Key takeaways as Yankees steal series win over Rays

jose trevino, yankees

The New York Yankees faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday night with lefty starter Jordan Montgomery on the mound.

Montgomery entered the game with a 2.72 ERA over 72.2 innings this season. His 81.3% left on base rate and 48.8% ground ball rate were the best in his career, but he got batted around a bit by Tampa, giving up nine hits and four earned runs over 6.0 innings. In fact, Montgomery was only allowing 0.87 home runs per nine but gave up two in the win.

Key takeaways for the Yankees:

1.) Jose Trevino continues to ball

The legend of catcher Jose Treviño continues to build after another stellar performance on Wednesday. Treviño was hitting .278 heading into the game with five homers and 19 RBIs. However, he finished with two hits, including a two-run homer in the 8th inning to give the Yankees a 5–4 lead. Treviño now hosts a .283 average with a 33.9% on base rate and .478 slugging percentage, nearly better than Giancarlo Stanton for context.

Treviño hasn’t only been a magisterial offensive weapon, but he’s also one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, helping elevate the Yankees pitching units.

2.) Aaron Judge is worth every penny

Once again, star slugger Aaron Judge showed his quality, smashing two homers, bringing his season total to 27. Judge currently leads Major League Baseball in the home run category and ranks 6th with 52 RBIs. Hosting a .302 average, Judge is well on his way toward winning an MVP if he can maintain this pace, and games like this against AL East rivals really showcase his value to the team.

3.) The bullpen steps up

With Montgomery struggling to get the job done on Wednesday, the bullpen was forced to pick up the slack. Clarke Schmidt, Michael King, and Clay Holmes combined for 3.0 innings of work, giving up just one hit and striking out three batters. They finish the final 3.0 innings in just 49 pitches, helping Montgomery get out of trouble. Schmidt picked up the win and Holmes the save, propelling the Yankees to 51 wins on the season.

New York Giants: 2 FA linebackers who could compete behind Blake Martinez

danny trevathan, giants

The New York Giants have a few crucial position battles brewing ahead of training camp. One of the less talked about positions is the second inside linebacker spot. Blake Martinez will continue to be the team’s starting linebacker, but behind him, there could be a competition. There are some young talents who could fight for the position, but the Giants could also turn toward free agency. Danny Trevathan and Jon Bostic are two free agent linebackers that could be signed to compete for the Giants’ second linebacker position.

What Danny Trevathan could bring to the Giants

Danny Trevathan is an experienced veteran that has played ten seasons in the NFL. He spent the early portion of his career with the Denver Broncos before signing with the Chicago Bears and played there from 2016 to 2021. Now Danny Trevathan is sitting on the open market waiting to be signed ahead of training camp and the Giants could be a good fit.

Trevathan was rotating with Alec Ogletree behind Roquan Smith in 2021. That was until Danny Trevathan suffered a season-ending ACL injury in November. Prior to his injury, Trevathan totaled 19 combined tackles and one tackle for loss in five games. He played a full 16-game season in 2020 and was productive, totaling 113 combined tackles as the Chicago Bears’ second linebacker. If the Giants were to sign Danny Trevathan, they would hope to see him match his production from 2020 while playing second to Blake Martinez.

Blake Martinez also suffered a season-ending ACL tear last season. There could be some hesitancy to sign another linebacker coming off of injury from the Giants. However, veteran players can provide a team with consistent and reliable performances, something the Giants might need.

What Jon Bostic could bring to the Giants

Jon Bostic is another veteran free agent linebacker coming off of a season-ending injury in 2021. Bostic was with Washington from 2019 to 2021 but is now available as a free agent. Once again, the Giants could be looking for a free agent linebacker, and Jon Bostic could fit the bill.

Jon Bostic totaled 22 combined tackles and 1 tackle for loss in 4 games last season. In 2019 and 2020, however, he played full 16-game seasons and totaled over 100 combined tackles both years. Bostic also recorded one interception in each of those seasons and one sack in 2019 and three sacks in 2020.

When healthy, Bostic is a productive and reliable defender. He is usually healthy, though he did deal with a serious pec injury in 2021. If Jon Bostic is healthy now, the Giants should consider signing him as the second linebacker in their defense. The Giants have a lot of youth on their roster and it would not hurt to acquire some extra veteran defenders before the start of the season.

