2007-08 Flashback: Dice-K and John Maine
As the PawSox open up a brief two-game series Monday night in Rochester against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, the pitching matchup made me stop for a moment and rewind the tape a few years.
Daisuke Matsuzaka rehabs tonight for Pawtucket (trapezius muscle) and will be opposed by former Mets’ starter, John Maine. The latter is best remembered for his 2007 season where he went 15-10 with a 3.91 ERA for New York while setting career-highs in strikeouts (180), innings pitched (191.0), and wins.
Signed by the Red Sox as a minor league free agent on December 30, 2011, Maine spent Spring Training in Ft. Myers before being released after the season began. He never made it out of extended Spring Training (but he did make the PawSox Media Guide). Maine then signed with the Yankees on May 25 and made his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre debut out of the bullpen on June 12.
A year following Maine’s best season, it was Dice-K who turned in his finest campaign. In 2008, the right-hander finished with a dominating 18-3 record and a 2.90 ERA. He finished fourth in Cy Young voting, his .857 winning percentage trailed only Cliff Lee in the American League, and his earned run average was good for third in the A.L.
Years after their two best professional seasons, Matsuzaka and Maine face off Monday night at Frontier Field.