Hisanori Takahashi will get another chance partly because he deserves it, but also because the Mets don’t have much choice.
Takahashi has started four games; two sparkling and two stinkers. What the Mets have learned is when the unraveling starts it comes quickly, and trouble usually comes around the fifth and sixth innings.
He began to tire at this time against the Yankees and Phillies, and yesterday. However, he lost it early against the Padres, when he never had command.
The memory of the Yankees and Phillies starts, plus how strong he was until the Cody Ross homer yesterday, is what will keep him in the rotation for now.
Prior to yesterday’s game, hitters were batting .212 against him the first time through the line-up, but a robust .353 the remainder of the game. That says, at least on the major league level, he’s good for one turn around the batting order before things get tense.
Rod Barajas said Takahashi was making mistakes yesterday in his location, a clear sign of laboring.
What the Mets have learned, is Takahashi might be better suited for long relief, and that he’s a short-term solution to a long-term problem.
Hopefully, what they’ve also learned, is the bullpen should be cranking up around the fifth, so when the sixth comes a change can be made quicker.
There were several balls hit hard before the Ross homer, notably the line drive that ate up Jose Reyes. Takahashi should’ve been pulled then, but nobody was ready.
So, the Mets will have to play it cautious with Takahashi for now. If and when John Maine returns to expectations – or the unlikely chance the Mets trade for an arm – Takahashi will be the first one out of the rotation.
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