Tag:Hisanori Takahashi
Posted on: June 29, 2011 4:27 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 4:41 pm
 

Twins win another 1-0 game

Ben Revere

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Twins just won another 1-0 game, their seventh overall 1-0 game and fifth victory in a 1-0 contest. Five of the seven games came at Target Field and the only two losses were on unearned runs.

Here's all of their 1-0 games this season:

June 29: Twins 1, Dodgers 0: Scott Baker went 7 1/3, allowing six hits and a walk, striking out 9. Rubby De La Rosa allowed just one run on six hits in seven innings for the Dodgers to get the hard-luck loss. The only run came in the first after Ben Revere led off the game for the Twins with a triple and Tsuyoshi Nishioka knocked in the game's only run with a dribbler down the first-base line.

June 18: Twins 1, Padres 0: Another great start by Baker, who allowed just four hits and a walk in eight innings, striking out 10. Padres starter Tim Stauffer went seven innings allowing six hits, one of them a Danny Valencia homer in the seventh inning.

June 16: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Right fielder Michael Cuddyer homered off of Mark Buehrle in the second for the only run of the game and one of three hits Buehrle surrendered in seven innings. Nick Blackburn gave up seven hits (all singles) in eight innings, walking one.

June 7: Indians 1, Twins 0: In Cleveland, Indians starter Carlos Carrasco held the Twins to just three hits in 8 1/3 innings, while Chris Perez came in for the final two outs. Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano went 5 innings, giving up three hits and an unearned run. Cleveland scored in the fourth when left fielder Delmon Young's throw allowed Carlos Santana to advance to third on his leadoff double, followed by an RBI groundout by Shelley Duncan.

May 28: Twins 1, Angels 0: Anthony Swarzak took a no-hitter into the eighth inning and Valencia's RBI single in the 10th gave Minnesota the victory. The Angels' Jered Weaver allowed just two hits in 9 innings, but Hisanori Takahashi gave up a single in the 10th inning and Jason Repko came in, Takahashi allowing three straight singles to decide the game.

May 3: Twins 1, White Sox 0: Liriano no-hit the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field and Jason Kubel homered in the seventh for the lone run. Edwin Jackson gave up six hits in eight innings for the White Sox.

April 9: A's 1, Twins 0: With two outs in the sixth, Blackburn gave up a single to Kurt Suzuki who moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error by shortstop Alexi Casilla for the game's only run. Minnesota used five relievers, while Gio Gonzalez allowed four hits in six innings for Oakland.

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Posted on: April 15, 2011 11:04 am
Edited on: April 15, 2011 12:08 pm
 

Pepper: Feeding Harpermania

By Evan Brunell

HARPERMANIA: Eye on Baseball's C. Trent Rosecrans took in a game between the Hagerstown Suns and Lexington Legends on Thursday. This is relevant because Bryce Harper was in the game. Rosecran's video below shows Harper taking batting practice as well as some great shots of him hitting during the game, in which he went 1 for 3 with a double.

BASEBALL TODAY: How big of a blow is the Joe Mauer loss to the Twins? What is the latest with replay and Major League Baseball? Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss the latest in baseball:

I AM 42: Friday is Jackie Robinson Day, where everyone will wear No. 42 to celebrate the breaking of the color barrier so notably demonstrated by Jackie Robinson. MLB.com has a website honoring Robinson, with MLB players discussing the importance of Robinson to the game. (Iam42.com)

HELLO, OLD FRIEND: John Farrell returns to Boston Friday as his Blue Jays come to town for a four-game series. Farrell made a major impact on the Red Sox during his time as pitching coach and there are nothing but good things said by his former compatriots. Now in Toronto, Farrell has to adjust to managing despite having zero experience in that role. (Boston Globe)

THE REPLACEMENT: Farrell's replacement is Curt Young, who spent years shaping the Athletics staff. While Boston's own staff is off to a poor start, you won't hear skipper Terry Francona disparaging Young. Nope; Francona believes Young is a great fit, while Young himself is still trying to figure out how to get the most out of his pitchers. He's already fixed a few mechanical tweaks with Clay Buchholz and convinced Daisuke Matsuzaka to start a different regimen. (Boston Herald)