Knicks: Alec Burks trade value takes a hit after another foot injury

alec burks, knicks

New York Knicks guard Alec Burks reportedly underwent foot surgery after the season ended, according to multiple reports, and he will be ready before the training camp begins in the fall.

But as to where he would report for the training camp will be up for discussion in the next 24 hours that could drag until summer as the Knicks are reportedly trying to move him along with Nerlens Noel to clear the necessary cap space to make a run at Dallas Mavericks’ breakout star Jalen Brunson or possibly get in the mix of the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes if the polarizing Brooklyn Nets guard elects to enter free agency.

The timing of the Burks’ injury, though, couldn’t come at the worse possible time with the trade buzz ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft. Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer, who tracks and explains NBA injuries through his website, instreetclothes.com, noted that this is the fifth lower extremity surgery for the 30-year-old Burks since December of 2015.

But this past season, Burks was an iron man, playing in 81 of the 82 regular-season games. He averaged 11.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists while playing out of his natural position for most of the season.

Thrust into starting point guard duties after the Kemba Walker experiment failed and Derrick Rose was unable to return from an ankle injury, Burks’ efficiency took a hit as he shot a career-low 39.1 percent from the field while playing 28.6 minutes a night. But he was a reliable three-point shooter hitting above 40 percent for the third straight season.

Burks had been a trade candidate since he signed a three-year deal with the third year as a team option to return to the Knicks last summer. He was almost shipped at the trade deadline as part of the scuttled three-way trade with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers at the trade deadline, which also involved Noel.

After the deal broke down, he soldiered on, and Thibodeau praised him for his professionalism. Burks is viewed around the league as a steady veteran who can contribute off the bench for a contender. He is owed $10 million next season and has a team option the following year, making his contract attractive to teams looking to clear cap space for the 2023 free agency. But this recent injury may have hurt his trade value.

Fred Katz of The Athletic was the first to break the news of Burks’ injury.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Greg Hardy recently signed with BKFC, but eventually wants UFC return

Last week we learned that former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy (7-5) had signed with BKFC after he fought out his UFC contract. The move makes a ton of sense for Hardy given his skillset. Hardy struggled with grappling in MMA and now he gets to do the one thing he likes which is throw hands.

However, if you think that Hardy is ready to move completely on from MMA you’re mistaken. In fact, Hardy has aspirations to return to the UFC after his run in BKFC is up. He knows he has to work on his wrestling and he plans to do that.

In an interview with Chris Van Vliet, Hardy talked about signing with BKFC and how things ended with the UFC. Hardy maintained that him and the UFC ended on really good terms and he wants to make his way back there in the future.

Dana White is also on record stating that they would welcome Hardy back if he can work on a few things. Those few things all have to do with the grappling and Hardy addressed that in his interview with Van Vliet.

UFC to BKFC back to UFC?

Hardy said of the UFC via MMA Junkie, “The best organization I’ve ever been a part of, not even second to the NFL. They hit me up, my contract was already up so we knew it was up. They hit me up, told me ‘If you get some wrestling going in another promotion, we’d be glad to sign you back. Love having you, appreciate you.’

“And I sent them my thank yous and love, went looking for where I can throw these hands and found BFKC. It was actually a really good parting, and I look forward to going back one day and putting on a show for you guys and maybe body slamming somebody for about three rounds when I learn some wrestling.”

I don’t think it’s a stretch that Hardy ends back up in the UFC. If he goes on an impressive run in BKFC stringing together a few wins while simultaneously working on his wrestling, he will be welcomed back to the octagon. This will be something to watch as his BKFC career progresses.

Injury Update: Yankees starting pitcher commences a rehab assignment

New York Yankees, Domingo German

New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German was placed on the 60-day injured list prior to the start of the 2022 season. German has been dealing with a shoulder injury for months, but he’s finally looking to make a return as he prepares to start a rehab assignment with the team’s single-A affiliate.

Per the Yankees:

Today, RHP Domingo Germán commences a rehab assignment with Single-A Tampa.

German made 22 appearances last year over 98.1 innings, recording a 4.58 ERA with 8.97 strikeouts per nine. He posted a 70.1% left on base rate and 42.2% ground ball rate. As for his pitches, German features a fastball, curveball, and change-up. Pitching coach Matt Blake will love his array of pitches, incorporating a four-seamer and sinker.

