Canha cookies! Mark Canha, Carlos Carrasco pave the way for a series win over the Phillies
Mark Canha drove in all four runs and Carlos Carrasco delivered another sterling performance for his second straight win
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets held the Phillies down again on Wednesday, defeating them by a score of 4-1 at Citi Field (box)
RHP Carlos Carrasco delivered six strong innings, earning his second straight win while allowing just a run on six hits
Mark Canha drove in all four runs for the Mets - he hit a two-run home run in the third inning and knocked in two with an opposite field single in the fourth
The Mets bullpen got the final nine outs without allowing a run (Brooks Raley, Adam Ottavino, David Robertson)
The Mets have now hit home runs in 14 straight games, tied for the second longest such streak in franchise history (Last: 6/20 - 7/5/2022)
The Mets have won their last seven series against the Phillies and eight of their last nine overall against Philadelphia at Citi Field
Injury Updates 🏥
José Quintana (rib surgery) is expected to throw his first live batting practice session on June 5
Elieser Hernandez (shoulder strain) began a rehab assignment with Single-A St. Lucie on May 28
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (29-27) vs. Phillies (25-30)
Where: Citi Field – Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Max Scherzer (4-2, 3.54 ERA) vs RHP Taijuan Walker (4-2, 5.57 ERA)
When: 1:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
It was one of those Canha days for the Mets… ✍🏼
Well, I’m back from a short vacation in Los Cabos, but I certainly kept close tabs on what was going on with the Mets.
I saw them lose those two, whatever you want to call-its against the Rockies in Denver, two classic Coors Field games but very un-classic for the Mets and their pitching staff.
The one good thing to come out of that series was the continued growth of Francisco Álvarez, who appears to be in the early stages of stardom, as his prospect status suggested.
I’m not so much impressed by what he’s already accomplishing at the plate as much as what he’s demonstrating behind the plate. I seem to recall Billy Eppler’s reluctance to install Álvarez on the major league roster out of camp while he was suggesting his defense was essentially not major league caliber.
It’s funny what basically a week of regular season play did to change that perception, isn’t it?
Álvarez already has six defensive runs saved as a catcher, has demonstrated elite pitch framing skills, has a cannon of an arm, and is quick on the pop to throw too.
That alone makes him one of the most valuable Mets on the roster so far in 2023, and we really haven’t discussed what he’s done offensively in his first 34 games of the season.
Anyway, onto last night which was one of those Canha days for the Mets (see what I did there).
Before he homered in the third inning, I was naturally thinking to myself, “this guy said in Spring Training he wanted to hit for more power, felt that he could and would, and has three so far this season.”
Then, boom. Mets had a lead thanks to a two-run homer from Canha.
He came up in the next inning with the bases loaded and two outs and dunked a single into short right to plate two more runs, giving him four RBI in the first four innings of the game, or 25 percent of his total output for the season.
From there, the Mets didn’t do much damage against Aaron Nola who made those two mistakes on the night and that was pretty much it. He otherwise did what he normally does to the Mets, which is generally making them look clueless.
But for Canha, it wasn’t one of those clueless nights, that which has seemingly been common for him over the first third of the season. It’s unquestionably been a rough go of it for Canha this season - he’s sporting just a .386 slugging percentage in 2023 and has hardly been a factor for them offensively, contributing to the club’s overall woes at the plate. But he had a nice night none the less, a much-needed nice night so hopefully that was the start of his season.
Then of course there was Carlos Carrasco who looks refreshed and revitalized out there on the mound. His velocity is still a little inconsistent - he started out strong yesterday with 94-95 mph heat but his velocity was a little iffy as time went on. Still, his change-up/sinker combination was difficult for the Phillies hitters to decipher and he kept both of those pitches down and away in large measure throughout his outing. He did get a couple of calls off the outside corner to the righties, and while they were great pitcher’s pitches, it always helps to get a break or two from the officiating.
With the way things have gone for the starting pitching over the first third of the season, Carrasco’s importance has certainly emerged since his return from the injured list. He’s not going to be the pitcher he was in the early part of his career, and that’s fine - he isn’t here to be that hero. But he’s probably going to have to be more than what either side bargained for when the Mets picked up his 2023 option last fall. Outings like last night not only go a long way towards restoring order to the rotation, but also to prevent the bullpen from having to get more than nine outs in a game, something which has been a routine problem for this club all year long.
Lastly, how about Brooks Raley?
He was clearly not himself over the first month of the season, and he landed on the injured list in late April with a mild elbow injury. A couple of weeks of rest led to a renaissance of sorts for Raley, who has come back and not allowed a run in eight relief appearances since. He now has a 2.95 ERA for the year and has finally looked like that reliable reliever the Mets traded for in December.
Talk about an important emergence in that Mets bullpen.
A 29-27 record by June 1 was hardly what any of us were expecting over the first two months of the season. But, they’re in a Wild Card spot along with the Marlins and Diamondbacks while sitting four games behind the Braves for the lead in the NL East. I wrote about a month ago how the Mets needed to tread water while they waited for the cavalry and trade deadline to arrive. They’re still two months out from the deadline but it seems anyway things are stabilizing to an extent in the rotation, the offense is doing what it needs when it needs, and the bullpen has a working formula to it. It’s not always pretty - they will have their offensive brownouts and the rotation is still very murky, but its what this team is so if they can tread water for a little while longer and hang in the race (the third wild card really helps), they’ll be able to strike for the help they need from the second-division teams before the trade deadline.
Around the League 🚩
After being released by the Mets, Gary Sánchez homered for the Padres on Wednesday, but they were defeated by the Marlins 2-1 in Miami
Shohei Ohtani homered twice, Mike Trout homered once, and the Angels routed the White Sox 12-5 in Chicago
George Kirby fired eight shutout innings for the Mariners, helping to shut down the Yankees 1-0 in Seattle
The Braves salvaged the finale of their three-game series against the A’s with a 4-2 at the Coliseum - Ozzie Albies homered and Ronald Acuña, Jr. doubled to pace the offense