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MIAMI — He’s one tough Cookie these days.

Carlos Carrasco isn’t going to win any contests blowing away hitters, but the right-hander’s offspeed pitches and command — and most importantly, his health — have converged this season to give the Mets an invaluable rotation piece.

On Saturday, he gave his team 7 ²/₃ shutout innings in a 4-0 victory over the Marlins at loanDepot park. Carrasco extended his scoreless streak over his past three starts to 18 ²/₃ innings.

The win was No. 100 in Carrasco’s career, making the 35-year-old the eighth Venezuelan-born pitcher to reach the milestone. Carrasco last surrendered a run on July 9 against the Marlins at Citi Field.

The Mets (63-37) won their fifth straight and reached the 100-game mark with the franchise’s most victories since 1986.

Overall, Carrasco allowed four hits and struck out seven with two walks. Seth Lugo replaced Carrasco in the eighth inning after Charles Leblanc had doubled with two outs. But Leblanc was picked off second base by Tomas Nido, ensuring Carrasco’s scoreless streak continued.

Carlos Carrasco didn't allow a run in the Mets' 4-0 win over the Marlins.
Carlos Carrasco didn’t allow a run in the Mets’ 4-0 win over the Marlins.
AP

Lugo remained in the game to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, allowing Edwin Diaz a day off following a 10-pitch outing Friday in which he struck out the side.

The Mets will try for a three-game sweep of the reeling Marlins on Sunday with Taijuan Walker on the mound.

After scuffling at the plate for seven innings, the Mets gave Carrasco breathing room in the eighth when Francisco Lindor and J.D. Davis each blasted a solo homer to give the Mets a 4-0 lead. Davis’ homer, in a pinch-hitting appearance, came as the Mets are searching on the trade market for a right-handed bat to solidify the DH spot.

The Mets have traded for two lefty bats in the last week-plus to bolster the other half of the DH equation. One of those additions, Tyler Naquin, debuted for the Mets on Saturday in left field and went 0-for-4. Daniel Vogelbach started at DH and drew a walk in four plate appearances.

Carrasco’s gem was the latest strong performance by a Mets starting pitcher. Entering play, the Mets had a 2.45 ERA from the starting rotation in July, which ranked second in the major leagues. Chris Bassitt had a rare flat start for the Mets a night earlier, when he allowed four earned runs over six innings.

Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer in the third against rookie Nick Neidert to give the Mets their first run. The homer was the first since June 14 for McNeil, who entered the day with a .162/.240/.191 slash line in July.

The Mets weren’t finished in the inning: Nido, Brandon Nimmo and Lindor all singled. Lindor’s hit extended the Mets’ lead to 2-0 and gave the shortstop 68 RBIs for the season before he reached 69 with his blast later.

Carrasco was challenged in the first inning, when he allowed a single to Miguel Rojas and walk to Jesus Aguilar before retiring JJ Bleday for the final out. In the fourth, Carrasco surrendered a leadoff single, but he escaped the inning when he got Bleday to ground into a double-play.


By: Ny Post

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Career NYC criminal tries to steal moped from NYPD station

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A brazen career criminal with more than 50 arrests on his rap sheet, including rape, was busted for trying to steal a moped from outside a lower Manhattan police station.

Jon Matos was caught red-handed approaching the $1,200 bike outside the 5th Precinct, sources said.

He was allegedly using a set of burglary tools Friday to try to bust the lock of the bike, which was vouchered property, cops and sources said.

Matos, a homeless father of three, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on charges of attempted grand larceny and possession of burglary tools.

The proceeding was delayed for hours, sources said, after Matos allegedly became angry with a cellmate who used the facilities — but didn’t courtesy flush.

“I was just f–king with it. It’s not my tools,” he allegedly told an NYPD detective, said Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Megan Mers during the court proceeding.

Judge Valentina Morales Saturday agreed to give Matos supervised release in the moped case.

“Thank you, your honor,” Matos told Morales.

But instead of hitting the streets once again, Matos was held on outstanding charges from the 23rd Precinct in an unrelated case, authorities said.

It was his second appearance before a judge in a week: Matos was in court days earlier, charged with grand larceny, petit larceny, and criminal possession of stolen property and was released in yet another incident.

Matos has racked up dozens of busts for burglary, robbery, fare evasion — including the 1999 rape of a 14-year-old girl.

Crime is up in six of the seven major crimes measured by the department contributed to the increase — though the seventh category, murders, dropped a noticeable 31.6% last month in comparison to numbers compiled in June 2021, according to the NYPD’s preliminary statistics.

Grand larceny spiked 41%, robbery rose 36.1% and burglary went up 33.8%.

When addressing the crime spike last month, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said the department was arresting the same people for crimes “over and over again.”

Other recent and brazen repeat offenders include veteran shoplifter Isaac “Man of Steal” Rodriguez, who was finally locked up in January after dozens of arrests for stealing to support his drug habit.

Laron Mack, whose catchphrase is “I steal for a living,” has been arrested more than 50 times. Another serial stealer, James Connelly, was busted in December for involvement in 28 separate incidents over three months.

Last month, accused serial shoplifter Lorenzo McLucas, 34, was nabbed for stealing from the cosmetics counter at a Duane Reade on Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, according to cops and court documents.

McLucas, who was released on his own recognizance, has notched 122 prior arrests.


By: Ny Post

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Nick Castellanos a sell at fantasy trade deadline

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As your fantasy baseball league’s trade deadline approaches, it is important for you to do a full assessment of the players you are planning to ride all the way to a championship.

Is everyone pulling their weight, and if not, are you expecting them to turn it around in the second half? The only thing worse than drafting a top player who turns out to be a bust is holding that player while blindly hoping he turns it around, or buying low on that player and never seeing the proper return. Phillies outfielder Nick Castellanos appears to be that player.

