Starting pitcher John Maine #33 of the New York Mets pauses on the mound as he works against the Colorado Rockies during Major League Baseball action at Coors Field on April 13, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Mets' pitching rotation is their biggest key to their season.  Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, and John Maine are all key players for the Mets this year.  If two of those three pitchers have solid years then that will deeply help the team. 

As of now, two of those guys performed while the other didn't.  Mike Pelfrey and Oliver Perez both had good first starts.  On the other hand, John Maine's first two starts have been a mess.

He got hit hard in both starts, especially his second start.  The wheels came off in the third inning and he ended up allowing six runs in the third inning alone.  The Mets' pitcher must give their team a chance to win every time they pitch.  John Maine definitely did not do that last night. 

Anybody who is in the MLB is a good player.  Everybody in this league is talented, some are more talented than others but they all have a gift.  The one thing that separates the good players from the great players is the mental part of the game. 

The physical part of the game is huge, but that's not the only thing that makes great players great.  Like I said, the mental part of the game is very big.  A player can have all the talent in the world but a horrible mentality.  He still might be good, but he won't live up to his full potential. 

There are many players that fit that mold and some of them don't even qualify as good, maybe just average players.  This mental and physical relationship is huge with pitchers.

Pitchers must have the ability to calm down when runners are on base.  Just calm down and concentrate.  That helps pitchers so much. 

The New York Mets have recently had their share of pitchers that have been lacking the mental part of the game. The three that stand out are the ones I mentioned earlier.  Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, and John Maine.  John Maine has been the worst Mets pitcher so far this year.

He doesn't have overpowering stuff but when he changes his speeds well he can be very good.  That's not the only key to his success though.  He needs a strong mental part of the game.

Last night, I saw that his mental part of the game was horrible.  He was yelling at himself on the mound, walking around on the mound, constantly moving his hat around, and licking his hands way too much. 

All of those things contribute to a pitcher's breakdown.  Those showed that Maine's mind was not on the ball game that he was pitching in.  He was not zoned in and the Rockies hitters were taking advantage of that. 

Jerry Manuel has made it clear that Maine's next start will be huge for him.  If he struggles, he most likely will find himself out of the rotation.  He has the ability, the question is if he has the mentality.