Nationals 7, Mets 5: Hisanori Takahashi Has Secured A Bullpen Role

Kiko Calero surrendered a 10th inning two-run homer to Alberto Gonzalez and Mike Jacobs grounded into a game-ending double play as the Nationals beat the Mets in Port St. Lucie today. Calero was one of seven relievers to appear and looked good in his first inning of work, striking out two and inducing a groundout. He struggled in his second inning of work, where he allowed the decisive blast.

Hisanori Takahashi's brief scoreless inning streak ended after he allowed four runs on four hits in three innings. He did strike out three while walking just one, and now boasts a 13:2 K:BB ratio in 11.1 innings this spring. According to David Waldstein at the New York Times, Tak2 throws six pitches and his catchers in Japan had a unique system for calling them:

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Waldstein also notes that Takahashi is a lock to make the team as a reliever, despite Rod Barajas describing him as "no less than a middle-of-the-rotation guy." Don't be surprised to see him make a few starts this season. Francisco Rodriguez, Sean Green, Bobby Parnell, Ryota Igarashi and Raul Valdes (who?) combined to allow eight baserunners but just one run in 5.2 innings.

David Wright had a big day, going 3-3 with a double and a stolen base. All three hits were well-struck. Luis Castillo hit a line drive three-run homer in the 7th, temporarily giving the Mets a 5-4 lead. I jumped out of my chair in jubilation, only to sheepishly sit back down upon remembering that it's a spring training game against the Nationals. Jacobs went 0-4 with a walk, and Gary Cohen nearly blew a gasket calling a Jacobs fly-out early in the game. The ball ended up about thirty feet short of the warning track but Gary's call, combined with SNY's camerawork, would've had you thinking Jacobs went about 450 feet deep over the right field fence. Apparently the wind was strong today.

Kevin Burkhardt interviewed Chris Carter during the game. "The Animal" sports a crew cut and looks like he just arrived for basic training at Parris Island. Carter said all the right things during the brief Q & A, basically stating all he can do is work hard and hope the powers-that-be deem him worthy of a roster spot.

The Mets face the Cardinals at 1:10 tomorrow. The game will be broadcast on WPIX.

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