Nov 23, 2012

Mid 2000's Mets Pitcher & Former Japan Save Leader: "Mr Zero" Shingo Takatsu (2005)

Shingo Takatsu was born November 25th, 1968 in Hiroshima, Japan. The six foot right hander pitched in Japan with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows for thirteen seasons. At the time he set the all time save record there with 260 saves, it has since been broken. In Japan he was known as "Mr. Zero" since he had not allowed any runs in ten Nippon Series championship games. I

n 2004 he signed on in the Major Leagues with the Chicago White Sox. Takatsu made a big mark in America, coming in second in the Rookie of the Year voting as he saved 19 games (tenth in the AL). He was 6-4 with a 2.31 ERA striking out 50 batters in 62 innings while walking 21. That year the White Sox finished in second place.

In the 2005 White Sox championship season, he had issues. He was eventually replaced after going 1-2 with eight saves while posting an ERA near six. Ozzie Guillen gave the closer job to Dustin Hermanson as Bobby Jenks was waiting in the wings. By August he had fallen out of favor with the Sox & was released. He was given a chance by the New York Mets signing on August 12th.

Takatsu debuted in Florida on September 3rd blowing a save in a 5-4 loss to the Marlins. Four days later he blew another save in Atlanta to the Braves. On September 26th he finished off the 7th inning in Philadelphia serving up a HR to Pat Burrell. In the top of the 8th the Mets scored three runs which earned him his only Mets victory.

He was granted free agency that November, after making nine Mets appearances going 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA, six strike outs & three walks in 7.2 innings. The following year he went back to pitch in Japan.

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