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Mets, Brewers try to steady themselves after rough starts to June

Jun 12, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) shakes hands with New York Mets catcher Tomas Nido (3) after the final out of the ninth inning defeating the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

No team that led its division at the end of May has lost more games in the standings this month than the New York Mets.

But the Mets surely feel better about how their June has gone thus far than the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Mets finally return home Tuesday night, when they are slated to host the skidding Brewers in the opener of a three-game series between a pair of potential playoff teams.

Chris Bassitt (4-4, 4.35 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Mets against Adrian Houser (3-6, 3.92) in a battle of right-handers.

Both teams were off Monday after earning a pair of 4-1 wins on the road Sunday, when the Mets won the rubber game of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels while the Brewers snapped an eight-game losing streak by defeating the Washington Nationals.

The Mets’ win allowed them to finish 5-5 on a 10-game West Coast trek, during which they faced the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres — the top two teams in the National League West — before visiting the Angels. New York headed cross-country with a 10 1/2 game lead in the National League East and came home with a 5 1/2-game advantage thanks to the red-hot Atlanta Braves, who are 11-0 this month.

But the Mets were more focused on splitting the 10-game trip than on how the Braves fared. New York went .500 despite Pete Alonso and Starling Marte each missing games with mild injuries while Bassitt, the de facto staff ace with Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom sidelined, went 0-2 with an 8.68 ERA in his past two starts.

“We had some guys banged up a little bit, it’s a tough road trip — three of the best teams in baseball — and we held our own,” Mets pitcher Taijuan Walker said. “Coming across the country like that, it really says a lot about us, the way we handled ourselves and the way we just went out there and competed every night.”

Neither home nor road was kind to the Brewers, who were outscored 57-20 during an eight-game losing streak — the franchise’s longest since 2015 — that began with six straight losses at American Family Field. The Nationals, who have the second-worst record in the National League, won the first two games of the series in Washington, D.C. before Willy Adames had three RBIs in Milwaukee’s wire-to-wire victory Sunday.

The Brewers began June with a three-game lead in the NL Central but ended Sunday a half-game behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who were scheduled to face the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night.

“It’s been a rough time, but it’s a challenge for us as a team,” Adames told reporters Sunday. “I’m happy it happened now, not later on.”

Bassitt and Houser each took the defeat in their most recent starts last Wednesday. Bassitt gave up seven runs (six earned) over 3 1/3 innings as the Mets fell to the Padres 13-2, while Houser surrendered five runs in six innings as the Brewers lost to the Philadelphia Phillies 10-0.

Bassitt didn’t factor into the decision in his lone start against the Brewers on July 30, 2019, when he tossed six scoreless innings for the Oakland Athletics in their 3-2, 10-inning victory. Houser is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in a pair of relief appearances spanning 3 1/3 innings against the Mets.

–Field Level Media