The New York Mets are now on a five-game winning streak after beating the Marlins 4-0 on Saturday. A pair of former Cleveland teammates were at the heart of that success last night. Both Carlos Carrasco and Francois Lindor played a key role in what was another big win for the Mets, who improved to 63-37 that year.
It was a night where a perfect pitching performance got the running support it deserved, and it was also a night where Carrasco and Lindor underscored their importance to the Mets this year. Both players have been dominant throughout the year and their individual success continued in spectacular fashion on Saturday.
Starting with Carrasco, who really stole the show. July was a superb month for the veteran who absolutely dominated. He headed into Saturday with an 11-inning scoreless streak. Carrasco had allowed just a combined three runs in his previous four starts. Well, more dominance followed against Miami as Carrasco wriggled out of a jam in the first run, escaping without any damage after allowing two runners to get on base.
It turned out to be straightforward from there as the right-hander got through round after round without too much trouble. He’s done a good job of rotating through his arsenal of slots. While he relied on his sinker 33% of the time, his death slider did the most damage with a 60% scent rate. And the secret to Carrasco’s success both on Saturday and this season in general? Just take one step at a time.
“I’m going pitch by pitch and that’s what I did (Saturday),” Carrasco said. “I was able to take control instead of letting them take control of me and throw the best shot possible. I missed a few spots but they couldn’t but it was fine. (Tomás) Nido has called the good throws.
Carrasco entered the eighth inning after holding the Marlins scoreless and, as Charles LeBlanc hit a double, Seth Lugo was able to enter the game and complete the job. For Carrasco, he left the game having pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing only four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
He extended his scoreless innings streak to 18 2/3 innings and also lowered his ERA to a stellar 0.90 for the month of July. While it was arguably the right-hander’s finest outing of the year, it was also historic given that it marked Carrasco’s 100th career win. He is also only the eighth pitcher of Venezuelan origin to reach this milestone. A pretty special night all around.
Cookie's up to 6 strikeouts through 5 innings! 💪
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 30, 2022
“It means a lot,” Carrasco said. “I’ve been doing this for a long time and it means even more to be able to do this with a special group playing hard for us. And I couldn’t do it without them.
Carrasco is an easy guy to support considering he’s been in the majors for 13 years and he’s a great clubhouse guy. Also, after first struggling in Queens, the veteran has turned things around and then some this year. For Lindor, who has known Carrasco for a long time from his Cleveland days, this comes as no surprise.
“He executes,” Lindor said. “He has a plan and he is executing it. Even if he gives up a hit at the start of the game, he stays there. He is very intelligent. When he needs a double play he looks for a double play, if he needs a strikeout he looks for a strikeout. He’s been reliable year after year and I’m happy for him.
Speaking of Lindor, the shortstop also had a big impact on this game. While Carrasco will steal most of the headlines, and deservedly so, it was Lindor’s ability to show up in clutch situations that really proved the difference at home plate. After all, we’ve only recently seen the gems of Mets starters let down by a lack of home plate support.
That wasn’t the case this time around and that was largely thanks to Lindor. The four-time All-Star was locked in offensively all night as he hit a single top of the third to score Tomás Nido and double the Mets lead. It was Lindor’s 68th RBI of the year. He would hit another single in the sixth with his on-base percentage now a solid .334, but his best and most important work would come in the eighth inning.
With the Mets still holding a slim 2-0 lead and an ace closer Edwin Diaz needing a day off, there was an urgent need for an insurance run and Lindor proved to be the man who kept his cool in the heat of the moment. With one out and no one on base, the shortstop absolutely crushed a 424-foot fastball with an exit speed of 106.8 MPH. It was Lindor’s 17th home run this season and he’s now fifth in the National League with 69 RBIs.
RUN TO FRANCISCO LINDOR HOME!!! pic.twitter.com/Kofz4qjHag
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 31, 2022
Such success at a critical moment in the game has been what Lindor has built his game on this year, and the two-time Golden Glove winner also pulled off a dazzling double play in the seventh inning as he continues to contribute from both sides. From the game. And, speaking after the game, Lindor was only too happy to help his teammates in a big task.
“They’re very important,” Lindor said of his homer late in the game. “If we go to the ninth 2-0 I think Edwin has to come in, you know, and we probably can’t use him (Sunday). Those few runs at the end helped and we had to do that (Sunday ).”
While a lot has gone well for the Mets so far this year, much of their success can be attributed to the resurgence of two former Cleveland teammates in Carrasco and Lindor. Carrasco stepped up and helped carry the starting rotation in the absence of Jacob of Grom. Meanwhile, Lindor has been a run-producing machine and has always picked up the slack when his team needed him most, as was the case on Saturday. And don’t be surprised if the two longtime friends have their say in what the Mets are hoping will be a deep playoff run.