However, German has struggled to maintain his consistency over the past two seasons. If there’s anyone that can help him reach his potential, it is Blake, who has gotten the most out of the starting rotation this season.

The Yankees haven’t even reached the All-Star break and are having a few fatigue-related struggles in the bullpen, which could suggest German makes an appearance in a low leverage situation in the coming weeks. Given German has the stamina to go multiple innings, he could be a great piece to inject into the bullpen.

However, he can also serve as the Yankees’ number six starter, mitigating any fatigue or injuries that may arise. Manager Aaron Boone mentioned recently that they are gearing German up to be a starter, which could suggest he sits patiently with Triple-A Scranton until called upon later on in the year.

AJ Griffin could be Knicks pick if Jaden Ivey proves too costly

AJ Griffin Knicks NBA Draft

The New York Knicks have dreams of pairing Jaden Ivey and RJ Barrett. But realizing that dream is more challenging than they thought it would be.

The Knicks are competing against almost every team picking after Sacramento to move up for the Kings’ No. 4 pick, which is the projected draft range of Ivey.

Per ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, Indiana (No. 6), Washington (No. 10), Oklahoma City (No. 12), Atlanta (No. 16) and others have approached the Kings aside from the Knicks. In what is shaping up to be a competitive bidding war, the Knicks’ initial offer of multiple first-round picks wasn’t enough to lock a deal in, per SNY’s Ian Begley.

ESPN’s college basketball analyst Jay Bilas views Ivey as a star-caliber talent, a cross between Dwyane Wade and Ja Morant.

“He’s dynamic and explosive,” Bilas said of Ivey in a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “He’s not as powerful as Wade was coming out of Marquette back in 2003. But what an explosive athlete, incredibly fast on the open floor. He can shoot it. He’s a shot creator. His defense, I think will improve or should improve because he’s not been the most focused defender, but there’s not a whole lot to complain about on the offensive end with Jaden Ivey.”

With that kind of projection, it is not unreasonable for the Kings to leverage the high demand for their lottery pick. Rival reams believed that “the asking price will be considerable, with a mix of established vets (Malcolm Brogdon, Kyle Kuzma, Jerami Grant, John Collins), a 2022 draft choice and rookie-scale contract players such as the Pacers’ Chris Duarte,” according to Givony.

“Because Jaden Ivey is a valuable asset whether you have him on the team or a valuable asset whether you want to trade him later,” Bilas said. “He’s super-talented.”

The Kings have a tough decision to make, and so are the Knicks and the other teams who covet Ivey.

“I have no idea what [the Knicks] want to part with, but it better be a lot if somebody’s gonna give up the fourth pick,” Bilas said.

Aside from Julius Randle, whose trade value is at its lowest after a disappointing season and whose fit with Domantas Sabonis is a big question mark, the Knicks do not have the type of established veteran that the other teams in the mix can offer the Kings.

With the Knicks a long shot to trade up for Ivey, they might have to settle with the best available talent at No. 11 if they will not trade down or trade out of the draft altogether.

Bilas listed Duke’s AJ Griffin, Wisconsin’s Johnny Davis and Ohio State’s Malaki Branham as possible options for the Knicks if they stand pat. Of the three, Griffin has been mocked to the Knicks by The Athletic and ESPN.

The 19-year-old Griffin could make a heartwarming homecoming as Obi Toppin did in 2019. The deadliest shooter in this draft class, Griffin projects to be a better complementary player next to Barrett, who likes to attack the rim like Ivey.

Griffin, who starred for Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains, shot 45 percent of his three-pointers as a one-and-done prospect at Duke.

Bilas views Griffin as a potential 3-and-D prospect with his shooting and a 7-foot-wingspan and chiseled body. What’s holding back Griffin from cracking the upper half of the lottery is his medical history. He missed most of his junior and senior season in high school due to knee and ankle injuries. He overcame another knee injury in the preseason and finished his lone season at Duke strong.

“I don’t know about any red flags. I mean, certainly, he had an injury in high school, but it kept him out for over a year. And so when he got to Duke, he hadn’t played in a while. And that certainly slowed his starts, but it certainly didn’t slow his finish and there’s no player in this draft, with the number of attempts he had, that shot the ball as well as he did,” Bilas said.

Griffin made 71 of 159 three-point attempts in 39 college games. He was one of the most prolific spot-up shooters in college (191 points, 1.17 points per possession, 91st percentile).

