Mets 5, Phillies 0: Hisanori TaKKKKKKahashi

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Professor Rod Barajas said in spring training that Hisanori Takahashi is a "number three starter". The prescient catcher apparently has an eye for talent, as Tak2 has been better than most could have imagined. After dominating as a reliever, he has now thrown 12 shutout innings as a starter. And these aren't Livan Hernandez shutout innings -- Tak2 has a 11:1 K:BB ratio while in the rotation, including 6:0 in six innings of work tonight. Pardon the bromide, but the man knows how to pitch. Pitchf/x tracked six different pitch types by Tak2 tonight, consistent with this report by David Waldstein of the New York times. He pounded the strike zone and varied his velocity nicely, from a low of 67 mph to a high of 90 mph with many stops in between. This level of success probably isn't sustainable, but it's nice to watch a cerebral pitcher do this thing, especially contrasted with the "thrower" types (coughOliverPerezcough) the Mets have trotted out in recent years.

Jose Reyes continued his mini rebirth. He went 2-4 with a rocket home run and made a pair of smooth plays in the field. Another encouraging performance, to be sure, but some patience at the plate would be nice. He saw just 10 pitches tonight and hasn't drawn an unintentional walk since May 9. I'll cut him some slack though -- it was a fun night and he has made strides in various areas of his game. As Dr. Leo Marvin and Bob Wiley might say: "Baby steps". Barajas was the other hitting star of the game, driving in three runs via a sac fly in the 2nd and a two-run double in the 6th against an underwhelming Joe Blanton.

Let's compare the stats of two Mets relief pitchers. Pitcher A is no longer on the team and stats listed are from 2009. Pitcher B is a much discussed youngster who tossed a scoreless inning tonight, with 2010 stats listed:

K/BB xFIP tERA ERA
Pitcher A (2009) 1.18 5.06 4.99 3.97
Pitcher B (2010) 1.25 4.73 4.81 3.60

ERA is a poor statistic for pitcher evaluation but is included for informational purposes. Pitcher A is cult hero Brian Stokes, a hard-throwing replacement level performer. Pitcher B is Jenrry Mejia, a 20 year-old prospect currently pitching similarly to 2009 Stokes. Jerry Manuel talks about Mejia as if he's been 1996 Mariano Rivera but in reality he hasn't been that great. Internal options to replace him would only be marginally worse and their presence wouldn't stunt the growth of a potentially great starting pitcher. The reasons for sending Mejia to the minors continue to pile up.

Gary, Keith and Ron had an enoyable "process vs. results" discussion in the 8th inning. It centered around Jeff Francoeur, who went 0-3 on the night (with an intentional walk). Ron felt like Frenchy had a decent night at the plate but had nothing to show for it. There is some truth to this, as he hit the ball hard in two of his at-bats. Keith elaborated, pointing out that a 4-4 in the boxscore might be four bloop hits while an 0-4 could be four poorly placed line drives. Gary then invoked the words "process" and "results", music to my ears. While I admire Ron and Keith's defense of a nice guy who's just not getting it done, I would put Francoeur's season in the "poetic justice" quadrant of this matrix:

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That makes four fun wins in a row, including two against a true rival (that's the last two games, by the way). Mike Pelfrey vs. Whole Camels is the matchup tomorrow as the Mets go for the sweep at 7:10.

Poem by Howard Megdal

Takahashi, again, is scoreless through six
Sure seems like he is the Met rotation fix
Then Jose homers, with great catches galore
For second straight night, the Phillies don’t score
Team held by duct tape, you must be a dope
If you are, like me, just starting to hope

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* The Good Phight Gamethread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Hisanori Takahashi +33.0% (as pitcher), Angel Pagan +8.0%
Big losers: Jason Bay -5.5%, David Wright -3.9%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jose Reyes home run +9.9%
Teh sux0rest play: Chase Utley single -6.8%
Total pitcher WPA: +36.3%
Total batter WPA: +13.7%
GWRBI!: Rod Barajas

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by isles732; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 isles732 105
2 Gorfax 104
3 Evan_S 99
4 Gina 86
5 fxcarden 74
6 rcnt123 56
7 Brian. 42
8 KayGee 40
9 Syler 39
10 Michkin 37
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