Originally posted on Midwestropolitan .

Much has been said about the last three spots in the starting rotation for the New York Mets.

Throughout the off-season, spring training, and the beginning of the season, there have been many questions.

During the majority of this process, Hisanori Takahashi has quietly taken the mound when asked and has pitched effectively.

Takahashi has made the most out of his last two chances to start, and in one Midwesterner’s opinion, has earned a permanent spot in the rotation.

I don’t care if John Maine’s tendinitis is miraculously healed and he blows away the field in the minors. Tak has shown he can be effective in getting big league hitters out.

Sorry, Johnny.

Prior to Oliver Perez and John Maine’s latest issues, there had been a talk of Takahashi being given a chance to start.

I was always reluctant, because I felt he was doing so well in relief. The last thing I wanted to see was an unreliable bullpen.

Fortunately, Raul Valdes has emerged as a pitcher who is perfectly capable of assuming the role Tak left behind.

Tak’s latest performance included six scoreless innings with six strikeouts, while allowing five hits.

The most satisfying stat?

Zero walks.


Jose Reyes Is Playing Like the Jose We Thought He Was

Having fun with the infamous Dennis Green quote never gets old.

One of the reasons why I love baseball is the game’s association with numbers.  Numbers rarely lie, so it is no surprise that Jose Reyes continued his hot streak by going 2-for-4 with two RBI.

One of his hits was his first home run of the year.

The numbers don’t paint the complete picture, however.

Reyes seems to be much more comfortable at the plate, and he appears to be seeing the ball better.  He is taking far fewer swings in which he looks completely baffled.

The Jose smile is back, along with the pep in his step as he moves around the clubhouse.

One could argue that his recent streak has brought back the swagger that we have all missed.

I hope it is here to stay.


Resting Rod

Gary, Keith, and Ron brought up a good point as they were doing the game for SNY.  At what point does Jerry Manuel have to think about resting Barajas more?

It is a slippery slope.

Manuel will be tempted to see how far he can push Barajas.

He has been their most clutch player so far this season, and has demonstrated that he has some much-needed pop for this lineup.  Barajas’ two-run double in the sixth gave the Mets a much-needed breathing room tonight.

However, he is a 34-year-old catcher who needs rest.  Manuel will be tempted to see how far he can push Barajas.


I Don’t Want To Hear Excuses about the Phillies Slumping

The Amazin’s have already accomplished what many didn’t give them much of a chance to do this week. They have won back-to-back series against the Yankees and the Phillies.

I understand the Phillies have had trouble scoring runs. I am a realistic person.

However, if the Mets were as awful as some believe, this would have been a prime opportunity for the Phillies’ bats to wake up.

Mets’ pitches haven’t allowed that to happen, and they deserve credit for that.


On Deck

The series finale gives us the most intriguing pitching match-up with Mike Pelfrey facing Cole Hamels.

Dare I say, break out the brooms?

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