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Ollie's spot in rotation in jeopardy?

4/28/2010

Another Oliver Perez start, another early hook. Perez lasted just 3 2/3 innings in the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday. But thanks to the offense and a strong effort by the bullpen, the Mets still won the game.

Hisanori Takahashi got the win, pitching 3 1/3 innings, giving up only one run. Takahashi -- who was a starting pitcher in Japan -- threw 75 pitches on Tuesday, meaning he's basically stretched out to the point where he could replace Perez in the rotation. Manager Jerry Manuel was asked about that after the game.

"I'm gonna stay with Ollie," Manuel said. "Tonight was a difficult night. Very cold, windy. I don't think he could really get a feel for the baseball. When it's like that, you gotta take what you can get."

"I think we need Ollie," Manuel continued. "We need Ollie to get it right. We need Ollie to figure it out. He's one of the guys that we felt leaving spring training would be one of our guys, so we gotta give him every opportunity to do that. And we feel very confident that he can get it done."

WHAT A RELIEF? Jason Bay's homer in Game 1 of the doubleheader was his first of the season and as a Met. His last home run came on Sept. 21, 2009, with the Red Sox, against the Royals. He'd gone 108 at-bats without a home run -- the longest homerless streak of his career.

After the doubleheader, Bay said he was happy about the home run, but that the homerless streak hadn't bothered him too much.

"It wasn’t something that was looming over my head by any means," Bay said. "I started off slow [this season], and hopefully at the end of the year, things will be relatively close to where they've always been."

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright showed signs of breaking out of his slump on Tuesday. He also reached a major milestone.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Wright collected his 1,000th career hit. He is the eighth Met to reach 1,000 hits with the team, and the quickest to do so, in only his 868th game.

A great stat from Elias Sports Bureau: Only three players have recorded their first 1,000 hits for a New York team in as few games while having as many homers as Wright (143 HR): Babe Ruth (795 G, 255 HR), Lou Gehrig (826 G, 165 HR), and Joe DiMaggio (711 G, 173 HR).

STRANGE DAY: Tuesday’s straight doubleheader, necessary because of Monday’s rainout, was an unusual day for the players. Citi Field was unusually empty for the first game's 4:10 p.m. start.

"Even though we're here in New York, at some point it felt like we were down in Port St. Lucie playing a spring training game," Johan Santana, the starting pitcher in the first game, said. "It was just overall a crazy day."

To make things even crazier, the Mets and Dodgers will be back in action on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. -- meaning the teams are essentially playing three games in a 24-hour period.