It's ironic...two years ago, John Maine had a phenomenal spring. He then goes out and implodes in his first start of the season. The season was mediocre, caused partially by injuries that plagued have plagued him ever since. It just goes to show that you can just throw spring stats out the window once the season begins.
Or least let's hope...A 1-3 record with a 7.88 ERA does not instill much confidence.
But tomorrow is game 2, so why not be optimistic? Would it really surprise anyone is Maine goes out and wins 15 games this year? Probably not. He has proven that he can be a dominant pitcher when healthy. In 2006 he was 12-2 at the break and was robbed of a spot on the National League All Star Team. Let's not forget the gem of a game he pitched against the Marlins during the final weekend of the season in '07. (Although the game was a huge tease because everyone in the stadium that day, myself included, expected that to be the end of the collapse.)
What's realistic? At minimum, Maine needs to win at least 12 games this year if the Mets get good performances from the rest of the rotation, which is a big uncertainty. If the rest of the rotation underperforms, then Maine needs to be a second ace and win at least 15.
My prediction: 14 - 8 4.05 ERA