Astros beat Carrasco, Mets again; take the series opener at 2 games 9-1

The Mets receive a free clinic on how legitimate World Series contenders present themselves after being beaten by the Houston Astros 9-1 Tuesday night at Citi Field to open a two-game series.

It’s the third time in a week that the Mets (47-28) have lost to the Astros (46-27), being swept in two games in Houston by a combined score of 13-5.

Carlos Carrasco was defeated for a second straight start against the Astros by an early slump, allowing six runs on six hits in 4.1 innings of work – the only bright spot on Tuesday night being that he didn’t start in due to injury.

The Astros scored four runs in the first inning from the right-hander, with the big hit undoubtedly coming in the form of a three-run home run by Kyle Tucker after Alex Bregman brought Game 1 home with a single at right. Carrasco gave the Astros four runs in the first inning of last Wednesday’s game before eventually going into the third inning with a tight back.

“It was unfortunate, he probably should have gotten out of the first inning,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said after Carrasco was burned by a check-swing on Jose Altuve that could have been a strikeout and a double game that was overturned after video review. “He felt good, he had good speed. I just don’t think he had a really solid idea about the split. That’s probably the only thing that hurt him.

They got a Carrasco fifth in the third when Jake Meyers picked Tucker at home, who walked 12 pitches before stealing the second to get into scoring position.

The Mets attempted a rally in the bottom half of the fourth when Starling Marte doubled up and Francisco Lindor walked to lead him. Pete Alonso’s runner brought the runners forward, but a JD Davis strikeout and Mark Canha rusher sandwiched a walk from Eduardo Escobar to leave the bases loaded with nothing to show for.

It was as close as they could have scored against Astros starter Framber Valdez, who continued his stellar 2022 season by going eight shutout innings while producing just six hits with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 2.65.

“We knew he was going to keep the ball on the ground,” Showalter said. “A lot of movement, a lot of secondary stuff. It’s not much of a secret…sometimes their tricks and orders won’t let you do anything.

Yordan Alvarez, who homered three times in the two-game series against the Mets in Houston last week, didn’t miss a beat after Carlos Carrasco called out for Chasen Shreve with one out and one over in the fifth. The Astros slugger dropped his 23rd homer of the season on the left center field wall to put the visitors up seven.

Shreve’s nightmarish round didn’t end there. He gave up another no doubt from a two-point shot to Yuli Gurriel to make it a 9-0 game, prompting an instant hook from manager Buck Showalter and a chorus of boos to greet him as he returned to the shelter after recording just a single in the frame while allowing three earned runs on his role.

In his last 1.1 sleeves work, Shreve allowed seven runs on seven hits.

“It’s a command thing,” Showalter said. “He’s not getting his fastball where he wants to get it… It’s been a challenge for him.”

The Mets got their run in the bottom of the ninth when Enolie Paredes walked James McCann with the bases loaded and two outs.

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