After a second straight win in relief of a Mets starter, 35-year old rookie Hisanori Takahashi is making a strong case to take over for one of the floundering starters in the rotation. Last Friday, he took over for John Maine in the fourth inning who left the game with spasms in his non-pitching elbow. All Takahashi did was strike out seven in three innings, allowing just one run and got his first win. He also collected his first major league hit.
In the second game of Tuesday’s double header, he took over for a wild Oliver Perez with the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth. This time he threw three and 1/3, allowing one run and struck out five. He got the win as the Mets scored 7 runs in the 5th & 6th innings. He pitched much better than Ollie. He threw one more pitch than Perez (75 to 74), but 10 more strikes.
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Jerry Manuel says he is going to stay with Perez. “Tonight was a difficult night. Very cold, windy. I don’t think he could really get a feel for the baseball. When it’s like that, you gotta take what you can get.”
Who knows how many more chances Perez will get? I think he’s already received his fair share, he hasn’t pitched well in at least a year and can’t seem to string more than 4 good innings together.
Who knows if John Maine will return to the form he showed in 2006-07? The oft-injured pitchers hasn’t had a full season since 2007 and his walks are up and strikeouts down.
Even if Manuel isn’t ready to make the move, its nice to have some one in the pen who has been a starter in the past, knows how to throw strikes and has proven he can get major leaguers out.
Takahashi pitched for the Yomiuri Giants (the New York Yankees of Japanese baseball) for the past 10 seasons. He compiled a 79-66 record with 15 saves, in 245 games. He has 1032 strikeouts in 1289 innings. His past three years have been amongst his best, going 32-15.
I have a feeling the Takahashi will be in the rotation at some point during the season. For all Mets fans, hopefully the sooner the better.