Cookie Was Sweet and Mets Get a Big Win on Clemente Day

AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Cookie didn’t crumble and neither did the Mets offense on an emotional evening to honor one of baseball’s all time greats.

Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco gave the Mets six strong innings and Puerto Rico native Francisco Lindor hit a two run home run on Roberto Clemente night as the Mets beat the Pirates, 7-1 in the opener of a pivotal four game series at CitiField last night.

I thought about last night, DH’ing him today and I knew what a big night it is for him with Roberto Clemente,” Manager Buck Showalter said. “I know that meant a lot to him.”

The Mets snapped a three game losing streak and won their 90th game. They lead the Braves (who were idle) by a full game but are still tied in the loss column.

Carrasco allowed a run on four hits with a season high 11 strikeouts to win his team leading 15th game, while lowering his ERA to 3.70. The Mets right hander had two strikeouts in each of his first three innings.

Carrasco threw 104 pitches in six innings and the change up was his best pitch. According to Statcast, Carrasco threw 41 change ups and had 14 of his 15 swings and misses with that pitch. From the first inning, I had a good one [change up]. A couple of ones they cut a little bit, but they [the Pirates] still swinging, Like I said before, just keep feeding the change up,” Carrasco said after the game.

The Mets’ offense, which had been dormant in the series against the Cubs, broke out for ten hits and got multi hit games from Jeff McNeil (.322), Pete Alonso and Daniel Vogelbach.

The Mets gave Carrasco a lead in the first with a two out rally. After McNeil and Alonso singled, Vogelbach, who came into the game mired in a 5 for 42 skid, doubled to right center field off of Pirates starter and loser, J.T. Brubaker, to plate two runs for a 2-0 lead.

Pittsburgh got their only run in the second on an RBI double by Micheal Chavis but that was it as Carrasco struck out Jack Suwinski and Jason Delay to snuff out the rally.

The Mets took control with three runs in the third.

Brandon Nimmo walked and Lindor hit a first pitch slider from Brubaker into the upper deck in right field to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Lindor set a Mets franchise record for home runs by a shortstop with his 24th round tripper, breaking the mark set by Asdrubal Cabrera in 2016. The two RBIs gave him 94, extending his career high.

Special, it’s great. A day like today that we are remembering him and honoring him and I was able to do one of the main things he did and come up with a ‘W.’,” Lindor said.

McNeil doubled and moved to third on Alonso’s single to short right field before Vogelbach singled for his third RBI of the game and a 5-1 lead.

The Mets actually went on to load the bases with no one out and threatened to blow the game wide open, but Eduardo Escobar struck out looking. Tyler Naquin struck out swinging and James McCann grounded out.

The Mets made it 6-1 in the fourth.

With two out, Lindor was on second and Alonso was on first when Mark Vientos was sent up to pinch hit for Vogelbach against Pirates left hander Eric Stout. Vientos, who was 0 for 10 in his first three Major League games coming into the at bat, stroked his first career hit to the right side to score Lindor for his first career run batted in.

The Mets added another run in the eighth when Alonso was hit by a pitch from Pirates pitcher Yohan Ramirez with the bases loaded. It was the Major League leading 96th time that a Met has been hit this season.

Seth Lugo relieved Carrasco to start the seventh and struck out the side, all on called third strikes. Joely Rodriguez finished it off with two perfect innings to cap off a very satisfying night.

Honoring the iconic Hall of Famer and humanatarian Roberto Clemente was not lost on the team or Showalter.

Just really proud of MLB and our organization,” he said. “For everybody to step back and remember everything he’s meant to so many people. I think it’s important that baseball recognize that, glad to see it. Glad that we could play well on that night, too.”

Lindor respects the franchise record that he set but the Mets shortstop is looking for more.

A lot of great shortstops played here, my hat’s off to them,” he said. “Appreciate them setting a high bar but I don’t play for those records. It’s great, it’s a blessing, it’s an honor to be in elite company but I play the game to win.”

Like any Met fan, Lindor wants the Mets to be the last team standing in October.

It would mean a lot more to win the WS than to be the all time leading shortstop with home runs.”

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