The Westchester native said it would be a dream come true to play for the Knicks and he relishes the idea of playing alongside Barrett.

“Just from watching him play, I think our games, we would be good together,” Griffin said of Barrett. “I know he likes to facilitate, get downhill, get spot shots. I just think we’re from Duke; we just got that Duke connection. I think that’d be cool to play with him, and we’d really complement each other’s games.”

His connection to the Knicks goes beyond that Duke connection. He also played against Toppin in youth basketball games in Ossining while his father, Adrian Griffin, worked under Tom Thibodeau as an assistant coach in Chicago.

If Ivey will be out of reach, Griffin is still a quality fallback option.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Giants: Ranking the top 3 position battles for training camp

aaron robinson, new york giants

The New York Giants are far from competency as they prepare to travel down a path of rebuilding. Joe Schoen and Brian Daboll were hired to take over the team’s operations, which should prove to be a bit more efficient than in previous years, rolling with Dave Gettleman and Joe Judge. However, they have a lot of work to do to piece together a team that has struggled financially (cap space) and to draft adequate talent.

Nonetheless, the Giants had 11 draft picks this past year, injecting new talent into multiple positions of need. They plugged right tackle and a big hole on the defensive line, but there are a few position battles brewing for training camp in July.

Ranking the New York Giants’ position battles this off-season:

Cornerback:

The biggest position battle is at boundary corner after James Bradberry was cut and signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants have to replace their top corner moving forward, and they only have a few young options to choose from.

The expected winner of this group is Aaron Robinson, who enjoyed 170 coverage snaps last season across nine games. He allowed 153 yards and a touchdown, breaking up two passes in the process.

As a rookie, Robinson showed signs of quality play but got beat on a few deep balls with his head turned in coverage. Robinson has all the tangible traits to become a quality outside corner, he just simply needs more experience under his belt. I wouldn’t be surprised to see rookie Cor’Dale Flott (Flott is projected to spend most of his time in the slot) and veterans Maurice Canady and Khalil Dorsey competing for starting snaps. 2021 rookie Rodarius Williams is also returning from a torn ACL, so he could factor into the mix as well.

Left Guard:

The Giants overhauled their entire offensive line this off-season, but the biggest question remains at left guard. Big Blue still has Shane Lemieux from the 2020 draft and signed Max Garcia to provide more support. Drafting UNC stand-out Josh Ezeudu offers additional competition.

Garcia has the most experience out of any option at LG, providing him a slim lead in the position battle. However, with Andrew Thomas recovering from ankle surgery, Ezeudu has spent most of his time at left tackle, rolling with the first team. Once Thomas makes a full return, expect Ezeudu to kick back to left guard, where he should make a series push for starting snaps.

Tight End:

The Giants allowed Evan Engram to leave in free agency, signing a one-year, $9 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars. They also released Kyle Rudolph, saving $5 million in salary space.

In their place, the Giants signed Ricky Seals-Jones and Jordan Akins to help smooth over the position.

Joe Schoen wasn’t done there, drafting San Diego State TE Daniel Bellinger in the 4th round. Bellinger is known for his quality blocking capabilities, which should translate to the NFL immediately. In addition, Bellinger is a capable receiver with above-average straight-line speed at the position. Most Giants fans will love to hear that Ballinger didn’t drop a single pass in 2021 and has just a 4.6% drop rate in his career.

Bellinger ranked in the 99th percentile in hand size, so the Giants have plenty of tangible traits to work with as they look to develop the rookie as their long-term solution at the position.

After UFC nixes Joe Lauzon fight, who will Donald Cerrone fight next?

Donald Cerrone

This past weekend at UFC Austin, the co-main event was supposed to feature a fight between two legends. The fight was supposed to pair up Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-16, 2 NC) and Joe Lauzon (28-15).

Originally this fight was supposed to take place back at UFC 274. However, Cerrone got sick the night of the weigh-ins and couldn’t compete. The UFC decided to push the fight back and pair them together at the Austin Fight Night.

However, this fight would also get scrapped the day of the fight. Joe Lauzon’s knee locked up the day of weigh-ins. The UFC doctors worked on Lauzon to try and get him better, but he couldn’t put any weight at all on his knee.

The morning of the fight, Lauzon still couldn’t walk or put weight on his leg. As a result, the fight was once against scrapped. It’s such a shame because it’s a perfect fight given where both men are in their career.

