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Takahashi more excited about starting than facing Yankees

New York Mets relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi (47)

New York Mets relief pitcher Hisanori Takahashi (47) throws in the top of the seventh inning against the Washington Nationals. (May 10, 2010) Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

WASHINGTON - The last time Hisanori Takahashi faced the Yankees, in a 2004 game at Tokyo Dome, Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada hit home runs. Fortunately for the Japanese rookie, neither one will be in the lineup for tonight's Subway Series opener at Citi Field.

Matsui, who was Takahashi's former teammate on the Yomiuri Giants, now plays for the Angels and Posada was placed on the disabled list Thursday with a broken bone in his foot. Takahashi said he was a little disappointed to be missing Matsui, but otherwise, he's not especially fired up about facing the world champions.

"I know everybody will be watching that game in New York," Takahashi said. "But baseball is baseball and I'm going to give my best effort."

Takahashi, 35, is excited, however, about starting again, a job he did for 10 seasons in Japan. Of his 245 games there, only 43 were in relief, but he began this year in the bullpen, where he was 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA.

"I want to stick with the rotation," Takahashi said. "But Jerry [Manuel] and the other coaches will decide what I do."

OF on Omar's radar

GM Omar Minaya attended last night's game between Middle Tennessee State and Kentucky in Bowling Green, Ky., to scout highly regarded corner outfield prospect Bryce Brentz.

A junior, Brentz was drafted out of high school as a pitcher by the Indians in the 30th round of the 2007 draft. He switched to the outfield and impressed with his ability to slug and, not surprisingly, his throwing arm.

The Mets pick seventh overall in the June 7 draft.

Iggy on way?

Ryota Igarashi pitched one scoreless inning last night for Buffalo. Manuel said the Mets could activate him from the DL Friday.

With Ken Davidoff

New York Sports