Mets takeaways from Saturday's 5-3 loss to Angels, including Carlos Carrasco’s disastrous start

New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) walks off the field after being taken out in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field.
New York Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco (59) walks off the field after being taken out in the second inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Carlos Carrasco couldn’t get out of the second as the Los Angeles Angels jumped on the Mets’ starter en route to a 5-3 win on a Saturday night at Citi Field. It was the fourth straight loss for New York.

Here are the takeaways…

- The Shohei Ohtani show continued for a second night in Queens as the two-way superstar temporarily limited to hitting, roped a one-out double over Brandon Nimmo's head in center (109.6 mph off his bat) in the first. Ohtani still managed to come around to score on ex-Met Brandon Drury's shot up the middle despite moving back toward the bag to see the liner go through as the six-foot-four, 210-pounder gracefully galloped home ahead of Francisco Lindor’s relay throw.

The struggles for Carrasco continued in the second. Mickey Moniak, who struck out four times on Friday night, started the inning by launching a slider that got too much of the plate for a no-doubt 405-foot solo home run. Trey Cabbage roped a double down the right field line and Luis Rengifo drove him home with a two-out single.

Ohtani then lined one down the line in right and hustled around the bases to beat a good Jeff McNeil relay throw with a feet-first slide for an RBI triple. Drury smashed a run-scoring double past a diving Jonathan Arauz at third and Buck Showalter had seen enough summoning Sean Reid-Foley from the bullpen.

Carrasco's final line: 1.2 innings, seven hits, five runs, no walks and one strikeout on 49 pitches (31 strikes). Eleven of the 12 batters Carrasco faced put the ball in play and all 11 had exit velocities of over 90 mph with an average exit velocity of 98.3 mph.

The 36-year-old’s ERA now stands at 6.80 for the season, which is the highest in baseball among pitchers with at least 90 innings.

- Lindor got New York’s first hit of the game in the fourth off Los Angeles starter Chase Silseth, crouching down to smack a liner over a leaping Rengifo at shortstop. McNeil followed with a liner over a leaping Rengifo of his own to put two on with no out for Pete Alonso. But the first baseman's 106.9 mph liner was right at the shortstop for the first out of the inning.

The Mets then got their first run on a bizarre play with a scary ending. On the first pitch to Daniel Vogelbach, McNeil broke for second, but Lindor did not break for third.

However, Angels catcher Logan O'Hoppe threw the ball to first base, where nobody was. The first baseman Cabbage gunned the ball across the diamond as Lindor broke for third, but the ball struck Silseth in the head as he was heading to backup play and ricocheted into foul ground allowing Lindor to score and McNeil to reach third.

Silseth was removed from the game as a bruise appeared to be forming above his left eye. Left-hander and ex-Met Aaron Loup replaced him and got Vogelbach to fly out before DJ Stewart plated McNeil with a double to left to make it 5-2.

- After Carrasco’s short outing the Mets needed the bullpen to pick up the slack to keep them in the game and got 1.1 innings of scoreless relief from Reid-Foley who had a walk and three strikeouts on 25 pitches (15 strikes) in his second appearance since coming off of Tommy John surgery in 2022. Phil Bickford was the next man up for New York and added two scoreless frames of his own with a walk and two strikeouts on 26 pitches (16 strikes).

And that set up the Mets nicely to chisel away at the lead after Rafael Ortega and Arauz notched back-to-back singles to start the home half of the fifth. But Nimmo struck out swinging, Lindor struck out looking (on a ball off the plate) and McNeil grounded out to second so the Mets came away empty-handed.

In all, six members of the Mets’ bullpen combined to get the game’s final 22 outs allowing two hits (doubles from Hunter Renfroe in the sixth and Rengifo in the ninth) while walking three (one intentional) and striking out seven.

- With one out in the sixth, Vogelbach cut the Angels lead to 5-3 with an opposite-field homer off ex-Met Dominic Leone. The dinger was his fifth in the month of August and 12th on the season.

The Mets then got two on with back-to-back two-out walks, but Arauz popped out to shallow right to strand a pair. New York left 8 on base and went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

- On the first pitch of the eighth inning, Alonso was hit in the back of the neck by an 86.2 mph curveball from Los Angeles reliever Jose Soriano. After being down at the plate for a brief moment, Alonso began barking at the Angels players leading to the benches clearing and bullpens emptying but there was no incident. After reaching first base Alonso was lifted for pinch-runner Danny Mendick. McNeil moved to first base for the ninth, using one of Alonso’s gloves, for his first MLB appearance there.

- Ohtani walked in his third plate appearance of the game much to the chagrin of the Citi Field crowd who booed ball four. Of course, he then promptly gave them something to ahh about as he stole second and two pitches later stole third for his 18th and 19th swiped bags of the season.

LHP Adam Kolarek got the superstar to pop out to center to start the seventh before he was intentionally walked with two outs in the ninth and first base open. Ohtani ended the day 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, two runs scored and two steals.


What’s next

The Mets look to avoid the sweep against the Angels in an early start at Citi Field, 12:05 p.m. first pitch on Peacock.

Left-hander David Peterson (3-7, 5.59 ERA) climbs the hill for the home team against right-hander Griffin Canning (7-4, 4.61 ERA).