BOSTON — In what has become a predictable scene, the Mets played a rubber game of a series on Sunday and were barely visible.
Carlos Carrasco was hit hard and didn’t even last until the third inning, but the veteran right-hander was only part of the Mets’ problem.
There was also the case of a lineup that had opportunities, especially late in the game, and failed to perform against the Red Sox in a 6–1 loss at Fenway Park.
The Mets have six games left before August. 1 trade at the deadline and even winning them all would leave the team below .500, which only underscores the need for team executives to move toward sell mode — if they’re not already there.
The Mets (46-53) have lost five of nine games since the All-Star break.
They are 4-9 in rubber games of the series this season, which if a number were to be turned over would sit them in positive territory in the win/loss column.
Daniel Vogelbach’s pinch-hit strikeout on 12 pitches in the eighth was the last gasp for the Mets, who put two runners on base in the inning.
The Red Sox had put four runners on base, giving the Mets at least one chance to punch out in the late innings.
Manager Buck Showalter said, “We had a few chances to get back in it, but we just couldn’t get that hit.” Carrasco pitched in a second consecutive terrible performance, allowing five earned runs on 10 hits and two walks in 2 ¹/₃ innings.
It was the fifth time in 14 starts this season that Carrasco gave up at least five earned runs.
Carrasco said, “The problem was that I was behind in the count.” “I just have to throw strikes.”
Adam Duvall delivered an RBI single in the first that scored the game’s first run.
The inning could have been worse for the Mets if Jaren Duran had not made the decision to break the plate on Pete Alonso’s throw, which went off Carrasco’s glove at third base with the pitcher covering.
Mark Canha retrieved the ball and threw a strike to the plate to catch Durán, who had advanced from first to third on a ground out.
The trainer visited Carrasco after the game (which included a confrontation with Durán), but he remained in the game.
According to Showalter, Carrasco twisted his ankle during the game.
“It looked like it would be a potentially challenging night [for Carrasco] than before, but I’m sure it didn’t help anybody,” Showalter said.
The Red Sox scored four runs on seven straight hits against Carrasco and Drew Smith in the third to extend their lead to 5–0.
Justin Turner doubled the lead and moved to third on Rafael Devers’s single.
Duvall followed with an RBI double, on which Devers was thrown out to third base.
Tristan Casas put the Mets in a 3–0 lead with an RBI single, and Carrasco was retired after Connor Wong and Enrique Hernandez singled to load the bases.
Yu Chang’s single off Smith gave the Red Sox their fourth run, and Smith’s wild pitch extended that lead to 5–0.
Canha also struck out Casas in the fifth attempting to convert a single into a double.
According to Sports Info Solutions, Canha had not received a direct assist as a left fielder in his last 3,178 innings played at the position.
Kanha ends the game with three.
Kanha said, “They kind of fell on my lap.” “Just playing the game and trying to play all the right plays and… trying to play an offensive outfield and that’s what happened.”
Francisco Lindor’s RBI single put the Mets back up 5–1 in the sixth.
But the Mets missed a chance to get back in the game (with runners on first and third) when Jeff McNeil retired and Alonso and Mark Vientos struck out consecutively.
The rally started with a march by Danny Mendik.
Devers launched a solo homer in the seventh off Dominic Leon that put the Mets in a 6–1 hole.
The only run charged against the Leones was a run in 5 ²/₃ innings on Mets relievers.
But that group has seen considerable use over the past two days, including the resumption of suspended play since Friday.
Showalter said, “Some good things were done out of the bullpen, but you hate to play so many innings out there.” “Luckily we have a day off, but you can come out of that limping too. It is a challenge when you get a small start.”