RUN, DODGER, RUN: Davey Lopes' impact as baserunning coach for the Dodgers is already remarkable as they are tied with the Padres for most steals in the NL and could double their total from last season. The success rate is also way up. While part of that is thanks to signing the speedy Tony Gwynn, Jr., Lopes has made a big impact on the team as a whole. (Los Angeles Times)

PAGING OSCAR GAMBLE: Coco Crisp broke out a new look Thursday, doing away with his braids and going with an Oscar Gamble-esque look. And really, there's no better team to break out the hairdo with than the Athletics, with their history of follicial accomplishments. (San Francisco Chronicle)

DOUBLE THE PLEASURE: Having two left-handers in the bullpen is something of a luxury for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and he's enjoying the heck out of it, especially since Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi can fill several roles. (Los Angeles Times)

LONG-LASTING RELIEF: Guillermo Mota has been one of the hardest-worked relievers in the game since 1999, and he's still kicking as he's made the Giants the last two years off a minor-league deal. (San Francisco Chronicle)

HOLD ME BACK: Evan Longoria is so pleased with his rehab from a strained left oblique that he's relying on the trainers to keep him on a tight schedule instead of accelerating the process. The Rays plan to take it conservatively with Longoria so he is fully healed and can provide his bat all season. (Tampa Tribune)

UTLEY UPDATE: There's still no timetable for second baseman Chase Utley's return, but the Phillies hope he can get onto a field in May. He did some running Wednesday, but it's still anyone's guess how long Utley will be out with patellar tendinitis. Additionally, Ryan Howard deemed himself healthy after experiencing soreness when plunked on the right wrist Wednesday night by Washington's John Lannan. (Philadelphia News)

WATCH OUT! Yep, the third video in Pepper, this one showcases one of the grounds crew falling under a tarp being rolled out at the Royals game. Despite trying to warn his co-workers, he literally had the metal canister rolled over him:

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Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Pepper: Japanese players coping

Daisuke Matsuzaka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes the nature of our 24/7 news cycle makes us forget -- or at least move on from -- even the biggest of news stories get lost in the next big story.

Even though Japan is still dealing with the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami -- and will be for years -- we're not hearing as much about Japan right now. It's only natural. But that doesn't mean that everything's OK there.

Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa went to Japan last weekend and was deeply moved by what he saw.

"It was pretty disastrous," Igawa told the New York Daily News through an interpreter. "The roads were a mess, and when I was home, the water wasn't running. It was pretty hard for me."

Igawa's parents and family are OK, but keep in mind his hometown of Oarai well south of the epicenter and 100 miles from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima. He said his house didn't suffer flooding, but did suffer damage from the earthquake.

The Yankees allowed him to return home, where he spent five days and returned earlier this week.

"Compared to the rest of the country -- especially up north, where it was much worse, I feel really fortunate," Igawa said. "I wanted to stay home a little longer, because my family and friends are going through  hard time. But I also had to resume baseball, because that's my job."

Igawa will start the season in Triple-A. He's in the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract.

Many other Japanese players are trying to come to terms with what's going on at home, as well.

"Fortunately, I am a survivor, but it hurts, of course," the Angels Hisanori Takahashi told the Los Angeles Times through an interpreter. "It has definitely been difficult to focus on baseball.

"Seeing all the [TV] footage, you get a little numb, but it's a real thing. I have to keep my eye on the tragedy, but I also have to play baseball here."

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka said he's still too emotional about the situation to discuss it publicly, but he showed how he felt by giving $1 million to the Red Sox Foundation, which is giving all that money to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help fund relief efforts. The Red Sox said Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda have also made personal donations through the Red Sox Foundation.

Matsuzaka joins fellow stars Ichiro Suzuki (100 million yen, roughly $1.2 million) and Hideki Matsui (50 million yen, roughly $620,000) in making large donations to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.

