Hisanori Takahashi was back to the form he exhibited the first time he faced the Yankees by throwing six shut-out innings to beat them, 4-0. He has now pitched 12 zero-run innings against the cross-town rivals.
Pedro Feliciano pitched two strong relief innings after Elmer Dessens gave up a leadoff hit in the seventh.
In the ninth, with the Mets up 4-0, Raul Valdes got one out but gave up two hits. Jerry Manuel then went to Francisco Rodriguez in a save situation. After loading the bases on a walk in a tough battle against Brett Gardner, K-Rod got the final two outs. It was the second bases-loaded situation of the night and the Mets pitchers were equal to the task against a team that was hitting over .450 with bases loaded.
The Mets got the first of their four runs off an RBI single by Ike Davis in the first inning when David Wright just got around a tag by Francisco Cervelli at home. Angel Pagan, who has been great this season with runners in scoring position, knocked in two more in the eighth to give the Mets some more breathing room. Jose Reyes then hit an RBI double in the ninth for the last run.
Although the Mets won their eighth straight overall and seventh straight on the road, they are still a half-game behind the Braves. The Yankees are still in a tie for first with the Rays.
It looks like I was wrong about my earlier prediction that Javier Vasquez would edge Takahashi in what turned out to be a pitcher’s duel, but I’ll take it.
Mike Pelfrey will try to keep things going Saturday afternoon as he takes on Phil Hughes.