Carlos Carrasco baked a delicious cookie again in the Mets comeback over the Nationals
Mets improve to 12-6 against the National League East
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets came from behind to defeat the Nationals by a score of 4-2 on Tuesday night at Nationals Park (Box)
Carlos Carrasco earned his third win of the year, pitching brilliantly into the seventh inning while allowing only two runs on 83 pitches
The Mets netted two sacrifice flies to plate runs (James McCann in the sixth, JD Davis in the ninth) - they have 9 sacrifice flies in their first 31 games, compared to just 23 all of last year
Jeff McNeil came through again with a two-run double in the sixth inning
Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez and Edwin Díaz combined to get the final seven outs of the game while allowing only a walk and a hit between them
The Mets are now 4-1 against Washington this season, 12-6 against the National League East, and they earned their seventh comeback win of the year on Tuesday
RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in shoulder) is throwing from 60 feet, and will undergo further diagnostic testing this week to determine his progress
RHP Sean Reid-Foley will undergo Tommy John Surgery to repair the UCL in his right elbow
Roster Moves 📰
The Mets claimed LHP Locke St. John off waivers from the Cubs on Tuesday
RHP Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in shoulder) transferred to the 60-day IL
RHP Drew Smith still hasn’t allowed a run this season, a span of 12 games and 13.1 IP
LHP Joely Rodriguez has run his scoreless streak to eight straight appearances, a span of 6.2 IP
RHP Edwin Díaz has struck out 22 of the 48 batters he’s faced this season (45.8%), allowing just six hits and two earned runs in 13 IP
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (21-10) @ Nationals (10-21)
Where: Nationals Park — Washington, DC
Starters: Tylor Megill (4-1, 2.43 ERA) vs. Aaron Sánchez (1-2, 8.56 ERA)
When: 7:05 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Cookie Dough Dynamo for Carlos Carrasco and the Mets 📝
If anyone had said Carlos Carrasco would be sporting an ERA anywhere in the 3’s right now when camp broke last month, that person would’ve seen something in him nobody saw.
Carrasco was coming off a rough spring following an injury-plagued 2021 season and surgery on his elbow. He had just celebrated his 35th birthday and has unquestionably had a challenging road in his life. That he was even on a competitive pitchers mound and a major league mound no less could be considered a miracle.
With question marks only getting bigger in the Mets rotation thanks to Jacob deGrom’s shoulder injury, Taijuan Walker’s knee and lack of innings, and a hiccup with Max Scherzer’s hamstring, the load fell on Carrasco - who was towing into camp the aforementioned question marks himself - to step up and return to the form that resembled more like the Carrasco between ages 28-31, and do it quickly.
Such an expectation to be placed on him was unfair and unfair to even contemplate. After all, he’s 35 now and again, was coming off an injury-plagued season with a lot of mileage on his system.
Yet, here we are with Carrasco rejuvenated, having found the fountain of youth the Mets needed him to find.
Through his first six starts, Carrasco has compiled 36.2 IP and has allowed just six walks compared to 33 strikeouts, having allowed only 13 earned runs on 31 hits. He has allowed two earned runs or less in five of those six starts, and one or no runs in three of those starts. Built into that were 6.2 IP brilliant and efficient innings against Washington on Tuesday to lower his ERA to 3.19 for the year.
Take away his clunker in St. Louis two weeks ago and he has allowed a total of five earned runs in the remaining 33 innings pitched.
Of course, we can’t pretend Carrasco has a 1.36 ERA this season. Even the bad games count. But everyone throws a stink bomb every now and again and this is simply a testament to how well Carrasco has thrown this season overall.
“It’s completely different this year than last year,” Carrasco explained after Tuesday’s win. “This year I feel free. I even surprised myself today, a couple of [95 mph fastballs], ‘OK, I am getting back.’ I just want to continue to work and go every five days and do my job.”
It’s hard to believe the Mets rotation could be thriving to the point it is without Jacob deGrom or a consistent Taijuan Walker. But it has survived that adversity, thanks of course to Max Scherzer’s stable and leadership presence in the rotation, but also because of Carrasco - who knows what the state of the Mets rotation might be through the first 31 games of the season without him.
Carrasco’s reliability isn’t necessary being measured fairly in terms of wins. Yes, he is 3-1, but the club is just 3-3 in games in which Carrasco has started for them this year overall. But the reliability and credibility to the staff Carrasco has brought has had a positive impact none the less, simply stated by the number of quality innings Carrasco has provided and limiting the use of the bullpen (he is averaging just over six innings per start). That unquestionably has ripple effects beyond the day Carrasco is on the mound, and positive ones at that.
Mets manager Buck Showalter agrees.
“We pitched well, and it starts with Carrasco,” Showalter said.
Part of what has made Carrasco so successful and successful in saving the bullpen has been his efficiency. He has thrown into the seventh inning or later in three of his six starts so far this season, and on none of those occasions has Carrasco surpassed 100 pitches:
April 21 vs SF - 7.2 IP, 91 pitches
May 3 vs ATL - 8 IP, 96 pitches
May 10 vs WAS - 6.2 IP, 83 pitches
It’s also worth mentioning in his first start of the season against the Nationals, he nearly completed six innings while throwing only 72 pitches.
That efficient length Carrasco is providing most every time out is perhaps the most impressive and arguably the most needed attribute in his game, especially in an era where pitchers aren’t providing length and aren’t being allowed to face orders a third time through.
“The mentality is just strike them out or get out of the inning with a zero,” Carrasco said last night.
That Carrasco is second on the staff in innings pitched (trailing Scherzer by only 1/3 of an inning) is incredible and something nobody would’ve even considered betting on entering the season. Like Tylor Megill, Carrasco has been a godsend to this staff, completely shifting it’s dynamic and day-to-day operation.
In other words, he is now everything the Mets wanted and expected him to be when he came over from Cleveland in December, 2020.
Better late than never.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Thomas Szapucki (LHP, AAA Syracuse): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K
Alex Ramirez (OF, No. 6 Prospect, A St. Lucie): 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 2 Prospect, AA Binghamton): 2-for-5
JT Schwartz (1B, no. 19 prospect, A Brooklyn): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI
Around the League 🚩
LHP Reid Detmers fired his first career no-hitter in the Angels 12-0 rout of the Rays
RHP Justin Verlander took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in the Astros 5-0 win over the Twins
The Yankees rallied for three runs in the ninth inning thanks to a three-run home run from Aaron Judge to comeback on the Blue Jays 6-5
OF Harrison Bader hit an inside-the-park home run, although the Cardinals lost to the Orioles 5-3