For all the talk about the Mets needing starting pitching, they are going through a stretch now where that seems inconceivable.
Game #63 at Orioles
After winning the first two games of their series at Baltimore behind RA Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi (who gave up one run in a combined 14 innings), the Mets have pitched to a major league-leading 2.31 ERA in June as they have won eight of their last ten games.
They look to complete the road sweep – it would be their first in two years, and first ever in interleague play – behind the sizzling Mike Pelfrey (8-1, 2.23 ERA), who is seeking his fifth straight victory.
The last three-game road series they swept was Sept. 1-3, 2008, at Milwaukee.
After RA Dickey’s strong effort Friday night, the Mets are seeking their first road series win of the season tonight at Baltimore.
Game #62 at Orioles
It would be their first since taking two of three at Florida, Sept. 25-27. They haven’t won two straight on the road since July 25-26, at Houston.
The Mets are a dismal 9-18 away from home.
The Mets have six of their last seven after Dickey’s outing, another in a string of strong pitching performances. In that span the Mets’ ERA is 2.22 ERA and giving up just two homers.
The lone poor start was by tonight’s starter, Hisanori Takahashi, who is 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA in his last two starts. This after going six scoreless innings in each of his first two starts, against Philadelphia and the Yankees.
John Maine will get another chance to join the Mets’ rotation, but one has to wonder if that would be the case if Hisanori Takahashi hadn’t spit the bit his last two starts.
MAINE: Feeling better
After two strong starts, the last two have found Takahashi being mauled. In his last start against the Marlins, Takahashi hit a wall around the fifth. Even in his two strong starts, he struggled to get through six.
The Mets think he’s better out of the bullpen.
“We like Takahashi as a pitcher,’’ manager Jerry Manuel said. “We think we have lost something in the bullpen when he’s a starter, so that’s a scenario that could work if and when John Maine is healthy and we feel he’s ready to be part of the rotation.’’
Maine threw a simulated game last night, and if he’s pain free today will make a minor league rehab start. Then it’s back into the rotation.
It didn’t look like that would be the case last month when Manuel yanked him at Washington after throwing only five pitches. The two got into it in the dugout and Manuel pulled Maine from the rotation, insisting something was wrong. An MRI then revealed shoulder tendinitis.
Hisanori Takahashi will get another chance partly because he deserves it, but also because the Mets don’t have much choice.
TAKAHASHI: Raked again.
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.