Early Mets embarrassment is a reality check they can overcome

The weekend was bad but it wasn't something this team is incapable of overcoming.

Mar 31, 2024; New York City, New York, USA;  New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) talks
Mar 31, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) talks / Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

How bad was the opening weekend for the New York Mets? The 0-3 start wasn’t good, but they were in every single game they played. The Milwaukee Brewers were smoother, more talented, and showed far fewer weaknesses. The Mets just didn’t have the sort of fight in them where anyone could have reasonably believed there was much of a chance of a comeback, especially on Friday and again on Sunday.

The Mets weren’t blown out. The starting pitching was poor and yet it was hardly the worst three-game stretch we’ve seen. The Mets made headline news for reasons other than the play on the field. It was their handling of the Jeff McNeil/Rhys Hoskins feud which had everyone jabbing at this ball club.

While we can certainly come away from the weekend feeling low, the embarrassment is just a reality check that this won’t be easy. There is no ace in the rotation. This is a team made up of mostly one-year mercenaries, a couple of youngsters trying to find themselves, and core members viewed as leaders who need to change their messaging.

The Mets didn't play as badly as it feels

The three real stinkers among the everyday players were McNeil, Francisco Lindor, and Brandon Nimmo. Offering a 3 for 36 start to the year with each having only a single to their names, those usually steady parts of the roster were the reason for the downfall.

Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez is red hot and so is Pete Alonso. Even Starling Marte got off to a strong start, most notably saving them from further ridicule of being no-hit on Opening Day.

Let’s even take our hats off for Brett Baty whose pinch hit home run on Saturday was the confidence booster the kid needs.

A case of “better now than later” should apply with this team. The Brewers are a superior team and for the Mets to fail to win a game against them isn’t much of a surprise.

Sloppiness is what made the first three games hardest to watch. The rookie manager already getting suspended for his pitcher failing to hit a batter is such a unique situation it’s tough to not laugh about it even if you do root for the Amazins. A catcher’s interference, a balk, 8 stolen bases against them in as many tries plus not a single attempt to swipe a bag by their players. The Mets were outmatched.

Adjusting to these problems is the hard part. Saving themselves from further embarrassment is what should come easy.

Throughout the preseason, the Mets pitched confidence in who they were. Kicked in the teeth this early, the abundantly positive views need to swing a little bit more toward realism.

As good of leaders as this team has, none of them seem like the kind of guy who’d throw someone’s lunch in the trash can. 

Fans can accept this season as a transitional year. The players must not.