Tag: hisanori takahashi

Mets Game 104: Win Over Diamondbacks

Mets 5 Diamondbacks 4

The Mets confirmed their front office’s decision to remain status quo by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in dramatic fashion.

Hisanori Takahashi showed everyone why the Mets had no reason to trade for a starter by striking out 10 in 6 innings. Manny Acosta came on in the 7th and 8th to prove he was the only “acquisition” the Mets needed for the bullpen. And David Wright provided enough firepower to quell any thoughts that the team might need offensive reinforcements. Oh, and Jesus Feliciano gave GM Omar Minaya every reason to believe that the backup outfielder they needed was already in the organization.

Game Notes

Takahashi struck out a career-high 10 in 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks. He should continue to do well as long as he keeps facing teams that have never seen him before. Mark Reynolds in particular looked like he’d never held a bat in his hand before — he was completely mystified by Tak’s assortment of junk.

I am SURE Takahashi’s strikeout total had more to do with his skills than the fact that AZ strikes out more than any other NL team. After all, Mike Pelfrey didn’t strike out that many batters in his start on Friday.

Shocking fact: those 10 Ks represented the first time all year that a Mets pitcher hit double-digits in strikeouts. How is that possible?

Where are all the David Wright detractors? Please step forward and re-confirm your desire to see him traded away for prospects. Wright went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, and is now 8-for-15 with 9 RBI on the homestand.

Angel Pagan also had a good day, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, and 2 runs scored.

The Mets lineup after Wright was 1-for-19. However, that “1” was a leadoff triple by Jesus Feliciano, who eventually scored on a sac fly by Carlos Beltran to win the ballgame. At least the bottom 6 of the lineup makes the most of their rare contributions.

Bobby Parnell was hit hard, retiring no one while allowing 3 runs on 3 hits and a walk. His awful appearance comes one day after a similarly bad outing by Raul Valdes. After the game, a pumpkin was seen sitting in the parking lot outside Citi Field.

D.J. Carrasco, the pitcher who let the Mets back in to the game by allowing 2 runs in 2/3 of an inning, was one of the players acquired by the D-Backs at the trade deadline. Which gives us more evidence that the Mets were very smart not to go crazy trading for anyone.

Oh, and if you needed any more support for standing pat, the Braves were beaten today, in spite of acquiring Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth. Furthermore, the Phillies are 0-2 since picking up Roy Oswalt. So what do we learn from this? Deals at the trade deadline = instant suckiness. Omar Minaya is a genius!

This was the Mets’ 4th walkoff win of the season.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Daniel Hudson, a young righthander who was acquired by Arizona from the White Sox a few days ago in a trade for Edwin Jackson.


Mets Game 96: Loss to Dodgers

Dodgers 2 Mets 0

Anyone else feel like they are in a time warp, sent back to the 1970s? Anyone else expecting to see Jon Matlack take the hill, with John “The Hammer” Milner playing first base and Jerry Grote behind the plate?

It sure feels like that, as the Mets’ anemic bats were shut out again, and again a brilliant pitching performance was wasted.

This time, though, you couldn’t blame Jason Bay, since he wasn’t in the lineup. And you couldn’t blame Jeff Francoeur, since he had two of the Mets’ five hits. And further, the Mets lost despite having Josh Thole, Ike Davis, and Chris Carter in the lineup.

Can it get any worse?

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi was, as mentioned, brilliant. Seven innings, two runs three hits. Unfortunately, Hiroki Kuroda was more than brilliant — or, were the Mets hitters that non-brilliant?

I can’t even pin this one on Carlos Beltran, since he had the day off.

Next Mets Game

Game two of this four-game series begins at 10:10 PM EST on Friday night. Johan Santana faces Vicente Padilla. Whether the Mets hitters remember to bring their bats to the game is TBD.


Mets Game 91: Loss to Giants

Giants 8 Mets 4

The good news is that the Mets finally scored. The bad news is they have lost their first series of the second half.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi started out well, retiring the first three batters he faced. Things changed in the second inning, however, when Buster Posey led off with a double to start a five-run rally. Posey hit a solo homer an inning later, and Takahashi was removed from the game after 2 2/3 innings. By the time he found a seat in the dugout, Tak had allowed 6 earned runs on 7 hits and a walk, including two homers. Ouch.

In addition to his offensive prowess, Posey impresses me with his work behind the plate. Particularly, I like the way he receives the ball, catching the side of it instead of the back (as most catchers do). It makes a difference in presenting the pitch to the umpire, and negates the need to “frame” or ease the mitt back into the strike zone. A perfect example was his catch of a called strike three against Ruben Tejada in the fifth.

The Mets were scoreless through 24 consecutive innings before Ike Davis dumped one into the drink. They also had scored in only 3 of their past 45 innings prior to Davis’ blast. The last Met to score before Carlos Beltran was Jesus Feliciano, who was sent to the minors a week ago.

