As with some of his New York Mets colleagues, pitcher Carlos Carrasco has had trouble finishing off hitters this season. And manager Buck Showalter said the veteran right-hander can do better.
"It's been frustrating a lot this year. We get a lot of counts really in our favor, 0-2, 1-2, and either we get back to 3-2 and walk or make a pitch that's center cut," Showalter said. "That's when you know Carlos isn't executing like he can. I know that's frustrating for him."
The Mets won 4-2 Thursday, 7-1 Friday and 13-2 Saturday.
Carrasco needed 88 pitches to get just nine outs in his most recent start, a 7-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. Carrasco didn't factor in the decision after allowing two runs on four hits and three walks in three innings.
"For Carlos to be successful, he's got to have command and have three pitches," Showalter said.
Carrasco struggled against the Cardinals on June 18 while allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks in an 8-7 Mets loss. In his career, Carrasco is 0-2 with a 7.91 ERA in four starts against them.
The Cardinals will give Dakota Hudson (4-0, 4.03) another shot at re-establishing himself as a starter. The right-hander gets the call Sunday after earning a 6-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics in his start on Tuesday.
Hudson allowed those two runs on five hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings. He has three consecutive victories in August while posting a 3.86 ERA.
He will catch the Mets in the midst of a power surge — they hit seven homers in the first three games of this series. Hudson is 1-0 with a 5.74 ERA in three career starts against them.
With infielder Nolan Gorman (back strain) and outfielder Lars Nootbaar (lower abdominal contusion) on the 10-day injured list, the Cardinals plugged rookie shortstop Masyn Winn into their lineup.
Winn, the team's top-ranked prospect, is getting a head start on earning a big-league job for next season.
"There's enough season for him to show what he's able to do for us to have real clarity going into the offseason," St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol said. "I think it's really important for someone like Masyn to get a taste of this before the year is over.
"You go into the offseason prepping for the upcoming year not wondering what it's going to be like, but now you have an expectation of what it's like and you're preparing to go dominate it."
Winn is 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in his first two career games.
The Cardinals made a bullpen adjustment before Saturday's game, optioning James Naile to Triple-A Memphis and promoting Guillermo Zuniga in a swap of right-handed pitchers.
The Mets also made moves to freshen their bullpen Saturday. Pitcher Joey Lucchesi, who won his start Friday, returned to Triple-A Syracuse. The team designated pitcher Dennis Santana for assignment and promoted pitchers Adam Kolarek and Vinny Nittoli.
"(Lucchesi) came up and did the job, and it leaves a good taste in everybody's mouth," Showalter said. "If there comes another need, certainly he'll be considered, but we have a need for two pitchers up. We're trying to keep everybody healthy."
—Field Level Media