Mets’ Carlos Carrasco leaves start vs. Astros with back tightness, days before Max Scherzer’s possible return


New York Mets right-hander Carlos Carrasco exited his start against the Houston Astros on Wednesday during the third inning because of tightness in his lower back, according to the club. Carrasco’s final line saw him surrender five runs on four hits (including three home runs) and two walks in just 2 ⅓ innings pitched.

The Mets lost by a 5-3 margin to the Astros (box score), resulting in their first sweep of the season. New York is now 45-26 on the year, good at the moment for a five-game lead in the National League East over the Atlanta Braves.

The 35-year-old Carrasco entered Tuesday having started 13 games this season. In those outings, he had amassed a 3.96 ERA (101 ERA+) and a 4.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Wednesday’s start will raise his seasonal ERA all the way to 4.42.

It’s unclear if Carrasco will miss time, but if he does he’ll become the latest notable member of New York’s rotation to require a stint on the injured list. The Mets are already without ace Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in his scapula), blockbuster free-agent signing Max Scherzer (strained oblique), and breakout starter Tylor Megill (strained shoulder). 

On the bright side, both deGrom and Scherzer have completed important steps on their road to recovery. The New York Daily News reported on Tuesday that deGrom had thrown his first live batting practice since suffering his injury in spring. The next step for him will involve being sent out on a rehab assignment. 

Scherzer, meanwhile, began his own rehab assignment earlier in the week. Mets manager Buck Showalter told reporters on Wednesday that Scherzer is a candidate to start for the big-league club on Sunday against the Miami Marlins. Scherzer has not pitched since May 18.

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