Admittedly, it was an ugly opening series for the New York Mets, who were swept by the Washington Nationals in a three-game series despite holding a lead in all three games. The natural reaction would be for Mets fans to write the team off after such a pathetic showing the first week of the season, but fans should try not to overreact too much to the team’s slow start.
For starters, there’s no shame in getting swept by the Nationals. If it was a lesser team sweeping the Mets, there could be cause for immediate concern. But Washington could easily be a 100-win team this year and perhaps the best team in the National League, so the Mets aren’t likely the last team to be swept by the Nationals this season.
The Mets are also yet to put their best lineup on the field, as Daniel Murphy missed the first two games of the season, the first base situation is still getting sorted out and outfielder Chris Young has gone to the disabled list. There’s nothing the Mets can do about Young’s injury, but they do still have three outfielders capable of playing every day. With Murphy back and Terry Collins deciding to give Lucas Duda regular playing time at first base, the Mets should have continuity in the lineup moving forward which should help the team’s offense get going.
Of course, the bullpen is a huge problem after the way they performed during the first three games of the season. But there is nowhere for the bullpen to go but up, and key middle relievers like Carlos Torres and Scott Rice will pitch better than what they’ve shown so far. The Mets do have a strong contingent of young arms that will eventually come up to help the bullpen.
The rest of the team’s April schedule will make it tough for the Mets to excel early in the season, but they’re not nearly as bad as they’ve looked in the first three games against one of the best teams in baseball. There’s no reason for fans to overreact to the first few games and write off the Mets just yet. Once they settle into the season, they’ll be just fine.