Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga sits in the dugout during...

Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga sits in the dugout during the sixth inning after pitching five innings in the team's baseball game against the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, in Chicago. Credit: AP/Charles Rex Arbogast

DENVER — Kodai Senga and Carlos Carrasco, the Mets’ starters in their next two home games, flew to New York on Saturday, days ahead of the next time they will take the mound, to escape the altitude the club is playing at this weekend.

Always looking for advantages in the margins, the Mets decided having the pitchers escape the Mile High City early would serve them well. Senga will pitch on Tuesday and Carrasco on Wednesday against the Phillies.

“Tried to get Max [Scherzer] to go,” Buck Showalter said of the likely Thursday starter. “He decided he would rather stay.”

Tweaked travel is one of the ways the Mets try to counteract the effects of Denver, where the thin mountain air makes it harder not only to breathe but also to recover after intense physical activity. Showalter and Scherzer have said that the start after one at Coors Field can be as much of a concern for pitchers as the one at Coors itself.

“It’s different. We do take some precautions, without getting into a lot of them,” Showalter said. “Obviously, hydration is a huge thing. Does anybody here not have a headache right now?”

Senga pitching Tuesday would seem to line him up to start on regular rest Sunday against the Blue Jays. But the Mets are likely to slot in a spot starter for that game instead.

Minors details

Righthander Mike Vasil, who has emerged as probably the Mets’ closest-to-the-majors pitching prospect after his strong start with Double-A Binghamton, is likely to skip a start this week after having an issue in his most recent one, according to director of player development Kevin Howard.

Vasil was OK, Howard said, after exiting his outing Wednesday with a trainer because of a dip in velocity. He allowed a season-high six runs in four innings. Although their belief is that he is fine, the Mets want to be careful anyway.

Vasil, 23, has done well after an aggressive season-opening promotion, posting a 3.29 ERA and 0.78 WHIP. He has struck out eight batters for every one he has walked.

Extra bases

Continuing the Mets’ run of weird weather during their annual trips to Denver, their batting practice Saturday was canceled because of a hail thunderstorm. They had snow-outs the previous two years .  .  . Jose Quintana (rib surgery) is three bullpen sessions into his mandated five before he advances to the next step, likely facing hitters .  .  . In a happy clubhouse after the Mets’ 5-2 win Friday, Tommy Hunter said to Pete Alonso, “Dammit, Pete, no homer tonight?” Alonso entered Saturday leading MLB with 19 home runs and hit his 20th in the Mets' 10-7 loss to Colorado.

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