Mets Who Spent One Year in Flushing: Hisanori Takahashi and his 2010 season
By Tim Boyle
Hisanori Takahashi spent only one year with the New York Mets back in 2010. Unfortunately, a unique stipulation in his contract ended the relationship after the season.
Someone could write a book on the most random New York Mets in franchise history. In fact, I’m sure someone already has.
Even in recent years, there have been some talented ballplayers whose time in Flushing fell through the cracks. You never hear or see them mentioned anywhere. Hisanori Takahashi is one of those guys.
In his one year with the Amazins back in 2010, Takahashi put together a solid season on the mound. The Japanese import made 12 starts and 41 relief appearances, mustering up a 10-6 record with a 3.61 ERA and 8 saves over 122 innings of work.
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Takahashi wasn’t meant to stay in an orange and blue uniform long. When he signed his minor league deal with them earlier in the year, the contract had a unique stipulation.
To land Takahashi’s services for 2010, the Mets had to agree to release him into free agency by October 31, 2010.
The 35-year-old rookie’s demands were met. He left the Mets for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 where he had a solid season pitching exclusively in relief. Unfortunately for him, the end was already near. The late start in MLB allowed him just two good seasons before age began to catch up. He was never the same productive arm again after 2011.
What made Takahashi’s season notable is how he stepped into three different roles during the season. He began as a middle reliever, shifted toward the starting rotation, and then became the team’s closer late in the year after an injury sidelined Francisco Rodriguez.
This opportunity helped showcase Takahashi’s ability to adjust on the fly.
However, there were clearly certain situations where Takahashi excelled at more than others. In his 57.1 innings as a relief pitcher, he was 6-2 with a 2.04 ERA.
When he was a starter, we saw a different side of Takahashi. In those 12 starts which included 64.2 innings of work, he was 4-4 with a 5.01 ERA.
Takahashi’s final game for New York occurred on October 3, 2010, when he pitched a clean ninth inning in a loss against the Washington Nationals. Interestingly enough, this 14-inning affair included another Japanese rookie pitching for the Mets, Ryota Igarashi.
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Unfortunately for these two, in the world of Mets randomness, neither seemed to make an impression on the fans.