03/08/11 7:47 PM ET
Isringhausen's feel-good spring continues
Eying spot on Mets roster, reliever set for two innings Friday
By Marty Noble / MLB.com
Isringhausen faced five batters in the seventh inning. The first one hit a home run, and the fourth was hit by a pitch. And the pitcher and those who evaluate Mets pitchers were quite pleased by that they had witnessed. They saw velocity; pitching coach Dan Warthen said the reliever's pitches stayed at about 90 miles per hour. They saw stuff, which hasn't been an issue. And they saw unrestricted movement by the 38-year-old right arm that has been pitching baseballs to professional hitters since 1992.
And if they squinted just a bit in the direction of the nearest horizon, they saw Isringhausen pitching in the seventh innings -- maybe even some eighth innings -- in April, May and beyond.
"We've been real pleased by what he's shown us," Warthen said.
What Isringhausen demonstrated Tuesday was resilience. He pitched for the second successive afternoon, a test for any reliever of his age group.
"I felt better than I did [Monday]," Isringhausen said. And Warthen added, "His velocity was up from [Monday], too."
A homer allowed to Brian Bixler meant little to pitcher or coach. A 2-1 fastball that didn't obey led to the home run that went down the left-field line. The same circumstances two weeks from now would prompt a more obedient breaking ball with better location.
"Spring Training is all about testing yourself," Isringhausen said.
The next test comes Friday, when Warthen has two innings assigned to his sort-of new pitcher.
"And I shouldn't have any problems with that, either," Isringhausen said.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.