Initially, I thought the UFC might give it one more try and hope that the third time would be the charm. However, that is not going to happen as Dana White said after Saturday night that the promotion wouldn’t put that fight together anymore. He mentioned that the fight was becoming another Tony – Khabib situation.

What will the UFC do?

There are a lot of questions now regarding who will Donald Cerrone fight next. He’s made it clear that he wants a couple of additional fights in the UFC. He’s trying to get to 50 fights total between his UFC and WEC careers.

The problem is that he’s very difficult to match up at this stage of his career. You have to give Cowboy a fight that makes sense for him and there’s not a ton of opponents that make sense for the aging contender who is 0-5, 1 NC in his last six fights.

I started thinking about fights that make sense and there’s one fight that could make some sense. How about pairing up Cowboy and Clay Guida (37-22). Like Cowboy, The Carpenter is a UFC legend and a massive fan favorite.

He’s 2-2 in his last four and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. These two used to train together and given where they both are in their careers, it might be a decent matchup to make. Again, pairing Cowboy isn’t easy, but this could be a direction they go in.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments who Donald Cerrone should fight next.

The Yankees may have a bullpen problem brewing

yankees, Clay Holmes

The New York Yankees have lost two of their last three games, which isn’t a big issue considering they’re the first team to reach 50 wins on the season and have a 12-game lead in the AL East. In fact, they’ve lost no ground over the past three games, retaining a six-game cushion over the New York Mets in all of baseball.

However, fatigue is starting to settle in for some players, as we saw with Nestor Cortes on Tuesday, having his first tumultuous outing of the year. Cortes insists he feels great and could reach 150-170 innings of action this year, but the Yankees are taking a cautious approach. Boone will look to manage his workload, but giving up three homers in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday was a rarity.

“Maybe that comes into play a little bit today, where he’s struggling to find it a little bit,” Boone said after Cortes’s tough start. “I’m not just going to push him through to navigate a heavy outing like that. I think Nestor’s in a good place where we’re certainly mindful of it, but at the same time, he’s going out and doing what he does. He’s going to routinely get us through those middle innings.”

The bullpen should be the concern for the Yankees right now:

The team’s starting pitching has been solid nonetheless. The bullpen could be facing a few issues down the road if they don’t get a bit healthier soon.

This past weekend, relief arm Ryan Weber decided to hit free agency instead of accepting an assignment to Triple-A Scranton. Pitching coach Matt Blake is excited about the potential return of Jimmy Cordero, but the Yankees really need Jonathan Loáisiga and Aroldis Chapman back at full health to help supplement fatigue.

Against Tampa Bay on Monday, star closer Clay Holmes struggled, giving up two hits and one earned run over 0.2 innings pitched. The Rays have been especially difficult this time around, but we haven’t seen Holmes go through any troubles this year, indicating the bullpen might be hitting a wall without much support.

Boone needs to do a bit of housekeeping:

Overall, field manager Aaron Boone needs to do a bit of housekeeping with his bullpen, doing some load management and making sure his top guns aren’t overused. Luckily, Michael King has returned to his normal self, allowing just one hit over 8.1 innings of action in the month of June. In May, King gave up 15 hits and nine runs over 16 innings, which was unusual given his hot start.

With the All-Star break coming up on July 19, the Yankees just have to get through the next month before they can enjoy a few days off.

Expect to see several low-leverage relief arms like Ron Marinaccio receive more playing time. Marinaccio has been stellar this month over 8.2 innings pitched, giving up just one hit and striking out eight batters. The New Jersey native has been efficient, garnering a bit more action. Given he’s only pitched 16 innings this year, he will likely get a lot more work over the next few weeks to help keep Holmes and King well-rested.

Boone is expecting to get Chapman and Loaisiga back soon, but both were struggling before leaving due to injury. Loaisiga features a 7.02 ERA on the season, dealing with shoulder inflammation the past few weeks. Given he finished the 2021 season with a 2.17 ERA and 60.9% ground ball rate, we know he’s capable of picking up the slack upon his return.

How Mets’ Carlos Carrasco Can Maintain His Pace For The Rest of The 2022 Season

carlos carrasco, mets

The New York Mets have been off to a fantastic start this season and are currently the best team in the National League with a 45-25 record. As fans are quite acquainted with, the month of May has all too often been a time where the Mets tend to severely underperform and have frequently jeopardized great starts they’ve put together in April.

