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Saturday, May 21, 2011
O'Connor, pen getting job done

By Adam Rubin

Mike O'Connor to Jason Isringhausen to Francisco Rodriguez.

Yes, Mike O'Connor.

Since a May 4 promotion from Triple-A Buffalo, the southpaw has been lights out. O'Connor struck out Brett Gardner, retired Derek Jeter on a flyout to right field and coaxed a pop fly from Curtis Granderson for a 1-2-3 seventh inning.

In six appearances, O'Connor has limited opponents to one hit, one walk and one hit batter in 5 2/3 innings. O'Connor, who spent the entire 2010 season at Triple-A Buffalo, had last appeared in the majors with the Washington Nationals. He made 26 appearances (21 starts) between 2006 and '08.

K-Rod, meanwhile, has tossed 19 straight scoreless innings. And Isringhausen already has 11 holds, even though he was left behind in Port St. Lucie for the first two weeks of the season.

"Last year was the first time I was a full-time reliever really," O'Connor said after the Mets' 2-1 victory. "I got drafted and I was a reliever, and then I switched to starting for about six years. Last year probably halfway through the year I started getting comfortable in that role -- getting used to coming in late in games, guys on base and all that stuff."

Said Isringhausen: "I play catch with him and we work on his breaking stuff. He's got a curveball and a little slider. His main goal -- what we talk about -- is getting ahead [in the count] with whatever you want to get ahead with, especially against lefties. And then use that slider down and away. It's hard to hit."