SAN DIEGO – It’s been more than a decade since a Met accomplished what Escobar Escobar did on Monday night at Petco Park.
Escobar singled in the first, doubled in the second, homered in the eighth and tripled in the ninth to hit for the cycle in the Mets’ 11-5 win over the Padres. The large assembly of Mets fans gathered behind the visitor’s dugout gave Escobar a standing ovation after he slid into third base. Escobar pumped his arm and smiled back at the crowd following his six-RBI night at the plate.
The last Met to hit for the cycle was Scott Hairston on April 27, 2012. Escobar on Monday became the 11th Met in franchise history to achieve the difficult feat. He also became the first player ever to hit for the cycle at Petco Park, a stadium that was built in 2004.
Escobar is hitting .333 with 17 RBI and three home runs in his last 14 games.
Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco continues to prove that last season was just an injury-riddled mishap. With his health in check, and his arsenal sharp, the veteran right-hander is making vintage starts for the Mets.
Carrasco pummeled through the Padres lineup in Monday’s win. He limited the Friars to two runs on five hits across seven innings, while the biggest takeaway for the Amazin’s was his length.
Manager Buck Showalter mentioned earlier Monday afternoon that he needed Carrasco to eat innings in the series opener, following the team’s excessive bullpen use in Sunday’s extra-inning win over the Dodgers, when the Mets spent six relief arms. Carrasco didn’t just eat innings in his 105-pitch outing, but he dazzled while doing it.
Carrasco recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts, getting 19 swings-and-misses with his changeup (seven), slider (seven), and fastball (five). It was the first time he twirled double-digit strikeouts since Sept. 20, 2020, a season that featured the lowest ERA (2.91) of his 13-year career.
Due to his terrific season-long effort, Carrasco has won six consecutive decisions dating back to May 3 against Atlanta. The Flushing faithful that have written off Carrasco for his disappointing debut season last year may want to rethink that decision. Yes, his 53.2 innings in 2021, which led to a 6.04 ERA, were painful to watch. But that was a product of his myriad injuries, including a late start to the year.
Now he has shown, through these 11 starts in a healthy season, that he can still be the consistent back-end starter for which the Mets acquired him back in the winter of 2020. And Carrasco couldn’t be stepping up at a better time. With Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer on the shelf since spring training and May 18, respectively, and Tylor Megill set to return this weekend, Carrasco was forced to pitch like a No. 3 starter rather than the No. 5 or 6 that the Amazin’s had penciled him in for.
If the club can accomplish its goal of being a contender at the end of the season, what Carrasco did at the beginning of the year will not be lost on these 2022 Mets.