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A Simple Formula That Equals Success

By Mike Silva ~ May 27th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

The Mets continue to play the “Citi is Burning” on a nightly basis. The owner wants to be a GM, their best player insists to swing for the fences, the closer is an emotional roller coaster, and a former star turned the clubhouse into chaos. If you didn’t know any better I could be talking about the 1977 Yankees. Things have started to calm down the last couple of days, wins against the first place Phillies will do that, but more so because of the stabilizing mound influence of R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi.

Winning will calm even the most poisonous clubhouse. Even during the 9 of 10 streak there were doubts the Mets could consistently compete because of their enigmatic starting pitching. Everyone is comfortable with a 1-2 of Santana and Pelfrey. Jonathan Niese is a kid that is finding his way, so he can be forgiven for pitching like a fifth starter. It was the two creations of Rick Peterson, John Maine and Oliver Perez, that frustrated fans and the team alike. Each start was a tightrope full of baserunners, bad body language, and promises of a better tomorrow. After four years of waiting everyone had enough and it appears the Mets would be “rolling the dice” every fourth and fifth day with castoffs R.A Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi.

There is nothing exciting about R.A Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi. Sure, their names stand out, but if you flip to the back of their baseball card nothing jumps out at you. Dickey learned the knuckleball five years ago, but never has shown he can successfully pitch about AAA. Takahashi had some good years in NPB, but had a career ERA just under four in a league with watered down talent. Considering the Mets never have luck with Japanese imports there was reason for skepticism. While both may not excite you statistically, each does something that neither Maine nor Perez has conquered: consistently throw strikes.

Work fast, throw strikes, and change speeds. That’s all these guys do. No grumbling or stomping around the mound necessary. Don’t you think the eight guys behind them are appreciative of their fast work? Every one of their pitches is thrown for strikes, some in the 80 percentile range. Winning big league ballgames is difficult, but the aforementioned formula makes it easy.

Is this a mirage? Did Takahashi and Dickey catch two good teams in bad stretches? Perhaps, but the process makes me think it’s reasonable to believe they can provide you exactly what you need from the back half of the rotation. When Niese comes back you have a solid rotation that should keep you in most games.

Should the Mets look into Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee, Kevin Millwood, and Jake Westbrook? Yes, but I could live with Takahashi and Dickey as long as they continue to do one simple thing: throw strikes. If they do I like their chances to repeat success.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to A Simple Formula That Equals Success

  1. michael

    Takahashi in his last 3 years in Japan was 32-15 with an era around 3. He fell through the cracks and landed in the Mets lap.

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