But after going 19-10 in May and defying the odds of falling short in a month that haunts them every season, the Mets have maintained a high level of resiliency and execution with both their hitting and pitching that’s allowed them to succeed with utter dominance and authority well into the month of June.

Although the Mets are the best hitting team in baseball right now (they are first in hits, RBIs, and OBP), a feat that’s clearly spearheaded their early success this season, the Mets’ pitching has played an integral role as well into why this team has had so much success this year. With no Jacob DeGrom since the start of the season and without their newly acquired ace Max Scherzer (who’s been sidelined with an oblique injury following eight starts), the Mets pitching has still been able to stand strong, even amongst their starting rotation. And leading the charge has been none other than the veteran arm of Carlos Carrasco.

Following a 2021 season that was well below par, the 35-year-old transformed himself into a stabilizing cornerstone piece in the rotation and has looked the complete opposite from what he illustrated just a year ago.

To give you an idea, in the 12 games he started last year, Carrasco went 1-5 with a 6.04 ERA (his worst output since 2013), to go with a 1.43 WHIP, 36 earned runs, and 12 home runs in 53.2 innings pitched. In fact, Carrasco did so poorly that he finished with a WAR that was in the negatives (-0.8).

But in 2022, a lot has changed, and impressively so. Carrasco, who’s tied in second in wins this season (8), has been pitching much better than many have expected. Currently posting a 3.96 ERA in 13 starts with a 1.25 WHIP, Carrasco has gathered 75 strikeouts while only allowing six home runs, which is half of what he had the season prior despite logging in 25 extra innings. To add to it, Carrasco has only 16 walks (when he gave up 18 last year) and has a WAR of 1.2.

What he has managed to achieve has been incredible to behold. Though he won’t light up the radar gun with high 90s stuff, Carrasco’s control, precision, and bite to his pitches, has led him to have a big bounce-back performance so far that could very well place him amongst the All-Star reserves this year.

However, a vital factor that’s still up in the air is how Carrasco will fair over the course of a full season of work. Already this year, Carrasco has found it difficult to keep runners off the base paths, conceding an OBA of .280 or higher in the month of May and June. After posting a 3.60 ERA in May, Carrasco is averaging a 3.91 ERA in June and has given up 10 earned runs in 23 innings pitched when he only gave up 12 in 30 innings last month. Moreover, Carrasco has conceded eight walks so far in June, which is twice the amount he allowed in both May and April.

Although his recent shakiness might not be a grave concern, it has certainly setback his success to an extent, and at times, Carrasco has made some of his stretches on the mound a bit more challenging than they needed to be. Even though both Scherzer and DeGrom could be back in a matter of weeks, Carrasco has proven to be a very important part of this rotation and has still yet to demonstrate he’ll be as reliable headed into the second half of the season. We saw this with Taijuan Walker last year, and the Mets certainly don’t need a déjà vu of that this season with Carrasco.

That all said, can Carrasco continue to be this dominant for the remainder of the year? Though it’s hard to say just yet, the answer is yes, and for a couple of key reasons.

For starters, the Mets’ offense has been downright elite this year and has provided a level of support that’s been ideal, currently sitting in first in the MLB in runs (350). Just to give you an idea, aside from his second loss he sustained at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels, Carrasco has managed to secure five wins in his last six starts despite giving up three or more runs in three of those wins. In other words, even if he has a poor outing, the Mets offense can still bail him out with runs. And having that grants a pitcher a lot of confidence on the mound.

Secondly, Carrasco has shown that he has a better feel for his stuff as well as his command, which has made his pitching harder to go up against. Using his fastball the most (38.1%), Carrasco’s frequent integration of his changeup (23.6%) and slider (23.5%) have led him to have one lethal chase rate that is currently up in the 98th percentile. Though Carrasco has by no means matched the talent level of his 2017 or 2018 peak seasons, he certainly looks like his good old self and possesses a much stronger grip on his pitching control.

As things stand right now, Carrasco could very well fluctuate over and under the 4.00 mark with his ERA. But unless it hits 5.00 or more, there’s no reason to panic over his durability, seeing how confident, composed, and consistent Carrasco has been so far. With a dangerous Mets offense to support him, Carrasco has everything in place to continue his excellence well into the month of September.