With runners at the corners and two outs in the 10th inning Thursday night, Carrasco stopped then restarted his pitching motion — one of the ways a pitcher can balk — and it allowed Diory Hernandez(notes) to trot home with the winning run for the Atlanta Braves in a 9-8 final.
Carrasco and the Mets trudged off the field in disbelief and disappointment after losing a game they seemingly had wrapped up.
Brooks Conrad(notes), who is making game-changing hits part of his routine, had tied the score in the bottom of the ninth with a two-run homer against closer Francisco Rodriguez. At least a home run is conventional.
Carrasco's mistake sounds unique enough, but it's only been about a year since a game-ending — or balk-off — balk occurred. And the one before that happened in 2008.
But it had not happened to the Mets in a long time. And they didn't even get shrimp to enjoy.
Via ESPN's Adam Rubin:
Unbelievably, the last time the Mets lost on a walk-off balk, it was when Roger McDowell committed it on May 28, 1989 in the 12th inning at Dodger Stadium, scoring Dave Anderson and advancing Willie Randolph to third base. McDowell is now the Braves' pitching coach.
Carrasco said catcher Ronny Paulino(notes) called for a cutter, and Carrasco — who had tossed two perfect innings the previous night — wanted to make extra sure at the last second so that he did not throw an unintended pitch and end the game on a wild pitch.
"I just wanted to make sure. I didn't want to cross him up," Carrasco said. "In the process of doing that, on the way, any kind of a hesitation they're going to call you for it."
Arizona's Esmerling Vasquez(notes), spitting all the way, was the most recent balk-off balker against the Dodgers on May 31 a season ago. Casey Blake(notes) prompted that balk by bluffing to steal home. Coincidentally, it was the first balk-off win for the Dodgers since ...
The same Roger McDowell balk from 1989.
Carrasco messed up on his own this time. As soon as umpire James Hoye signaled, he knew.
"Yeah, as soon as he said it, it made sense," Carrasco said. "It's kind of, like, surreal."