Carlos Carrasco had waited a long time to throw his first pitch as a Met. It probably felt good out of his hand.
But it didn’t feel good off the bat.
Jonathan India of the Reds sent that initial offering over the leftfield fence for a home run in Carrasco’s first start as a Met on Friday night.
Carrasco, a cancer survivor whom the Mets acquired along with Francisco Lindor in January, had been out all season with a right hamstring injury.
He went four innings and allowed just the one run in a 58-pitch effort that more than met the Mets’ expectations. Carrasco gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four.
The 34-year-old righthander made three minor-league rehab starts and threw just 38 pitches in his most recent one.
The Mets are going to need Carrasco to round into form soon, especially after Friday night’s news that ace Jacob deGrom — already on the injured list with forearm tightness — is being shut down from throwing for at least two weeks with elbow inflammation.
Carrasco rebounded from the home run to retire the next three Reds. He struck out Joey Votto to end the first, which is notable because Votto came into the night having homered in six straight games.
Carrasco worked around a one-out, bad-hop single in the second, striking out a pair.
In the third, India walked with one out. Carrasco got the next two batters on soft groundouts.
With Miguel Castro warming the entire fourth inning, Carrasco allowed a one-out double to Tyler Naquin before retiring the next two batters. The final out was a jaw-dropping, leaping, run-saving catch of a Eugenio Suarez liner by shortstop Luis Guillorme in short leftfield.
Friday was a big day for the Mets for other reasons. They acquired All-Star shortstop Javier Baez from the Cubs at the trade deadline and wore their black jerseys from the late 90s-early 2000s glory days for the first time this season.
AC/DC’s song "Back In Black" was played from the loudspeakers before the game. Very loudly.
Owner Steve Cohen had made restoring the black jerseys a priority of his new regime. The Mets will wear the popular tops for Friday night home games for the rest of the regular season.
The Mets looked like their 2000 World Series crew in the bottom of the first as their first four batters reached against former Yankees righthander Sonny Gray.
Brandon Nimmo singled and scored to tie the score at 1 on Jeff McNeil’s double inside the first-base line. McNeil has a career-best 16-game hitting streak. Pete Alonso walked and Dom Smith singled to load the bases.
But Gray struck out Michael Conforto and got Jonathan Villar to ground into an inning-ending double play.
LI’s Tropeano DFA’d. To make room for Carrasco and their new acquisitions on the 40-man roster, the Mets placed righthander Sean Reid-Foley (elbow) on the 60-day injured list and designated two pitchers for assignment: Nick Tropeano, the West Islip native and former Stony Brook star who appeared in one game on July 9, and Akeem Bostick, who made his big-league debut on Thursday.
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