BATISTA FINED -- Reliever Miguel Batista was the only Cardinal fined for last week's scuffle between the Cardinals and the Nationals. Batista hit Washington's Ian Desmond to start the fracas. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

BUCK FALLOUT -- We've already had Buck Showalter backpedaling about his comments to Men's Health about his comments on Derek Jeter and the Red Sox. Derek Jeter, not surprisingly, wouldn't comment on Showalter's comment. However, a look at the stats say Showalter's wrong -- Jeter actually doesn't get the calls on the inside corder. [ESPN]

TULO'S FINAL FOUR -- Finally, a Final Four that matters. You can now vote for one of four songs Troy Tulowitzki will use for his at-bat music. Well, to me they're all crap, but I'm not the target audience. Tulowitzki had "Party in the USA" last year, so the selections this year are just as bad -- "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha and "Yeah 3X" by Chris Brown. Vote here. [Denver Post]

THE LEGEND BEGINS -- I'm reading Jane Leavy's The Last Boy  about Mickey Mantle right now, so I knew about the legend of Mickey Mantle's home run at USC in 1961. Well, the Los Angeles Times remembers it too. A really cool story on the birth of the legend of the Mick.

MILLWOOD GOOD? -- Is Kevin Millwood really that bad? Looking at some of the recent pitchers to have 16 losses and an 82 ERA+ like Millwood did last season shows some pretty decent pitchers have done that before. [Baseball-Reference.com blog]

HE'S NOT FAT, HE'S BLOATED -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal explains he was bloated from medication, not fat when spring training started. Furcal ate contaminated meat in his native Dominican Republic in January and the drugs he took made him bloated. He looked big when he checked in, but he was just 193 pounds, about the same he usually checked in at. He's now at 188, just about where he likes to play. [Los Angeles Times]

D-BACKS BULLPEN ISN'T BORING -- Diamondbacks bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas has discovered bored, rich relievers will pay people to amuse them. So, Motuzas takes on dares to pick up extra bucks. Among the things he's done -- snorted wasabi, eater regurgitated yogurt, left hot balm on his shaved armpits for an entire game and gotten shot in the earlobe with a BB gun. Livan Hernandez once paid him $3,000 to drink a gallon of milk in 12 minutes. The two also had a deal that Hernandez could punch him in the junk for $50 a pop -- with a $300 bonus after every 10th punch. [Wall Street Journal]

BUT IS HE WRONG? -- An anonymous "MLB star" had several things to say to  ESPN the Magazine about the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, including "why isn't Cabrera paying a guy $100 a night to drive him around? Plenty of guys do that. That he didn't is a slap in his teammates' faces." [MLive.com]

ROCK THE KAZMIR -- Mike Scioscia didn't sound too optimistic about Scott Kazmir when he announced the lefty had made the team's rotation. If Kazmir struggles continue into the regular season, Matt Palmer may be an option. [Los Angeles Times]

TOGETHER WE'RE GIANT -- Our buddy Will Brinson loves the Giants commercials. I found them amusing, but still not as good as the Mariners commercials. I like the Cardinals ones better, too.

RIGGLEMAN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STATS -- You've seen some good commercials, now listen to a bad one. The Washington Nationals, MASN and Jim Riggleman are attacking stats in their newest campaign. Apparently a bunt or a "well-placed single" are "smart" -- and the walk is recognized as a good thing. But yeah, a pretty silly campaign.

THE NATURAL ON THE HILL -- Robert Redford will throw out the first pitch at the Cubs' opener on April 1 against the Pirates. [Chicago Tribune]

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Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:52 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 10:52 pm
 

Bobby Parnell excited to set up

ParnellBobby Parnell is ready.

After hearing that manager Terry Collins expects Parnell to serve as setup man, the 26-year-old was quick to agree.

"I’m here to do that," Parnell told ESPN New York. "I’m here to be in the eighth inning and hand that ball to K-Rod. I’m excited for it. And to actually hear it come from Terry is a definite blessing, and I’m ready for it."

Parnell spent all of 2009 with the Mets, but posted a poor 5.30 ERA in 88 1/3 innings. He was demoted to Triple-A to start 2010, but was called up in late June to finish with a 2.83 ERA in 35 innings. His demotion did wonders for Parnell -- even if he disagreed with it -- as he cut his walks from 4.7 BB/9 in 2009 to 2.1. His strikeout rate also rose from 7.5 K/9 to 8.5.

"I didn’t want to be there, obviously," Parnell said of his demotion. "But it was also a learning experience to go back down there. So I felt like it was a little bit of pressure taken off to go down there and learn a couple of pitches and to work on my stuff. I took it and did what I had to do with it. I didn’t want to be there. I felt like I could have performed well in the major leagues."

