Carlos Carrasco’s struggles vs. Marlins not helping Mets’ postseason rotation question

Carlos Carrasco Mets Marlins
New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco waits as Miami Marlins’ JJ Bleday runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

If Tuesday night was Carlos Carrasco’s audition to cement his place as the No. 4 starter of the Mets’ postseason roster, consider it bombed.

The veteran right-hander lasted just three innings against the lowly Miami Marlins, allowing four runs on six hits with two strikeouts, a walk, a wild pitch, and a hit batter in New York’s 6-3 loss that saw them cough up their NL East lead. It was the second straight shaky start for Carrasco after going just four innings and allowing three runs on five hits against the Milwaukee Brewers last week.

“We’ve seen that a little bit from Carlos,” Showalter said. “Sometimes he finds a step and gets going. I didn’t think he had a feel for his breaking ball all outing. He went to the well early and could never find his step. It’s unfortunate because he’s pitched well for us this year.”

The Brewers, however, are a playoff contender — a type of team that gives Carrasco issues. In 11 starts this season against contending teams, his ERA is 6.71.

Against sub-.500 teams, it was a 2.14 entering Tuesday night.

The Marlins were 27 games under .500 and 33.5 games back of the Mets in the NL East before the wheels fell off for Carrasco.

He loaded the bases twice in the first two innings, including a wild pitch that that plated Miami’s second run of the night in the top of the first. He then yielded a doublet o Bryan De La Cruz with one out in the third before JJ Bleday snuck a 339-foot home run just over the right-field fence next to the foul pole.

Such an outing is an obvious red flag for a Mets team that only has one more week to decide on who that No. 4 postseason starter will be behind Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, and Chris Bassitt.

Over his last eight starts, Carrasco is sporting a swollen 4.49 ERA, which is still better than his main competition in Taijuan Walker, who is battling a second-straight second-half swoon.

After posting a 2.55 ERA through his first 16 starts of the season, Walker has a 5.11 ERA over his past 11 starts prior to Wednesday night’s outing against Miami.

“You could say that about just about every pitcher,” Showalter said when asked about Carrasco’s inability to find a feel for his pitches down the stretch. “Keep waiting for him to get going… Thought we might get a little crisper outing [after two day’s extra rest].”

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