Death, taxes, and the Miami Marlins giving the New York Mets headaches down the stretch in important games.
Carlos Carrasco’s dud and a misfiring Mets offense resigned New York to a 6-3 loss on Tuesday night at Citi Field which went final moments after the Atlanta Braves finished off an 8-2 victory over the Washington Nationals to move into a tie for first place in the National League East with seven games to play.
“If you asked me in February, some people might have taken you up on that,” manager Buck Showalter said on his team’s current standing. “Our guys have worked hard to create an opportunity. We turn the page and it’s about tomorrow night.”
Carrasco allowed four runs on six hits over just three innings of work to put the Mets (97-58) in a sizable early hole.
After loading the bases in the first, a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch put Miami up a pair before a JJ Bleday two-run home run that just snuck over the farthest corner of the right-field wall effectively ended the righty’s night.
“I missed a lot of spots,” Carrasco said. “My fastball command wasn’t there… I threw really good changeups, but they were taking it… They got a couple bloops, too. It’s a part of the game. Nothing I can control.”
Having not touched Pablo Lopez — who had owned an 11.34 ERA against the Mets this season — for three innings, the Mets got their first hits to momentarily get back in it.
Pete Alonso mashed his 40th home run of the season out to left to make it a one-run game in the fourth following a lead-off single from Brandon Nimmo and a double by Francisco Lindor.
For Alonso, he became the first Mets player in franchise history to record multiple 40-plus-home-run seasons while increasing his MLB-leading RBI total to 131. Over his last seven games, he’s been the talisman of New York’s attack, recording five home runs with 16 RBI during that stretch.
“I’m feeling really good at the dish,” Alonso said. “I’m just happy that I’m feeling really good at this time of year. Especially when we’re playing meaningful games at this time. I just want to keep the form that I’m in.”
But the Marlins would get a pair back against Mets long-man Trevor Williams, who loaded the bases in the fifth before yielding a two-run single to Jacob Stallings.
The Mets pulled one back in the most peculiar of ways in the bottom of the eighth when Marlins reliever Richard Bleier was called for three balks, moving Jeff McNeil from first after he singled to home.
Bleier had never balked in 303 previous career appearances over seven seasons, making the bewildering decisions to judge that he had not come to a full stop before his delivery all the more surprising.
“I knew it was something they’d be cracking down on a little harder,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Just one of those things that are in the eye of the beholder. We weren’t really surprised by it.”