Carlos Carrasco reels in the fish with another stellar effort, and a case for Edwin Diaz's Cy Young candidacy
Carlos Carrasco has hurled 18 consecutive scoreless innings
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets shutout the Marlins 4-0 on Saturday night at loanDepot Park in Miami (Box)
Carlos Carrasco was brilliant over 7.2 IP, allowing just four hits and two walks to go along with seven strikeouts
The Mets were powered by solo home runs from Jeff McNeil, Francisco Lindor and JD Davis
The Mets extended their winning streak to five games and are a season-high 26 games over .500 at 63-37, are now 9-4 against Miami in 2022, are 31-20 on the road, 16-8 in July, 23-6-3 in series overall, 13-3-1 in series on the road, 48-11 when scoring first, a perfect 54-0 when leading after eight innings, and 30-12 against the National League East
The Mets will inject Jacob deGrom into the starting rotation on Tuesday against the Nationals, pitching back-to-back with Max Scherzer, who will start for the Mets on Monday
The Mets signed C Kevin Parada, their first pick (11th overall) in the 2022 Amateur Draft
Who’s Hot 🔥
Since July 5 (the return of Max Scherzer), Mets starting pitchers have posted a 1.84 ERA (25 ER, 122 IP).
Francisco Lindor has a six-game hitting streak. He has posted three multi-hit games and is hitting .455/.539/.727 with three doubles and a home run during that span
Carlos Carrasco hasn’t allowed a run in his last three starts, a span of 18 full innings (18.2 IP overall). He has allowed 15 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts during that span
Injury Updates 🏥
James McCann (strained oblique) went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts for Double-A Binghamton on Saturday
Playoff Odds Tracker 🎲
The Mets lead the Braves by 3 games in the National League East with 62 games to go. They are on-pace for 102 wins which would be their highest mark since 1986 (108):
Playoff odds (FanGraphs):
Make the playoffs: 100 percent ⬆️
Win the National League East: 72.2 percent ⬆️
Clinch first round bye: 69.9 percent ↔️
Win the World Series: 14.8 percent ⬇️
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (63-37) at Marlins (47-54)
Where: loanDepot Park — Miami, Florida
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (8-2, 2.67 ERA) vs RHP Pablo López (7-5, 3.03 ERA)
When: 1:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: WPIX
Can Edwin Díaz win the Cy Young Award in 2022? 📝
Considering a reliever to win a Cy Young Award is never among the popular beliefs.
The old school mentality is, yes a reliever can be dominant in any given year, but lacks the innings to merit the award over a starting pitcher who logs 200-250 innings in a season.
But then there are seasons like the one Edwin Díaz is having, a season in which the statistics are combining with the eye test to tell his story of dominance and glamour in what has evolved into a season for the ages.
41.2 IP, 166 batters faced, 84 strikeouts, 50.1 percent. A 1.51 ERA, 266 ERA+. He has an 18.1 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate, which would eclipse Aroldis Chapman’s 17.7 mark in 2014.
But that’s just the statistical result of what’s on display when Díaz is on the mound. And it almost makes the statistics a footnote in his 2022 story.
When Díaz is pitching, it’s almost as if his fastball is serving as an off-speed pitch, but in the opposite direction velocity-wise. His slider is so devastating and so dominant, it appears to have even more velocity than his 100+ mph fastball due to the movement on the pitch. Simply put, it’s unhittable and his fastball - when at it’s best is tailing up and away to the left-handed hitter - has become a second put-away pitch for him.
Put another way, his slider - which might be the best in baseball right now - has a .128 expected batting average against with a 52.8 percent whiff rate, his fastball .207. They’re virtually untouchable when used in the manner Díaz is applying them this season.
All of this has given Díaz a presence and an aura on the mound which is unlike anything he’s possessed in the past and unlike anything the Mets have really ever had from a closer.
Ok - so how does this merit a Cy Young Award conversation?
Well, Díaz is the best reliever in the sport right now. The Mets are 53-0 when leading after eight innings, and that’s because of Díaz in large measure. He’s given up one run and 11 hits with 50 strikeouts in his last 23 appearances dating back to May 27. And it’s this performance which has single-handedly shaped and saved the Mets bullpen and it’s stature. They have a 3.49 bullpen ERA, the ninth-best mark in the sport but are doing it with Díaz and Adam Ottavino serving as their only trustworthy relievers in the process.
What’s more, unlike in prior years, Díaz isn’t just racking up saves in 2022, but is racking up important saves and clutch saves thanks to his devastating aresenal.
It could still be a long shot for Díaz, however.
The last relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award was Eric Gagne in 2003, a season in which he racked up 55 saves for the Dodgers and posted a 1.20 ERA, and there have only been nine relievers to win a Cy Young Award throughout the sport’s history.
But Diaz’s season does compare to Gagne’s quite well. His K/9 at 18.1 exceeds Gagne’s 15 K/9 in 2003. Díaz’s WHIP is better than that of Gagne’s mark in 2003 (0.91 compared to 1.47) as well.
The key to any hope for Díaz of course is that this level of dominance continues. The good news for Díaz is not only is he passing the eye test, but there are a lot of advanced metrics (some of which are discussed above) which will help build a case for him should he finish his season in the manner in which it’s going.
Diaz’s primary competition in the National League - as of this writing - is Sandy Alcantara, Corbin Burnes, Tyler Anderson, and Joe Musgrove, but there probably isn’t any eligible voter who would have one believe any of these aforementioned contenders have been as good (and not even close to as dominant) overall as Díaz, even with Diaz’s smaller sample size.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Ronny Mauricio (SS, No. 3 Prospect, Double-A): 2-for-4, R
José Peroza (3B, No. 29 Prospect, Single-A): 3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI
Keyshawn Askew (LHP, Low-A): 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K (win)
Around the League 🚩
The Padres are discussing sending their three best prospects to the Nationals to obtain Juan Soto (Morosi)
The Braves and Phillies kept pace with the Mets on Saturday - Atlanta defeated the Diamonbacks 6-2 and the Phillies outlasted the Pirates 2-1 in 10 innings
Aaron Judge blasted his 42nd home run as one of three home runs the Yankees hit in their 8-2 drubbing of the Royals in the Bronx
Mariners rookie sensation Julio Rodriguez was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning last night - the club is awaiting word on the results of an x-ray performed after the game
Shohei Ohtani hit his 22nd home run of the season last night in a see-saw affair against the Rangers in Anaheim - The Angels prevailed 9-7 thanks to a five-run eighth inning
The Diamondbacks traded long-time LF David Peralta to the Rays
The Cardinals have expressed interest in RHP Jake Odorizzi (St. Louis Post Dispatch)
After a tough month of July, the Giants have opened the door to trading their veterans (New York Post)