Mark Canha wants to stop turning his head when he’s swinging a bat. Instead, he made the head of Citi Field fans turn Wednesday with his home-run heroics.
The Mets’ outfielder went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer and drove in all four runs to help the Mets edge the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-1, and take a key series from their NL East foes.
Canha hadn’t hit a home run since May 3 and has struggled to match his production from 2022. The Mets had given him days off in recent weeks and moved him down in the order while he continued to put in work on his swing.
“You can hear the batting cage after the game. He was here yesterday at noon,” said manager Buck Showalter. “I mean, Mark cares.”
He was confident that a turnaround was coming, and this game could have been the start of that.
“That’s the thing when we chase results, it’s like you could have a good night and it doesn’t show,” Canha said. “You line out or a pitcher makes great pitches all night you just get bad luck and no results. You try to grab onto something that’s real and something that’s tangible, that is sustainable throughout the course of the year. I feel like I’ve been building towards that.”
With the Mets (29-27) down 1-0 after Edmundo Sosa’s home run in the top of the third, Canha hit one out of the park to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. He drove in two more with a single in the fourth and Carlos Carrasco and the bullpen made the lead stand up.
Carrasco (2-2) seems to have turned a corner after a dismal start to the season and an injured list stint with bone spurs in his elbow. He won his second straight decision Wednesday by limiting the Phillies (25-30) to one run on six hits and one walk. His changeup and his curveball are back where he wants them to be and he’s able to throw them pain-free.
The veteran righty struck out four over six innings, his second-longest start of the season. He lowered his ERA by a full point, from 6.75 to 5.74.
The Mets are now 15-0 when their starting pitcher gives them at least six innings.
“When you can make leads hold up and give the pitcher some margin of error, there’s a lot better tempo to the games,” Showalter said. “I think the guys aren’t looking for the perfect pitch to throw or the perfect sequence. They’re just trusting themselves and getting after it.”
The only jam Carrasco found himself in came in the second inning with two on and two out. Kyle Schwarber hit a grounder up the left side but Brett Baty made a long throw to get the out. In the sixth, he got a boost from Francisco Lindor who turned an unassisted double play for the first two outs of the inning and fielded a grounder from Sosa for the third.
Carrasco wanted to go back out for the seventh inning so badly that he hid from Showalter in the bathroom.
“He’s starting to hide from me after the fifth and sixth inning,” Showalter said. “Now that’s always a good sign, chasing him around the bathroom after the sixth… I waited ‘till he came out.”
The manager found the hiding spot, and the pitcher acquiesced.
“I respect his decision,” Carrasco said. “He made a decision to bring in [left-hander Brooks] Raley and I respect that. I just do whatever I can to win and put the team in a good position.”
Daniel Vogelbach walked to lead off the third inning and Canha got ahead on Aaron Nola (4-4) before sending a 2-1 cutter over the left-center field stands. Nola, who came in fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting last season, loaded the bases in the fourth. With two outs and two strikes, Canha made him pay with a two-run single to right.
The late innings went to Brooks Raley, Adam Ottavino and David Robertson, the latter of whom escaped his own jam to convert his 10th save of the season and his second in as many nights. With one out, Brandon Marsh hit one toward the mound and Robertson deflected it toward Jeff McNeil at second. He then hit Kody Clemens before striking out Sosa and Bryson Stott to end the threat and the game.
It was the Mets’ seventh straight win at Citi Field.
Source: Berkshire mont