First, the good news: the Mets are in the playoffs, no matter what happens over the next seven days. The bad news: due to a bad start from Carlos Carrasco, the Mets are now in a tie with the Braves for first place in the National League East.
As Allison McCague discussed, the Mets have to make a decision for going with either Carrasco or Taijuan Walker as their fourth starter in the playoffs. And while Carrasco has overall had a very good second half since returning from the Injured List, September has been a tale of two Cookies.
In two of Carrasco’s September starts, September 10th against the Marlins and the 15th against the Pirates, Carrasco went six innings apiece, giving up just one run in each start, striking out 17 and walking just two over a combined twelve innings.
But the three other starts Carrasco has made have not gone well at all and, alarming, they’ve been against (mostly) bad teams.
The best of the three was last week in Milwaukee, where Carrasco gave up three earned runs in just four innings. The Mets wound up coming back to win that game, but Carrasco did not have his stuff on a night that the bullpen and bats brought their A game.
The worst of the starts was September 4th against the Nats, where Carrasco was burned by a Jeff McNeil error that should have ended an inning, but instead led to four more runs, with Carrasco not getting through the third inning with the team down 5-1.
Last night, Carrasco did not have an out pitch, and surrendered four runs over just three innings, putting the Mets in a hole (dug deeper by the suddenly slumping Trevor Williams) that not even a Pete Alonso dinger and a three-balk at-bat could bring them back from.
The fact that Carrasco, who has been struggling against teams over .500, has lost twice times this month to teams well below .500, and to one that is currently looking in from the outside of Wild Card picture is alarming.
There is still one more start for Carrasco to make his case, and two for Walker to either step up to the challenge or make it a tough decision. Again, Allison went more in depth on the battle between the two, but beyond the question of who do you trust more, the question has slightly changed after last night’s performance. Not do you trust him more than Walker, but do you trust him at all right now?
Carrasco has had a very good year for the Mets, and this is by no means impugning his talent or potential. But right now, given what we’ve seen over the last month, is Carrasco up for the post-season challenge?
Do you trust Carlos Carrasco right now in a playoff game?
This poll is closed
Ask me after his start against the Nationals next week.