Mets fight back, unable to overcome Adrian Houser's tough start in 7-6 loss to Guardians

The Mets have fallen to a season-low six games below .500 after Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

Here are the takeaways...

-Adrian Houser’s first start back in the rotation since getting demoted to the bullpen earlier in the season due to ineffectiveness left a lot to be desired. It started out fine, as the right-hander retired the first seven to face him, including four by way of strikeout, but a hit by pitch in the third inning derailed his outing.

The right-hander would allow back-to-back doubles down the first and third base lines that brought home the game’s first two runs. A third double in the inning by Jose Ramirez, aided by a poor route taken by Starling Marte in right, made it 3-0 Cleveland. Not only was Marte fooled by the trajectory of the ball, he compounded the issue by making an error trying to pick it up, which allowed Ramirez to advance to third base.

-Not pitching terribly into the fifth with his team only down by a run, Houser had one more out to get to strand a runner at first base, but Ramirez struck again with a two-run shot on a neck-high sinker that brought the Guardians’ lead back to three.

Houser’s night was finished after allowing a leadoff single in the sixth, which came around to score, gave the struggling starter a final line of 5+ innings with six earned runs on six hits, one walk and four strikeouts. His season ERA went up to 7.88.

-New York showed some fight throughout the game with Mark Vientos being the catalyst a few times. In the fifth, after being shut out for four innings by starter Xzavion Curry (who was brought up from the minors to replace the injured Carlos Carrasco about four hours before the game), Vientos smacked a solo shot to straightaway center field that went 430 feet to get the Mets on the board. Three consecutive hits, culminated by Francisco Lindor’s RBI single, cut the deficit in half.

-In that same inning, New York loaded the bases with one out but was unable to cash in any more runs after back-to-back strikeouts by Brandon Nimmo and J.D. Martinez as the Mets continued to struggle with the bases juiced.

-Vientos got things going once again in the sixth with a well-struck two-out double that brought Jeff McNeil to the plate. The second baseman muscled one just over the wall in right-center field for his second extra-base hit of the game to get New York back to within a run. The duo of Vientos and McNeil, batting seventh and eighth in the lineup, finished 4-for-8 with two home runs, three RBI and four runs scored. Vientos is also now hitting .360 with a 1.127 OPS in 25 at-bats this season.

Cleveland answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, though, with a two-run shot by pinch-hitter David Fry off Jake Diekman who just entered the game in relief of Houser. Again, the deficit was back to three.

-Still, the Mets continued to show resolve. In the eighth inning, Marte hit New York's third home run of the night, a two-run bomb, that brought his team back to within a run.

-Lindor gave the Mets a chance in the ninth with a one-out single -- his second hit of the night as he tried to break out of a deep slump -- but Pete Alonso grounded into a game-ending double play.

-A night after scoring just one run on six hits in a 3-1 loss, New York scored six runs on 11 hits but still couldn't figure out a way to win.

Game MVP: Jose Ramirez

The third baseman finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and two extra-base hits. Honorable mention: Xzavion Curry who limited the Mets to two runs in 4.1 innings after getting the call to start hours before the game started.


What's next

The Mets and Guardians finish their three-game set with a day game on Wednesday starting at 1:10 p.m.

LHP Jose Quintana (1-4, 5.21 ERA) faces off against RHP Triston McKenzie (2-3, 3.23 ERA).