Carlos Mendoza tells the fans what they don't want to hear about Adrian Houser

A vote of confidence the fans didn't need to hear.
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets
St. Louis Cardinals v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Don’t hate the player, hate the result. New York Mets pitcher Adrian Houser hasn’t made excuses for his poor play. Following another beating on Saturday, he took full responsibility.

The City Connect uniforms look less glamorous right now because of their association with a loss. Is this like 2021 all over again with the return of the black uniforms when the Mets couldn’t buy a late season win on a Friday at home? Let’s hope not.

While much of Mets fandom was calling for this to be the last game Houser starts, his manager provided a vote of confidence.

How long of a leash can the Mets give Adrian Houser?

Everything "right" was said by Houser and Mendoza. As the manager, he has to support his players. And immediately after such a poor performance, it would be a bad look if less than a month he's already throwing guys under the bus. In any case, we can only hope in the background somewhere David Stearns was scuffling to try and figure out what to do next.

There is nothing good about Houser’s game right now. He has yet to have a game where he struck out more batters than he walked. Now 14 earned runs allowed in his last 8.1 innings, the veteran righty should be the odd man out once the Mets rotation is at full capacity. Some fans would undoubtedly be willing to go to an extreme and DFA him then fill his roster spot with Joey Lucchesi. There’s a more middle ground to find. That’s moving Houser to the bullpen.

The Mets actually could use some length in relief especially with how limited the rest of the starting staff is when it comes to eating innings. Houser’s inability to get through 6 isn’t just a problem for him. It’s a contagious one throughout the rotation. What would we have ever done this year if not for Reed Garrett?

Houser is very familiar with the bullpen and not just looking over it at the scoreboard to see another run charged against him. With the Milwaukee Brewers, Houser appeared in 32 games in relief. He was far better. At 5-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 32 games and 61.1 innings of work, we can both see why he’d earn himself an opportunity to start and some rationale to keep him there.

As a starter, Houser has been as close to average as it gets. He’s 26-37 with a 4.49 ERA in 102 starts spanning just over 500 innings.

The danger is one of the common fears when moving a struggling starter to the bullpen. A lifetime 5.74 ERA in the first inning tops all other frames he has worked. Is he just bad in the first inning he pitches? If so, a relief role makes him pretty useless aside from eating up innings in a blowout.

Much of Houser’s relief experience came early on in his career. From 2020-onward he hasn’t had a year of making more than 2 relief appearances. The majority of his experience came way back in 2019 when he first became a regular on the Brewers roster.

Already working themselves through injuries to Kodai Senga and his Opening Day replacement Tylor Megill, there isn’t an obvious bag of tricks for the Mets to pull out. Megill did begin his rehab assignment on Saturday and with Christian Scott performing well in Triple-A, fans are eager for him to get the call.

We’ll see more of Houser in some capacity. Mendoza is insistent it’ll be as a member of the rotation. We know better than to believe everything we’re told. In this case, we’re hoping it’s a lie he might not even know he’s telling.