Davis hit two homers, both mammoth blasts. Unfortunately, it didn’t matter.

Josh Thole rapped another pinch-hit and is hitting over .500. Any day now we can expect SNY / the Mets hype machine to start comparing Thole to Pete Rose.

Chris Carter also had another pinch-hit single. At least the subs can hit. Which makes you wonder why they’re on the bench and not in the starting lineup.

Carlos Beltran hit a triple and a single. His defense was a little off, though, as a few baseballs zipped past him in center that he normally would run down. It could be more a matter of not being in the outfield against the speed of MLB hitting as opposed to a physical limitation.

Ruben Tejada was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning — it was his sixth HBP in a little over 100 plate appearances. I’m starting to wonder if young Ruben has a problem seeing the baseball — i.e., maybe he needs an eye exam. I’m not trying to be funny, I’m serious — it seems like he is not recognizing pitch location as early as he should.

The Mets mounted a mild rally in the ninth that was extinguished by Brian Wilson, who threw four pitches to earn his 25th save of the season.

My father-in-law watched the game with me and commented, “one thing you can always count on during a Mets game — you’ll see a lot of hitting”. Um …

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series begins at 4:05 PM EST on Sunday afternoon. Johan Santana faces Jonathan Sanchez in an attempt to avoid a sweep.


Updated: Replacements for Hisanori Takahashi

Note: This is an edited version of my post from the other day. As several readers pointed out, I calculated Takahashi’s FIP incorrectly.

The updated stats include Takahashi’s start from last night. In light of some new info, I made very slight changes in the wording, but the thesis still holds.


In eight starts, here are Hisanori Takahashi’s numbers to date:


Mets Game 77: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 6

Ugh … as in, “Ugh-la”.

Dan Uggla bounced a grounder through the middle of the artificial infield to bring home Jorge Cantu from second base to give the Fish a 7-6 victory in the bottom of the ninth in San Juan.

I guess you call that a “walkoff single”? Hmm … the ring of it is underwhelming, but the result is the same.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi was pitching a perfect game until opposing pitcher Nate Robertson dribbled a grounder through the infield in the bottom of the third. Then, it was like a dam broke, as seven consecutive Marlins reached base in the inning. One of them reached home on one swing — Hanley Ramirez, who blasted a no-doubter grand slam to apply the damage of the inning.

By the time Takahashi left the game, he had hurled 5 2/3 innings, and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.

The bullpen more or less held the fort until Feliciano gave up a double to Jorge Cantu and then the fateful single by Ugh-la.

Jerry Manuel made the mysterious move of bringing in Francisco Rodriguez in the 8th inning, down two runs, to face the bottom of the Marlins lineup. I can understand wanting to get K-Rod into the game to get work. But why not wait until the 9th?

Manuel also chose to pitch to Dan Uggla in the 9th with first base open. I understood the decision — the idea was that Pedro Feliciano would nibble outside the strike zone in the hopes that Uggla would chase something and either strike out or not get good wood on the ball — and if he didn’t take the bait, the worst that would happen would be a free pass. However, Feliciano got too much plate, Uggla had choked up on the bat looking to poke something through the infield, and the rest was history. Some may criticize Manuel for pitching to Uggla, but I don’t know that it was such a bad idea. However, the K-Rod decision was a bit puzzling.

David Wright hit 3 unproductive singles and was thrown out stealing in the first frame. The only other Met with more than one hit was Ruben Tejada, who stroked two singles, drove in a run, and scored one.

Chris Carter hit a key pinch-hit double to set up Josh Thole’s pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the ninth. Maybe one or both of them should’ve been in the game from the get-go … but, there was a lefty starter on the mound, and we all know that lefthanded hitters can’t hit lefthanded pitchers.

Next Mets Game

The Mets will try to salvage at least one game in San Juan on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM. Ace starter Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Chris Volstad.


Replacements for Hisanori Takahashi

Note: this is a post written by MetsToday sabermetric guru Matt Himelfarb

In seven starts, here are Hisanori Takahashi’s numbers to date:

38.1 IP
15.85% K rate
7.32% BB rate
1.31 HR/9
8.62% HR/FB
5.16 FIP

Those numbers are unworthy of a spot in the rotation, even for a fifth starter. The long-ball has been Takahashi’s undoing, but that is what happens when you have a 38% GB rate. At the very least, I would prefer to see a back-end starter with mediocre peripherals eat some innings, but Takahashi is a five-six inning pitcher at this point.

I used to be wholeheartedly against dealing for the Kevin Millwoods and Fausto Carmonas of the world. Given Takahashi’s initial success, I thought it would be a linear move at the best.

It has now become imperative, however, that the Mets replace Takahashi.


Mets Game 72: Loss to Tigers

Tigers 6 Mets 5

The bright side: the Mets won the series.

Also on the bright side: the Mets kept fighting through the very end of the game, despite falling behind early.

