QUEENS — For a Mets lineup that had been starving for production from the bottom of their owner, Mark Canha answered the bell on Wednesday night at Citi Field against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The veteran left fielder, who batted eighth, drove in all of his team’s runs, going 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a two-run single off Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola in a 4-1 Mets (29-27) victory, clinching a series win over the NL East rivals.
“It feels great,” Canha said. “You work and you work. I feel like a lot of games throughout the course of the season are OK and a little bit good, a little bit bad… But then those really good ones that happen once in a while, you’re like ‘alright, that’s why you put in the work.'”
Carlos Carrasco delivered his second consecutive quality start, allowing just one run in the form of an Edumndo Sosa solo shot in the third inning on six hits with four strikeouts — three of them on his changeup — and one walk thanks to a full repertoire of pitches working at his disposal
“My changeup was unbelievable today,” Carrasco said. “The curveball was playing really good and the slider was kind of cut a little bit away from home plate… I’m glad that I have four pitches that I can play with.”
He also had a fastball that hovered around 94 mph and was put in play just twice out of 29 times thrown.
“That was probably the best pure fastball I’ve seen him have since he’s been here,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said.
After going 6.2 innings of one-run ball in Chicago against the Cubs last week, Carrasco has lowered his 2023 season ERA to 5.74 from 8.68 in just two starts.
Sosa’s home run was canceled out by an improbable contribution from the bottom of the Mets’ order. After six-in-a-row were set down to start by Nola, including four pop flies, Canha followed a lead-off Daniel Vogelbach walk with his fourth home run of the season into the left-field seats on a 2-1 cutter that was left up in the zone.
It was Canha’s first round-tripper since May 3 against the Tigers, ending a homer-less drought that also spanned 19 games.
“I was just trying to set the tone for the day and see the ball well,” Canha said. “Just move balanced and slow. No plans to do anything but get a good pitch to hit and I got one.”
He was quickly called back into run-scoring action in the fourth following an eight-pitch bounceback frame from Carrasco to set the Phillies down in order. With two outs and the bases loaded off a Pete Alonso single and walks to Brett Baty and Vogelbach, Canha lined a single over second baseman Bryson Stott and into right field to score a pair and give the Mets a three-run lead.
Entering Wednesday night’s action, the Mets received its smallest offensive production from the eighth spot in the lineup this season, attributing just four home runs and 15 RBI to go with a paltry .584 OPS.
With one out in the ninth inning, closer David Robertson walked Brandon Marsh and hit Kody Clemens to bring the tying run to the plate, but he struck out Sosa and Stott to end it and give the Mets the series win with its finale coming on Thursday afternoon.