Russell: Mets Slow Start Not Unusual or Worrisome

After coming into 2017 with high expectations, the Mets are 2-3 after Saturday’s 8-1 loss to the Marlins.

Better to struggle early than late. In 2015, the Mets started 2-3 before winning 11 in a row, just like the 1986 team. The 2015 Mets went on to win the NL pennant. Last year, the Mets started 2-5 before winning 13 of the next 15 on their way to another playoff appearance.

There’s no reason to worry unless you really believe that Yoenis Cespedes is going to hit .167 for the entire season. Or that Jose Reyes won’t be able to raise his .053 batting average. I’m going out on a limb and saying they’ll be above the Mendoza line soon enough.

There are questions as there are with any team. How will Zack Wheeler perform after missing two seasons? Can the bullpen be trusted to bridge the gap from the starters to Addison Reed, and then Jeurys Familia when the latter returns from suspension?

And when will the offense come around? What is the manager seeing from his offense so far? “I’m not seeing any hits,” Collins said. Lucas Duda’s fifth inning homer was the first Met hit of the night. They would finish with three on the night.

Collins mentioned that Cespedes could have five or six homers by now instead of one if it weren’t for the wind at Citi Field. However, as exciting as Cespedes is, this isn’t a one man show. “We’ve got to get some other guys going because we’re a better offensive team than this,” Collins said. “You’re not gonna ride one guy. It’s not how we’re built. We’re built to do a lot of things and certainly we’re not swinging the bats like we can.”

Robert Gsellman made his first start of the season after picking up four critical wins late in the 2016 season. The righty have up a run in each of his first three innings although he held Miami scoreless in the fourth and fifth to keep New York in the game. “He’s got quality stuff and I think he’ll be fine,” Collins said.

The bullpen has gotten a workout, with a lot of changes being made late in Saturday’s drubbing as well as in Wednesday’s 12 inning loss. “Especially this time of year where you’re not getting your starters deep in the game, you’re gonna use them more than you want to for sure,” Collins said. Rafael Montero, Hansel Robles and Josh Smoker have gotten off to tough starts (albeit in very small sample sizes) while Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins have pitched well. “You’ve gotta be able to make pitches,” Collins added. “You’ve gotta make pitches and you gotta be able to throw your secondary pitches for strikes. You’re not going to be able to pitch in the big leagues with one pitch. Can’t do it.”

Mets fans have nothing to worry about. Even if there are only 157 games remaining.

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