Carrasco called the outing his best as a member of the Mets. Last year was a different story after he was acquired from Cleveland as part of the Francisco Lindor deal. Carrasco was dealing with his share of injuries: he had hamstring issues for three months and by the end of the year, he was having elbow problems. So he had surgery in October to remove a bone fragment from his elbow.
Now, Carrasco is a different player.
“I came into Spring Training and have been able to pitch and do everything,” he said. “It feels better.”
Carrasco was dominant during those five innings against Arizona, allowing just three hits and two walks while recording eight strikeouts. His slider and his changeup were his best pitches, enabling him to keep hitters off-balance by executing his two-strike pitches.
From the start, Carrasco was solid. He struck out four of the first seven batters he faced. The only time he was in any real trouble was the fourth inning, but he found his way out of the jam.
Ketel Marte had reached on a single, followed by David Peralta getting on base via a double, but Carrasco held the D-backs in check by striking out Christian Walker and Pavin Smith. After Seth Beer was intentionally walked (he finished the day 3-for-3), Carrasco induced a flyout to Jeff McNeil and ended the threat.
In his last inning on the mound, Carrasco struck out two more batters before leaving the game after the fifth. It helped that his changeup was at its utmost best.
“Everything that I did in my last start carried over into today,” Carrasco said. “Like I said before, my arm is getting better with every start, every bullpen [session]. So everything feels good today.”
Manager Buck Showalter referred to Carrasco as one of the pleasant surprises to start the season.
“You can tell that he fees good physically,” Showalter said. “He is attacking hitters and pitching like Carlos can. That development continues to bode well for us. He was solid.”
After Saturday’s loss, the Mets’ starters have a 1.17 ERA (six runs in 46 innings), and that’s without the services of ace Jacob deGrom.
“It’s going to be like that all year,” Carrasco said. “We are missing [Jacob], but we have [all these] other guys. We are going to [have] fun.”
New York’s skipper is not surprised by the rotation’s success so far this year.
“It’s something that our front office was adamant about regarding the [pitching] depth,” Showalter said. “That’s why we acquired Chris [Bassitt]. Part of that is Tylor Megill and some of the guys like [David] Peterson who have answered the call well. We are going to get Taijuan [Walker back] before long.
“It’s a good development. It’s hard to do, getting Major League hitters at the rate they are doing it. It’s impressive.”
Catcher Tomás Nido said the Mets’ starters are capable of stepping up and rising to the occasion.
“It goes to show that [when] one guy goes down, we have other guys who can step up,” Nido said.