Astros thump Carrasco, Mets again; take 2-game series opener 9-1

Yordan Alvarez Mets Astros
Houston Astros’ Yordan Alvarez (44) drops the bat after hitting a home run, as New York Mets catcher James McCann watches during the fifth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Jessie Alcheh)

The Mets are receiving a free clinic on how legitimate World Series contenders show up after getting thrashed by the Houston Astros 9-1 on Tuesday night at Citi Field to open a two-game series. 

It’s the third time in a week that the Mets (47-28) have lost to the Astros (46-27), getting swept in a two-game set in Houston by a combined score of 13-5.

Carlos Carrasco was undone for a second consecutive start against the Astros by an early collapse, allowing six runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work — the only positive from Tuesday night being that he didn’t leave due to injury. 

The Astros plated four runs in the first inning off the right-hander, the big blow coming in the form of a no-doubt three-run home run by Kyle Tucker after Alex Bregman drove home the opener with a single to right. Carrasco gave up four runs to the Astros in the first inning of last Wednesday’s game before ultimately leaving in the third inning with back tightness. 

“It was unfortunate, he probably should’ve gotten out of the first inning,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after Carrasco was burned by a check-swing on Jose Altuve that could’ve been a strikeout and a double play that was overturned after video review. “He felt good, he was carrying good velocity. I just don’t think he had a real solid feel for the split. That was probably the only thing that hurt him.”

They got a fifth off Carrasco in the third when Jake Meyers singled home Tucker, who ground out a 12-pitch walk before stealing second to get into scoring position. 

The Mets attempted a rally in the bottom half of the fourth when Starling Marte doubled and Francisco Lindor walked to lead it off. Pete Alonso’s grounder to second advanced the runners, but a strikeout from JD Davis and a groundout by Mark Canha sandwiched an Eduardo Escobar walk to leave the bases loaded with nothing to show for it.

It was as close as they’d get to scoring off Astros starter Framber Valdez, who continued his stellar 2022 season by going eight innings of shutout ball while yielding just six hits with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.65.

“We knew he was going to keep the ball on the ground,” Showalter said. “A lot of movement, a lot of secondary stuff. It’s not a whole lot of secrecy… sometimes their stuff and command doesn’t allow you to do anything.”

Yordan Alvarez, who homered three times in the two-game series against the Mets in Houston last week, didn’t miss a beat after Carlos Carrasco was pulled for Chasen Shreve with one out and one on in the fifth. The Astros slugger deposited his 23rd home run of the season over the left-center field wall to put the visitors up seven. 

Shreve’s nightmare inning didn’t end there. He gave up another no-doubter of a two-run shot to Yuli Gurriel to make it a 9-0 game, prompting an instantaneous hook from manager Buck Showalter and a chorus of boos to greet him as he shuffled back to the dugout having recorded just a single out in the frame while allowing three earned runs on his docket. 

In his last 1.1 innings of work, Shreve has allowed seven runs on seven hits. 

“It’s a command thing,” Showalter said. “He’s not getting his fastball where he wants to get it… It’s been a challenge for him.”

The Mets got their run in the bottom of the ninth when Enolie Paredes walked James McCann with the bases loaded and two outs.

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