Mets manager Buck Showalter knows Carlos Carrasco’s start is on track as the veteran right-hander begins to hide from him.
And after Wednesday’s sixth inning, Carrasco didn’t want to leave the game.
So he hid in the bathroom.
So Showalter and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner eventually tracked down Carrasco and told him that he had actually finished with six innings, six hits, one run, four strikeouts and one walk.
In the Mets’ 4-1 victory over the Phillies, Carrasco won his second win in three games since returning from the disabled list on Wednesday.
Showalter said he thought Carrasco’s fastball was the best he’d seen in the two seasons they worked together.
“My elbow was fine.” [earlier in the season], and now it’s back to normal,” said Carrasco, who was placed on the injured list on April 18 with inflammation in his right elbow. “It feels really good.
Carrasco had a disastrous 5 runs in 5 innings when he returned from the IL on May 19, but has allowed just 2 runs in 12/3 innings in his last two starts.
He conceded 18 in the first 18²/3 innings in 2023.
The 36-year-old allowed runners in all but one inning Wednesday, but relied on his fastball and changeup to keep runners in line.
Carrasco said he was relieved when his first fastball to Bryson Stott hit 95 mph with Citi Field’s Radar Gun.
In the first inning, he struck out Nick Castellanos after a single from Bryce Harper.
A double by Brandon Marsh in the second inning allowed Carrasco to fly out Cody Clemens to end the inning.
The Phillies scored their only run in the third inning with a home run by Edmund Sosa.
But when Stott singled, Carrasco recorded three straight outs.
He led a 1-2-3 No. 4, including Curb past Phillies catcher JT Realmut for his fourth strikeout.
“You can see his arms have more freedom and tempo,” Showalter said.
Carrasco is the latest sign that the Mets’ rotation is starting to stabilize.
Kodai Senga allowed one hit in the seventh inning against the Phillies on Tuesday in the series opener victory.
Over the next two days, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander will start.
When comparing the Mets to other teams, Showalter analyzes the last three hitters in the line-up, the relievers who aren’t prepared for high-leverage situations, and the fourth and fifth starters.
Since his return, Carrasco has helped the Mets’ rotation move a little closer to perfection, becoming stronger in one of Showalter’s key areas near the bottom of the rotation.
“I’d like to think that this bodes well for the future,” Showalter said.