ATLANTA — The good news for Carlos Carrasco on Saturday was that he didn’t allow a run in the first inning, just the second time in a dozen starts he managed to complete that feat.
The bad news was he pitched poorly anyway, getting crushed by Atlanta in the Mets’ 6-5 loss.
Carrasco allowed five runs in five innings in the last outing of his first year with the Mets. His mess of a season included missing four months due to a strained hamstring and posting a 6.04 ERA once he was healthy enough to get on the field.
"I don’t think his final numbers say what this pitcher is," manager Luis Rojas said. "He’s a lot better than those numbers."
Said Carrasco, "I wouldn’t say good, but it was a lot of up and downs."
Still, Carrasco figures to be a key piece of the Mets’ 2022 rotation plans. He is under contract for $12 million, which would be a relative bargain if he performs like his usual self (including a 3.77 career ERA upon joining the Mets). But there are no certainties he will return to that level of effectiveness, especially as he turns 35 in March.
Carrasco chalked up the bad results to this season being "a little weird for me." He tore his hamstring during a routine conditioning drill in March, and a couple of setbacks while rehabbing that injury delayed his Mets debut until late July. Desperate for starting pitching, the Mets brought him back before he finished a normal rehab assignment, so he didn’t even have a spring training-style period of preparation.
That is why Rojas believes Carrasco can be good next year.
"Having a normal spring training will be key," Rojas said.
"It’s completely different, because I never had this experience," Carrasco said. "It’s one of those years. I learn from it and move on for next year."