Nick Castellanos.
Nick Castellanos at the plate for the Phillies.
Getty Images

When the Phillies signed Castellanos to a five-year, $100 million contract back in March, expectations ran high, both in reality and fantasy baseball. The veteran slugger was coming off a career-best year, in which he batted .309 with 34 home runs, 100 RBIs and 95 runs scored for the Reds. He was leaving the friendly confines of Great American Ballpark, but he was still going to a hitter’s park in Philadelphia with a much stronger surrounding lineup. Unfortunately, he has failed to meet expectations thus far, and it doesn’t look good for a turnaround.

Through 98 games this season, Castellanos has a slash line of just .251/.295/.368 with just eight home runs and 47 RBIs. His walk rate is down, his strikeout rate is up, and his isolated power mark (ISO), which tracks extra-base hits and homers, is at .117, which is well below league average and the lowest of his career. A look into his batted-ball data paints an even more grim picture, as his barrel rate is down to just 7 percent thanks to an increasing number of ground balls he is mashing into the dirt.

When looking for a player to turn things around, you look for statistical anomalies in the data. Is his BABIP unusually low? If so, he could just be unlucky. What about his line drive rate? Sadly, though some of Castellanos’ numbers have dipped, there is nothing outlandish to indicate a turnaround. In fact, the numbers that are “off” are things like his chase rate (down almost seven points) and his batting average and slugging percentage against breaking balls.

It is very difficult to jettison a player of Castellanos’ stature after a bad first half, but he does not look like the same hitter we saw last year. Oftentimes, players need a year to readjust to their new surroundings, and it looks like he fits that mold. If you have him, trade him to someone who still believes. If you don’t, quietly reject those trades and continue down your own path.


By: Ny Post

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Aaron Judge homers, keeps up historic pace as Yankees top Royals

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The day started with standouts from the past gathered in Monument Park, but as usual, the real star on Saturday afternoon was Aaron Judge, who powered the Yankees to their third straight win over the horrid Royals, 8-2, in The Bronx.

It was just another day for the slugger, who continued his record-setting pace with his MLB-high 42nd homer of the season — and 200th of his career.

Only Philadelphia’s Ryan Howard reached the 200-homer milestone faster, getting there in 658 games, compared to Judge’s 671.

The homer Saturday, Judge’s ninth in nine games, was a two-run laser to right field off right-hander Jonathan Heasley, who, like the rest of the Royals, appeared overmatched.

Nestor Cortes, not at his sharpest, limited the Royals to two runs in five innings.

It all followed an underwhelming Old-Timers’ Day at the Stadium, which lacked a game, as well as Mariano Rivera and other Yankees greats.

Yankees
Aaron Judge rounds the bases after his home run against the Royals on Saturday
Corey Sipkin

The Yankees (69-33) clobbered Heasley in the bottom of the first, with the first four batters reaching base — and two of them scoring.

DJ LeMahieu led off with a homer to right-center, his 10th home run of the season.

Judge, who entered with eight homers in his previous eight games, singled to left and Andrew Benintendi walked.

Gleyber Torres then sent a booming double to right-center to score Judge and send Benintendi to third before Josh Donaldson whiffed for the first out.

Matt Carpenter walked to load the bases for Aaron Hicks, a notoriously bad hitter with the bases full, though he had walked in the same situation Friday night in the Yankees’ win.

This time, Hicks reverted to form and grounded into an inning-ending double play on a 3-2 pitch to keep it a two-run game.

Cortes pitched out of a jam in the second. After a leadoff walk to Hunter Dozier and a single up the middle by Vinnie Pasquatino, Michael A. Taylor’s fly ball to right moved Dozier to third.

With runners on the corners, MJ Melendez hit a slow chopper to Cortes, who got Dozier in a rundown between third and home and threw him out.

Cortes followed with a strikeout of Maikel Garcia to end the threat.

After Judge’s home run in the second made it 4-0, Cortes gave up a single to Nicky Lopez and a double to Whit Merrifield to start the third.

Yankees
Matt Carpenter hits a home run against the Royals on Saturday.
Corey Sipkin

He struck out Bobby Witt Jr., but Salvador Perez crushed one to left-center, where it hung up long enough for Hicks to make the catch on the warning track for a sacrifice fly.

Cortes then struck out Dozier swinging.

He wasn’t as fortunate in the fourth — the lefty’s third straight inning with multiple baserunners.

Taylor singled with one out and Melendez walked. A base hit by Garcia drove in Taylor to make it 4-2.

But Lopez followed with a hard grounder to first, and LeMahieu started a nice 3-6-3 double play.

Nestor Cortes reacts during the Yankees' over the Royals on Saturday.
Nestor Cortes reacts during the Yankees’ over the Royals on Saturday.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

The Yankees added two more runs in the fourth, thanks to more brutal play by the Royals.

First, Garcia nonchalantly tried to catch an Isiah Kiner-Falefa popup with one out and dropped it. Kansas City seemingly was about to be bailed out when Jose Trevino grounded to third for an easy double play, but Merrifield dropped the throw from Lopez.

LeMahieu delivered an RBI single and after Judge walked, a Benintendi sacrifice fly made it 6-2.

The Yankees scored again on another Kansas City miscue in the sixth. Kiner-Falefa stole second and Perez threw the ball into left field on the play, allowing Kiner-Falefa to come home.

Carpenter’s 15th homer of the year — and second since July 17 — gave the Yankees an 8-2 lead in the seventh.

Clarke Schmidt tossed three innings to finish the game and pick up his second save.


By: Ny Post

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