Carrasco banged up as Mets pitching dooms them again
The Mets suffer from their first sweep of the 2022 season. Plus, how their starting rotation is no longer holding up without its aces.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets lost to the Astros again on Wednesday afternoon by a score of 5-3 in Houston (box)
RHP Carlos Carrasco struggled, allowing five earned runs in 2.1 innings pitched and left the game with back tightness
Carrasco will travel with the club to Miami but could still go to the IL depending on the results of his MRI today — he would be the 4th Mets starter to go on the injured list
Wednesday marked the second straight game and fourth time in their last eight games that a Mets starting pitcher wasn’t able to complete five innings
The Mets did get 5.2 scoreless innings out of their bullpen thanks to efforts by Yoan Lopez, Tommy Hunter, Joely Rodríguez and Edwin Díaz
1B Dominic Smith recorded his first hit, a double, since returning from the minor leagues
New York is now 0-2 since Jeff McNeil was sidelined with a hamstring injury
RHP Max Scherzer (left oblique strain) is in consideration to start on Sunday and “the plan” is for him to meet the club in Miami, according to manager Buck Showalter
Who’s Hot 🔥
Despite an 0-for-3 at the plate, Pete Alonso drove home his MLB-leading 64th RBI in just his 66th game of the season
RHP Tommy Hunter has pitched back-to-back scoreless outings since returning to the team, recording four strikeouts while allowing just one hit and no walks in 3 IP
Today’s Game 🗓
The Mets are off on Thursday — they will face the Marlins at loanDepot Park for the start of a three-game series on Friday night.
The Mets pitching can’t go on like this much longer 📝
Things can’t go on much longer like this.
After a Wednesday afternoon start in Houston where Carlos Carrasco departed after just 2.1 innings pitched due to lower back tightness — he would’ve likely not lasted much longer anyways due to ineffectiveness — the Mets pitching situation became even more dire than it already had been coming into the day.
After Carrasco’s short start yesterday, that is now the fourth time in the last eight games that a Mets starting pitcher was unable to complete five innings. Not only is it putting them behind in games and making it inherently more difficult to win, but it’s also taxing a bullpen that is already league average and has been relied upon far more heavily since Max Scherzer was placed on the injured list.
Aside from another shortened start and their first series sweep defeat of the season, the other concern coming out of Wednesday’s loss is the health of Carrasco. The veteran right-hander is headed with the club to Miami and is expected to undergo an MRI at some point today. If that scan shows anything remotely significant, Carrasco will very likely face a stint on the IL — a place the club already has three of their five starting pitchers on with Scherzer, Jacob deGrom and Tylor Megill.
And while Scherzer may make his return to the team on Sunday in Miami, this is still another setback that this rotation really cannot afford. It’s already taken it’s toll with the amount of starts that Trevor Williams and David Peterson have had to make, and while they’ve performed admirably in a pinch as the club’s seventh and eighth options as starters (you’ll be hard-pressed to find another team that can go that far into their depth and still at least have a chance to win), the Mets simply aren’t getting the innings or the caliber of pitching out of these options as they would from who they’re missing.
DeGrom and Megill don’t appear to be coming back through that door anytime soon, either, so if Carrasco does wind up facing any sort of stint on the injured list, that’s going to put this front office in a really challenging position. Sure, they could call teams around the league to see what it’ll take to swing an early trade for Frankie Montas, Luis Castillo or Martin Pérez, but it isn’t even July yet. There aren’t many known sellers thanks to the additional playoff spot and for the teams who do already know their fate, they’re not going to be so quick to force a trade this much time before the deadline. Due to the landscape of the league right now, it’s very likely going to be a seller’s market so the only way that one of those teams would burn one of their chips this early would be in a deal at a premium prospect cost that the Mets likely wouldn’t do.
With a top-heavy farm system and the recent trades of Peter Crow-Armstrong and JT Ginn, the club is already working from a disadvantage when it comes to the prospects they have to deal away. And while I do expect the team to entertain all sorts of offers, be in win-now mode and make multiple trades by the deadline, it’s just likely a bit too early for that to feasibly happen.
And that leaves the club in this position. There isn’t much they can do right now other than hope for some good news, and maybe a bit of good luck. And then, when the time is right, they can pounce on a deal to fortify what has become a shaky situation in their rotation.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Brett Baty (3B, No. 2 prospect, Double-A): 1-for-3, BB, run scored
James McCann (C, rehab assignment, Double-A): 2-for-4
Gregory Guerrero (SS, Single-A): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI
Box Scores: Triple-A | Double-A | High-A | Single-A
Around the League 🚩
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani put together a masterful, 13-strikeout performance in the club’s 5-0 shutout win over the Royals
Yankees OF Aaron Judge homered two more times to help lead the club to a 5-4 victory in Tampa
The Braves rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 9th to walk-off the Giants for the second time in three nights
The Phillies lost their third straight game as their offense went silent against the Rangers in Texas
Orioles CF Austin Hays hit for the cycle in his first four at-bats of the games in the club’s 7-0 win against the Nationals
One pitcher I know the Mets will not be bringing up is Jared Eickhofff. Last year, on July 27, I went to a Mets-Braves game at Citi Field. Out of arms, the Mets started Jared Eickhoff, a journeyman who they had previously released. He gave up 10 runs -- 2 in each of the first three innings and 4 in the fourth inning -- on 7 hits (3 HRs) and 5 walks in 3 1/3 innings. It was like batting practice for the Braves. It was painful to watch. Me and a friend convinced a third friend, who refuses to ever leave a game, to leave with the score 12-0 (The Mets ended up losing 12-5). Eickhoff never pitched another inning for the Mets.
Why do I bring this up? Well, it was more than apparent to the three of us attending (and the Mets) that Jared Eickhoff was not a major league pitcher. But the Pirates are so bad and so desperate that they signed him and brought him up to pitch yesterday despite a 4.84 ERA in the minors. And as Yogi Berra might have said, it was like deja vu all over again. 4 1/3 innings -- so he lasted one more inning than last year -- 10 runs on 10 hits (2 HRs) and 1 walk. Painful.