The New York Mets will face their hated NL East rivals, the Atlanta Braves ,tonight as they look to break their current five-game losing streak. Who will they call on to snap the slide? D.J. Carrasco, of course!
Because of the double header (to forget) on Thursday and Chris Young's outing being pushed back to Sunday because of biceps tendonitis, the Mets will utilize Carrasco in a spot-starter role tonight (7:30 p.m. EST, SNY) as they take on the Braves at Turner Field. Pitching for Atlanta will be veteran sinker baller, Derek Lowe.
Really, with the up-and-down nature of the pitching in the first 13 games in the season, is Carrasco any worse than what we've all seen thus for? Probably yes, but the Mets don't actually have a fully stocked reserve from which to choose from. In his seven MLB seasons, Carrasco has started 23 games in his career, 20 of which came in 2005 during a season with the Royals. He doesn't exactly have great numbers in a starting role -- 5-8 record, 5.01 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 56 strikeouts in 125 2/3 innings -- so that's why he's been a reliever for the 320-plus innings of his career. So far this season with the Mets, Carrasco has tossed 6 2/3 innings, allowed seven hits and three earned runs (4.05 ERA, 1.50 WHIP).
Suffice to say, the Mets will need their offense and bullpen, which has been the team's Achilles' Heal thus far, to bail them out. Jose Reyes will lead off -- followed by Angel Pagan, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Ike Davis, Willie Harris, Brad Emaus and Josh Thole. Reyes and Pagan have the ability to wreak havoc atop the Mets order, and maybe this gets Pagan going.
The 38-year-old Lowe has actually faired terribly against the Mets in his career, with a 4-5 record, 5.75 ERA and 1.59 WHIP, so maybe, just maybe, he will be a guy the Mets can take advantage of tonight as they look to just put together a much-needed win. In three starts this year, Lowe has been superb: 1.45 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, but a 1-2 record.