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Carrasco start, clutch offense lead Mets to fourth straight series win

The Mets are firing on all cylinders right now, folks.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

For the fourth straight time in 2022, the Mets have won a series. This is easily their most impressive one, with the team’s 6-2 victory today securing a series victory against the Giants, a team that won 107 games last year and entered the series looking like an equally excellent team. The Mets have played solid ball on all sides of the field this whole series, and that continued today with both some excellent pitching and timely hitting.

Carlos Carrasco came into the day having had two very good starts to open his season, although the Mets happened to lose both games. He opened his start today by giving up a bunt single to Mike Yastrzemski, but retired the next three hitters—including two by strikeouts—to end the inning. The Mets then got the scoring started against opposing starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, as following a Brandon Nimmo groundout to start the bottom of the frame, Francisco Lindor—DHing for the first time this season—hit a towering shot into the second deck of the Coca Cola Corner to give the Amazins a 1-0 lead.

Alas, the Giants wasted no time in striking back. Brandon Crawford was hit by a pitch in the leg to start the inning, and back-to-back opposite field singles—the first by old friend Wilmer Flores, and the second a soft ground ball by Thairo Estrada which found a hole thanks to an aggressive infield shift—tied the ballgame at one run apiece. San Francisco then had some injury misfortune for the second time in this series, as Steven Duggar tweaked something on a swing and had to exit the game. Mauricio Dubón entered the game mid-plate appearance to replace him, and seemingly did not realize that he inherited Duggar’s count, as he whiffed on a bunt attempt to strike out. Carrasco then got the next two outs to end the threat.

The Mets once again answered with the long ball in the bottom of the inning, as Eduardo Escobar led off the inning by unloading on a ball to deep right field for his first home run as a New York Met. They weren’t done scoring in the inning, either, though this time they did it with some small ball—Mark Canha followed Escobar with a single up the middle. Travis Jankowski, subbing in at right field for Starling Marte, hit a ground ball to shortstop, but the Giants were only able to get the out at second thanks to Jankowski’s speed. Luis Guillorme then came up to the plate, and Buck Showalter called for a hit-and-run. Guillorme executed it perfectly, hitting the ball right through the vacated hole at short, and Jankowski advanced to third. Tomás Nido then got the run in with a long fly ball to right field, giving the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Carrasco rebounded in the third with a quick 1-2-3 third inning, and the Mets offense once again got to business. Lindor once again got things started—this time with a soft opposite field single—and Jeff McNeil then hit a towering shot to right that would probably be gone in warmer weather, but as is bounced off the wall for a double to put runners on second and third with nobody out. The Mets came close to not taking advantage of the opportunity—Pete Alonso hit a ground ball to third with the infield playing in to keep the runners holding, and Escobar struck out swinging for the second out—but Canha, in his second game back from the COVID IL, came through in the clutch with a two-out single to left to score two more runs to make it 5-1 Mets.

The next few frames were a bit quieter. Both teams went down without a baserunner in the fourth inning. The Mets managed two singles (a third hit for Lindor and an opposite field poke for Alonso) and a walk in the bottom of the fifth, but were still held scoreless. The same applies for the bottom of the sixth inning, as new pitcher Yunior Marte worked around two walks to keep the score at 5-1. All the while, Carrasco continued to shut the Giants down with efficiency, retiring 18 straight batters in a row at one point and becoming the first Mets starting pitcher to make it into the eighth inning in this young season. His streak was snapped in the beginning of the eighth on a ground ball off the bat of Dubón to Guillorme, whose throw pulled Alonso off the bag. However, Carrasco then induced a double play ball by Casali to immediately get rid of the baserunner. Alas, his day ended one on a less than ideal note one batter later, as Yastrzemski clobbered a 3-1 pitch for a solo homer to make it 5-2, and Showalter gave him the hook. Still, all told it was an outstanding performance from Carrasco—7.2 innings pitched, 4 hits, 2 runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts—and gave us all the more reason to be confident that his dreadful 2021 season is a thing of the past.

Joely Rodriguez came in and got Belt to pop out to short to end the inning. And the Mets, for good measure, decided to tack on an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. Jankowski walked to start the inning, and Guillorme dropped a bunt down to first base that he beat out for a single. Nido then failed to get a successful sacrifice bunt down, as Jankowski was thrown out at third for the first out of the inning, but a wild pitch brought Guillorme to third base regardless. Nimmo then followed suit with a booming hit to off the right field wall to score the run to make it 6-2 (some bad baserunning by Nido cheated Nimmo out of a double, but I suppose he’ll settle for the RBI). Despite the lost save opportunity, Edwin Díaz came on to finish out the game, and he did so successfully, striking out two batters to end things in style.

So with that, the Mets are 10-4. Francisco Lindor looks like an MVP candidate. New additions Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha continue to produce at the plate. Carlos Carrasco looks like the stable veteran presence in the rotation the Mets thought he’d be last year. Hell, even the bullpen continued its current streak of success today. These are just a few of the long list of things that Mets fans currently have to be happy about. The Amazins are now heading to take on the last-place Diamondbacks in Arizona, where the good times will hopefully continue.

Box scores

ESPN
MLB

Win Probability Added

Fangraphs

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Mark Canha, 13.6% WPA
Big Mets loser: Pete Alonso, -3.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: 12.5% WPA
Mets hitters: 37.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Eduardo Escobar solo homer in the second, +12.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Thairo Estrada RBI single in the second, -11.4% WPA

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