Capuano shines despite injury

While Chris Capuano’s premature exit from Thursday’s game against Oakland with discomfort in the right side of his abdomen overshadowed his performance, Capuano showed no adverse effects of the injury during his time on the mound.

Capuano threw six scoreless innings and struck out seven as he picked up his sixth win of the season in the Mets’ 4-1 win Thursday. Capuano is 3-1 with a 1.08 ERA over his last four starts.

“I think I’m just executing a higher percentage of pitches than I was earlier,” Capuano said. “I think I’m getting to a point where hopefully I’m throwing two out of three, three out of four pitches the way I want. When you can get that percentage up there, usually good things happen.”

On Wednesday night, as the Mets and Athletics battled in extra innings, Capuano had thought of heading back to Citi Field in case his team needed an extra body or a pinch runner. He had left the game early, as the game had been delayed and he was scheduled to start a day game on Thursday.

He wasn’t needed, as the Mets won in the 13th inning, and when he finally got to Citi Field on Thursday, he again had to wait out another rain delay, which he thinks played a part in the discomfort in the right side of his abdomen as he might have rushed his routine to get ready.

The righty said that his abdomen injury, which he started feeling before the game, only acted up about every four to five pitches. He said it felt like a stitch in his right side, and lingered throughout the game, but it never caught up to him.

Capuano isn’t known as a strikeout pitcher, but he struck out seven Athletics in the course of the game, including the first two batters. He mowed through the Athletics with relative easy, only running into problems in the top of the fourth when he loaded the bases with two outs, but he struck out Landon Powell to end the threat.

His seven strikeouts were his third-most in a start this season.

“I’m not trying to strike them out,” Capuano said. "Oakland has a tendency to take first pitch strikes for the most part and I know they stressed that over there so I was trying to get ahead early. I had decent separation between my changeup and fastball today, which I was able to get some strikeouts on early. They adjusted to it late in the game, but early I was able to get some swings.”

The Mets signed Capauno, who has had two Tommy John surgeries and has dealt with his fair share of injuries, to a one-year deal in the offseason, giving him the chance to earn a starting spot right out of the gate. So far, the Mets investment is working out fine for both parties.

“It’s just been nice to be able to go out there and take the ball on a regular basis and be in that rotation,” Capuano said. “It was a great opportunity here and I’m thankful I’m able to take it.”