Proving his spring was no fluke, John Maine pitched 7 innings of shutout, 1–hit baseball last night and the Mets demolished the Cards 10–0.
Truth be told, Braden Looper did a decent job in his first career turn as a starter. He kept the Mets scoreless for 5 innings and never got into serious trouble. A normal manager would have yanked him after 5 and use this as a start to build on.
But LaRussa is no normal manager. He dispatched Looper to the mound for the 6th and had no one warming in the bullpen, even though Looper was set to lead off the bottom of the inning. Perhaps LaRussa still thought Looper was a closer. More likely, he has zero confidence in his bullpen…and well he shoudn’t since his two best relievers are now starters.
After this series, the Cards should also question their faith in their defense. The outfield commited an error in every game. It’s only three games but the World Series champions have alot of issues. Good news for them: they get to play the 0–3 Astros next.
The Mets meanwhile couldn’t have done much better in their first series of the year. Great defense (at least 7 double plays turned), excellent starting pitching and plenty of runs scored. They will need all that earned confidence this weekend when they visit the revamped Braves. Can’t wait.
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