Parnell did say his changeup and splitfingered fastball made strides in Triple-A as he was able to work on these pitches. He also located his fastball better (which his improved walk rates indicate), and the Mets certainly noticed by promoting him.

However, the club did err in Parnell's usage after Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for the rest of the season after getting into an altercation with his then-girlfriend's father. Rather than throw Parnell into the closer's role, the old regime turned to Hisanori Takahashi. The Japanese import was able to save eight games in an excellent season as a swingman, which drove up his price. He later left to the Angels, leaving the Mets without a fantastic left-handed pitcher and lingering questions about Parnell's ability to pitch late in games.

"It would have been a good experience," Parnell said. "I think it would have definitely helped going into this year. But looking back is 20/20. It wasn’t my decision then, and it worked out how it did. I just have to go in this year and do what I can."

K-Rod is a free agent after the season, so if Parnell comes through with a strong 2011, the Mets could very well make him their closer of the future.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 2, 2010 3:14 pm
 

Takahashi to sign with Angels

Hisanori Takahashi Hisanori Takahashi, the former Mets left-hander, is close to a multiyear deal with the Angels, David Waldstein of the New York Times reports.

Takahashi became a free agent after the Mets wouldn't offer him a multiyear extension earlier this month.

Takahashi served as a reliever and spot starter for the Mets last season, going 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA with eight saves  in his first season in the United States. He appeared in 53 games, starting 12. As a starter, he was 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 6:20 pm
 

Mets fail to sign Takahashi

Hisanori Takahashi Hisanori Takahashi is no longer a Met, the New York Times reports .

Takahashi will become a free agent after failing to negotiate a new deal with the Mets. The Mets now must release him, and he wouldn't be able to re-sign with the team until May 15. The team had received an extension to negotiate with him until midnight tonight, but apparently balked at the asking price. He was reportedly asking for a multi-year deal worth between $4 and $6 million annually.

It seems like it would be tough for him to find that kind of money anywhere on the open market, but crazier things have happened.

Takahashi appeared in 53 games for the Mets, starting 12. Overall he was 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 122 innings. As a reliever, he was 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitched, with eight saves. He was 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA as a starter. He has stated that he prefers to start.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 5, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Window closing on Takahashi

Hisanori Takahashi
If reports on the bargaining positions of the two sides are accurate, Hisanori Takahashi is as good as gone from the Mets.

There is a midnight deadline (previously extended from October 31) for the Mets to reach agreement with the 35-year-old Japanese left-hander, who just finished his first season in the U.S. major leagues after signing a one-year, minor-league deal with the Mets.

Takahashi was good, bouncing from the bullpen to the starting rotation and ending up as the closer after Francisco Rodriguez was lost for the year. But Takahashi is seeking three years at $4-5 million per year according to Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated, and the New York Times says the Mets are thinking one-year deal with an option for a second and a total value around $3 million.

Negotiating is about compromise, but if those positions reflect what the two sides actually think is Takahashi's worth, it's tough to see them meeting in the middle by the end of the day. And Takahashi's first contract was written such that if he's not signed by the deadline, he becomes a free agent, which by baseball rules would mean the Mets are out of play for him until May 15.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: October 30, 2010 5:43 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:35 am
 

Mets still talking to Takahashi

Hisanori Takahashi The Mets have announced they've extended their window to negotiating with left-hander Hisanori Takahashi until Nov. 5.

Takahashi had a clause in his contract making him a free agent tomorrow.  If he doesn't reach an agreement with the Mets, he'll be a free agent and won't be able to sign a contract with the Mets until May 15.

Takahashi appeared in 53 games for the Mets, starting 12. Overall he was 10-6 with a 3.61 ERA in 122 innings. As a reliever, he was 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA in 57 1/3 innings pitched, with eight saves. He was 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA as a starter. He has stated that he prefers to start.

The Mets officially announced their hiring of general manager Sandy Alderson on Friday.

UPDATE: The New York Times reports the Mets' initial offer was for one year guaranteed, and Takahashi wants a multi-year deal. However, that offer came before Alderson was officially hired.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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