July 21, 2006: Maine Shuts Out Astros
|Date: July 21, 2006|
|Mets starter: John Maine|
|Winning pitcher: John Maine|
|Key player(s): John Maine, Jose Valentin, Carlos Delgado|
|Key play: Valentin's grand slam, Delgado's home run|
In the bottom of the second inning, Houston starter Taylor Buchholz walked Carlos Delgado to lead off. David Wright followed with a single and Cliff Floyd reached on an error to load the bases. Jose Valentin then hit a grand slam to put the Mets out in front, 4-0. Delgado added a sacrifice fly to score Paul Lo Duca with another Met run in the bottom of the third.
Maine retired the Astros on one hit over the fourth and fifth innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Carlos Beltran hit a two-out double off Buchholz before Delgado homered to extend the Mets' lead to seven runs. Buchholz got Wright on a ground ball for the final out, but was removed for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth.
In the sixth and seventh innings, Maine again limited the Houston hitters to one hit. He walked Eric Munson to begin the eighth and then allowed a double to Adam Everett. John got pinch-hitter Orlando Palmeiro to fly out to right field and Craig Biggio on a fly ball to center. On Biggio's fly, Beltran threw home to nail Munson at the plate for the last out of the inning. Maine's shutout was still intact.
Maine retired the Astros in order in the top of the ninth. The Mets had a victory to start the weekend series. For Maine, the shutout was his first win as a member of the Mets.