These are NOT the 2008 nor 2009 Mets.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi allowed 6 runs on 8 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings. He did strike out 4, though, so there was that. A few of the Tigers seemed to be looking for and sitting on the changeup — particularly Magglio Ordonez, who redirected one over the fence.

In a terrible dose of bad luck, the Mets demoted LOOGY / long reliever Raul Valdes prior to the game to make room for Josh Thole, who was needed as a backup with Rod Barajas suffering with a back problem. If Valdes were on the club, it’s possible he would have relieved Tak before the damage was done. At the same time, I’m not convinced that Valdes would’ve made a difference — for all we know, he would’ve tossed more gas on the fire. It’s not like Valdes reminds people of Sparky Lyle out of the ‘pen.

Jesus Feliciano went 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored while filling in for Angel Pagan, who is suffering from spasms in his rib cage. However, Feliciano took it easy in running from second to third on single by David Wright in the fourth, and he might’ve made it all the way home had he busted it. It’s the little things, folks …

David Wright had two hits and an RBI, which was his 20th run against the American League this year — breaking the club mark for interleague RBI in a single season (previously 19 by Mike Piazza in 1999). Wright’s 57 RBI are the most in the National League, and he also leads the NL with 23 RBI in June.

Chris Carter had an RBI single in the 7th after entering the game as part of a double switch when Takahashi was removed. Carter is now 5-for-10 with three extra-base hits and 12 RBI with RISP this year. Not too shabby, eh?

Carter drove in Ruben Tejada, who had another single and in turn extended his hitting streak to 8 games.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Minnesota Twins for a three-game series this weekend in Flushing. Game one begins at 7:10 PM. Mike Pelfrey faces Kevin Slowey.


Mets Game 67: Win Over Yankees

Mets 4 Yankees 0

Many criticize Jerry Manuel’s in-game management. But those are the people who are living in the moment, and seeing only the immediate results.

To be a great, brilliant manager like Jerry Manuel, one must have a keen understanding of the rhythm of a game, and to anticipate events far in the future.

For example, with the Mets up by four entering the ninth, many were up in arms when Raul Valdes stepped to the mound. Clearly, they did not have the foresight to envision exactly the matchup that Jerry did, which was K-Rod vs. Derek Jeter with the bases loaded.

A light bulb just went on in your head, didn’t it? Admit it, you just had one of those “ah-ha!” moments.

It’s OK … you and I and many others are mere mortals. It is why we are where we are, and Jerry Manuel earns three-quarters of a million dollars a year toiling in a Major League dugout.

You would think, though, that Jerry would yearn to use his rare intellect for tasks of more import to the human race, such as cancer research, or peace talks. Perhaps some day. Until then, cherish the time we have with him as manager of the New York Mets.

Game Notes

Who does Hisanori Takahashi think he is? He continued his domination of the mighty Yankees for another six innings, allowing no runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. The Bronx Bombers flailed, reached, and whiffed, only rarely hitting a ball squarely. If this were a World — rather than Subway — Series, I might consider bringing Takahashi back on Sunday for a few innings.

Similarly, LOOGY-no-more Pedro Feliciano spun two shutout innings of relief in his MLB-leading 40th appearance, retiring both lefties and righties. The only concern is that he expended 29 pitches in the process. In the past 8 days, Feliciano has thrown 98 pitches — not counting the inexplicable dozen or so warmups in the bullpen on Wednesday. Is that too much work? Will he be available on Saturday, and/or Sunday? Somewhere Fernando Nieve is attempting to scream through a cleave gag.

Jose Reyes and Jeff Francoeur each had two hits including a double.

Ike Davis drove in the Mets’ first run with a single in the first frame.

Angel “Carlos Who?” Pagan drove in two insurance runs with a clutch double in the 8th.

Fernando Rodriguez did an admirable job of keeping fannies in the seats in the 9th, walking slugger Brett Gardner to load the bases before striking out Jeter and getting a popup from Nick Swisher to end the game.

Luis Castillo remained on the DL and nowhere near Yankee Stadium, so he had no chance of botching this game.

Beyond the decision to bring in Valdes in the 9th, another glaring move by Manuel was his choice of Fernando Tatis to pinch-hit for Chris Carter in the 8th, with two men on and two out and LHP Boone Logan on the mound. First off, Tatis hadn’t been to bat in five days. Second, lefthanders are hitting almost 30 points higher (.278 to .250) vs. Logan this year. Third, Carter is hitting .500 (3-for-6) vs. LHP in MLB this year, and was hitting .370 (10-for-27) with a .915 OPS vs. LHP in AAA. But I guess Manuel had a good idea about the matchup, or saw something in BP that we didn’t. As it turned out, Tatis flied out to end the inning.

Thanks mainly to Manuel’s brilliance, the Mets are 19-5 over their last 24 games — best in baseball.

Next Mets Game

The Subway Series continues on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 PM in the Bronx. Mike Pelfrey and Phil Hughes go head to head in a matchup of 9-game winners.