April 23, 2010: Takahashi K's Put Away Braves

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Date: April 23, 2010
Mets starter: John Maine
Mets: 5
Braves: 2
Winning pitcher: Hisanori Takahashi
Key player(s): Hisanori Takahashi, Ike Davis, Jason Bay, David Wright
Key play: Davis’s home run, Bay’s triple, Wright’s sacrifice fly and single

The Mets faced the Braves on a Friday night at Citi Field. The teams played the opener of a three-game series. Hisanori Takahashi recorded seven strikeouts in three innings of relief in a 5-2 Mets win over Atlanta.

John Maine and the Braves’ Kenshin Kawakami each started the game with two scoreless innings pitched. Omar Infante singled to lead off the top of the third. Infante advanced to second base on Kawakami’s sacrifice bunt and to third after Nate McLouth’s fly out to center fielder Angel Pagan. Martin Prado drew a walk and Chipper Jones singled to drive home Infante for a 1-0 Atlanta lead. Maine struck out Jason Heyward to end the inning. Kawakami then hurled a scoreless bottom half.

Infante got a two-out single against Maine in the top of the fourth. Takahashi came in to pitch for the Mets and fanned Kawakami for the inning’s final out. Kawakami yielded only a double to Jose Reyes in the bottom half and Takahashi recorded two strikeouts to begin a scoreless top of the fifth. Leading off the bottom of the inning, Ike Davis homered to tie the game at 1-1. Jeff Francoeur grounded out to second baseman Prado and a fly ball by Rod Barajas was caught by left fielder Melky Cabrera. Takahashi hit a single and Kawakami retired Pagan on a pop-up to shortstop Infante to close out the inning.

Takahashi struck out the side in order in the top of the sixth. Reyes hit a triple with one out in the bottom half. Jason Bay tripled to bring home Reyes and scored on David Wright’s sacrifice fly for a 3-1 Mets lead. Davis drew a walk and moved to third base as Francoeur reached on an error by Infante. Kawakami got Barajas on an inning-ending pop-up to Infante, who doubled to open the top of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz flied out to left fielder Bay and a called third strike on McLouth gave Takahashi his seventh strikeout of the game. Infante stole third base and came home on a single by Prado. Mets’ reliever Raul Valdes then got Jones to line out to second baseman Luis Castillo and finish off the inning.

Pagan singled against Braves’ reliever Takashi Saito with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Castillo drew a walk and Reyes followed with an uncaught pop-up on which he was called out due to the infield fly rule. On the play, Castillo advanced to second base and Pagan scored for a 4-2 Mets lead. Bay walked and Wright singled to drive home Castillo with the fifth New York run. Saito then retired Davis on a ground ball to Infante that ended the inning.

Mets’ reliever Pedro Feliciano set down the side in order in the top of the eighth. Atlanta’s Jonny Venters gave up only a single to pinch-hitter Fernando Tatis in the bottom half and Cabrera singled against New York’s Francisco Rodriguez to begin the top of the ninth. Infante flied out to Pagan and a wild pitch sent Cabrera to second base. Pinch-hitter Yunel Escobar drew a walk and McLouth was called out on strikes. Rodriguez then struck out Prado to end the game. The Mets had a victory to start the series.

Notes

  • Takahashi’s single was his only hit of his major league career.