The circumstances are unfortunate - Hisanori Takahashi is only in the starting rotation because Jonathan Niese is on the DL.
But things might have worked out perfectly for the Mets, dating back to the spring.
Who knows - if Takahashi breaks camp as a starter, does he have this type of success? Did he need the bullpen time to ease into the transition from being a starter in Japan to a starter in the majors?
We'll never know - but it sure seems like this way worked well for him.
Takahashi pitched six scoreless innings against Philadelphia Wednesday night, giving up just five hits and striking out six. Most impressive from the Mets' box score - not just the 0 under runs allowed...but 0 under walks allowed - from the entire staff.
(I suppose I should also mention that the Phillies have not looked very good or very disciplined at the plate recently, but I'll focus on the positives for the Mets rather than the negatives of the Phillies.)
Takahashi has now pitched 12 innings as a starter, and has yet to give up a run. 11 strikeouts, 1 walk - his overall ERA is 2.13. He's just been a huge pleasure to watch on this team.
And who knows what will come out of this series against Philadelphia. The Mets are swinging the bats pretty well - after 8 runs Tuesday night, the Mets touched up Joe Blanton for five. David Wright doubled again (with one strikeout), Jose Reyes continued his hot hitting with another 2-hit game, and Angel Pagan also had a couple of hits.
What has also been refreshing has been the aggressiveness on the basepaths - the Mets have been running on the Phillies. Wednesday night it was Pagan with two steals and Luis Castillo with two - Tuesday it was Reyes with two.
The Mets have seen too many shifts in momentum in favor of the Phillies following a Mets-Phillies series the past couple of years. Perhaps this series - the culmination of their month-long test - could spin this Mets season in a different direction.
We'll recap the stretch, which began on May 1, tomorrow.