Victor Caratini clubbed two home runs to power the Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Mets Thursday night and a sweep of the three-game series. The Mets have now lost six in a row and head to Philadelphia with none of the swagger with which this nine-game homestand started.
Caratini, the backup catcher for the Cubs, saw action in all three games this series, as starting catcher Willson Contreras is on the IL. Caratini did so well in the first two games that they played him at first base in this contest. He rewarded the manager’s faith with a game-tying homer in the second and the game-winner in the seventh, a shot that landed in the upper deck.
Jacob deGrom was cruising, having retired 15 in a row before Kris Bryant reached on a ball that should have been an out. He hit a grounder to the hole in short. Amed Rosario has made defensive improvements in the second half but he’s much, much better going towards second than third. deGrom was ahead of Javy Baez but Baez reached out for a ball out of the strike zone and somehow hit it hard enough to get out of the infield to put two runners on. Then Caratini struck for his second homer to clinch the game.
J.D. Davis hit a homer in the first inning to give the Mets a brief lead. But that was it for the scoring, as the Mets continued their problem from Wednesday night where they simply could not get a hit with runners in scoring position. After stranding two runners in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings yesterday, they stranded two runners in each of the first three innings Thursday. And then the offense stopped getting runners on completely.
In years past, the Mets’ hitters would be licking their chops at a trip to Philadelphia, where they hit very well and came away with a fair number of wins. But this year the Mets are 4-9 against the Phillies, including a dismal 1-6 at Citizens Bank Park.