Let’s be honest – we both knew the Mets weren’t going to win today and complete the sweep. The only mystery was how the team was going to come up short. And honestly, Buck Showalter leaving Carlos Carrasco in too long and Trevor Gott throwing gasoline on the fire was a little trite. I expected something a little more creative. Regardless, the Mets fell to the Cardinals, 7-3, Sunday afternoon in steamy St. Louis.

It started off almost promising, with Carrasco sidestepping trouble in the first inning and the Mets drawing first blood in the third, as Rafael Ortega scored from first on a hit-and-run single by Jonathan Arauz. After the Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the third, Pete Alonso put the Mets back on top with a monster HR, his 39th of the season.

Carrasco again danced out of trouble in the fourth inning and with the heart of the order set to face him for the third time, there was absolutely no reason to send him out for the fifth. One day, someone is going to explain to me why you take out a pitcher who’s cruising yet send someone back out for an inevitable slaughter.

The last, and only, two batters he faced in the fifth inning hit a double and then a homer and the lead was lost for good.

What’s the point of making reliever transactions after every game if you’re going to send out a starter in the last season of his career, one super lucky to have made it thru four innings, for yet another frame? It’s next to impossible for me to believe that a successful, veteran manager like Showalter has such little feel for the game in the moment as was displayed here. Generally, I’m pro Showalter. But it wouldn’t be difficult for me to accept a neutral person to declare this a fireable offense.

Gott gave up four runs in a third of an inning and Alonso was thrown out at the plate but really, the game was lost the second the bottom of the fifth began with Carrasco on the mound.

7 comments on “Gut Reaction: Cardinals 7, Mets 3 (8/20/23)

  • TexasGusCC

    From Will Sammon in The Athletic on August 16th:

    “ Carrasco’s issues with the clock surfaced immediately. In his first start of the season in Milwaukee, his velocity and stuff swiftly diminished in the middle innings. A reason: Over one stretch, Carrasco threw 56 pitches in just 28 minutes. (The most pitches thrown in a single inning this century was 56, by Pittsburgh’s Cam Vieaux last July. Those pitches also took 28 minutes.)

    “That’s not happened very often,” Carrasco said that week. “This is the new baseball right now. We have to make the adjustment.”

    By the summer, a team source pointed to Carrasco as the pitcher most affected by the clock. Not only is Carrasco 36, but he also has a heart condition — one that required noninvasive surgery back in 2014. He could only go so fast on the hill.

    “Sometimes I feel like I’m rushing myself just to get ready, and that gets me more tired,” he said back in April. “That’s something I need to learn and just put in practice.”

    While the Mets’ veteran staff was loaded — with experience, it lacked any with the pitch clock, which had been used in the minors since 2015.

    “We didn’t have the chance to go through the minor leagues and experience the clock,” pitching coach Jeremy Hefner said. “You talk to the minor-league coaches and try to get as much information as you can. But until you go through it, you don’t really know.”
    Seems the Mets figured it out pretty quickly…

    • Metsense

      Thanks for sharing Gus. The Mets aren’t too innovative with their personnel. If Carasco is struggling after four innings then maybe he is mote suited with a bulk relief role. Then they can get Lucchese in the starting rotation and also Megill. At least those two have options and could be evaluated for 2024.

      • TexasGusCC

        Exactly what I was thinking Metsense. I was thinking that from June, so I’m sure they thought it too. I understand Showalter wanting a fifth inning for the guy to get a win, but Carrasco may not want to be a reliever and at his respect level in a lost season, the Mets may not want to insult the man.

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: Gott did not have it this day. It was a good game up until the 7th inning. The positive results of the game was the hitting streaks are still intact, Nimmo(11), Lindor (7) and McNeil’s (5). Alvarez delivered a two out RBI and Alonso hit his 39th home run. That is pretty much the core of the 2024 team going forward.
    Alonso has averaged 9.5 home runs in his career in the months of September/October and he still has 10 days left in August. He has a real shot at 50.

  • T.J.

    Carlos Carrasco is a great story and an easy guy to root for – overcoming a lot physically and by all accounts an excellent teammate.

    However…I cannot fathom why he would pitch every 5th day over Lucchesi. Unless, Lucchesi has a current health issue or limitations based on his TJ recovery. Lucchesi can realistically be a 5th starter next year, and a very affordable one at that. They need these starts to assist with that evaluation. If they don’t want to embarrass Carrasco, bump Megill…he should have nothing to complain above as he has been given multiple opportunities.

    • Brian Joura

      Agree all the way around

    • Name

      Gott now has a 5.51 ERA with the Mets. Guess that trade didn’t work out for Mr Eppler haha.

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