Tagged: Asdrubal Cabrera

Seven Home Runs And A Hat Trick From Cespedes, As Mets Bash The Phils, 14-4

By Paul DiSclafani

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson

Entering the game hitting .154 with just one RBI on a solo home run, Yoenis Cespedes cranked up the volume with three home runs and five RBI in the Mets 14-4 thrashing of their favorite punching bag, the Phillies.  The First Place Mets (5-3), who love hitting at Citizens Bank Park, banged out a season high 20 hits, hit a total of seven home runs and have now won three straight.  Lucas Duda, who hit his first home run of the year yesterday, hit two more today.  Asdrubal Cabrera and Travid d’Arnaud hit their first homers of the year.

Cespedes hit a three-run home run in the first inning after Curtis Granderson walked leading off the game and Cabrera got the first of his four hits, a double.  Phillies starter Clay Buchholz (L, 0-1) was down 3-0 before he even got an out.

Matt Harvey (W, 2-0) was the recipient of the early lead, but the Mets tacked on runs in every one of the next five innings, building a 10-1 lead, before Harvey left the game with hamstring tightness after racing to cover first with two outs in the sixth.  Terry Collins said Harvey felt fine after the game, but will be evaluated tomorrow.

But this night belonged to hitters as they battered the Phillies pitchers.  Buchholz lasted just 7 outs, charged with six earned runs and giving up eight hits.  Adam Morgan was rocked for four home runs, two from Cespedes, and seven runs in his 3.2 Innings.

Jay Bruce, who hit two home runs last night, drove in two runs with a single in the second inning to up the Mets lead to 5-0.  D’Arnaud made it 6-1 with an RBI single in the third.  Cabrera and Cespedes went back to back leading off the fourth to make it 8-1.  Cespedes with a 450-foot monster made it 9-1 in the fifth and Duda hit his first of the night leading off the sixth to put the Mets in double digits, 10-1.  D’Arnaud went yard in the 8th to make it 12-1 and Duda finished things off in the ninth with a home run to make it 14-4.

Mets go for the sweep on Wednesday as Zach Wheeler (0-1) makes his second start after returning from TJ Surgery in 2014, facing Vince Velasquez (0-1).  Both pitchers got battered in their first starts of the season.

POSITIVES:  Cespedes is the 13th Met to hit three home runs in a game, but the first to do it twice … Mets had 20 hits, 14 of them were extra base hits … Cabrera, Cespedes and Duda all had four hits … Mets have hit seven or more home runs at Citizens Bank Park four times, hitting eight in 2015 … First time in Mets history that three Mets have had a single, double and home run in the same game (Cabrera, Cespedes and Duda) … Mets have hit 46 home runs in their last 21 games in Philadelphia … Duda’s home run in the sixth hit off the brick wall in center field, about 448 feet away … Every starter in the lineup had a hit, including Jose Reyes.  Unfortunately, he was 0-5 in his other AB’s …

NEGATIVES:  What can you complain about on a night they hit seven home runs?

Bruce Goes Deep Twice, Mets Top Phillies, 4-3

By Paul DiSclafani

AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson

Jay Bruce went deep twice (for the first time as a Met), including a game changing 2-run home run into the second deck in the eighth inning, as the Mets (4-3) come back and beat the Phillies, 4-3.  The win puts the Mets into First Place in the National League East.

Bruce, with his third home run of the season in the fourth inning, bailed out starter Jacob deGrom (ND), who struggled in the first inning, putting the Mets into a 2-0 hole.  Batting cleanup for the first time this season, Bruce cut the lead to 2-1.  With the scored tied 2-2 in the eighth, Bruce hit a bomb well into the second deck at Citizens Bank Park, with two strikes and two outs, putting the Mets ahead, 4-2.  He already has four home runs in just seven games.

When Bruce was traded to the Mets on July 31st last year, he had already hit 25 home runs with the Reds.  He then hit two home runs in his first five games, but didn’t hit another one until September 1st.  Bruce hit just eight home runs with the Mets in his 50 games.

Prior to the home run, Asrdubal Cabrera was buzzed by Phillies pitcher Edubray Ramos (L, 0-1) with a pitch well over his head and into the backstop.  The pitch was payback for Cabrera’s bat flip last September, when he hit a walk-off home run in extra innings against Ramos.  Although the pitch didn’t hit Cabrera, it caused a stare down and some finger pointing, resulting in a walk to Cabrera, who scored on Bruce’s home run.

Both benches were warned and Phillies manager Pete Mackanin was ejected for arguing after the warning was issued.

DeGrom uncharacteristically walked leadoff batter Cesar Hernandez to start the game and found himself in a base loaded, one out situation after consecutive singles.  Michael Saunders then singled to right for the third straight hit, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead.  Again, deGrom was facing the bases loaded and issued a 3-2 walk to Cameron Rupp to make it 2-0.  With deGrom struggling, Brock Stassi then hit it right back to the pitcher and deGrom started the 1-2-3 double play to get out of the inning.

The Phillies (3-4) wouldn’t score again.

DeGrom willed his way through six innings (2 ER, 2 W, 3K), giving the Mets a chance to get back in the game.  Trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Bruce led off with a walk and went all the way to third on an infield single by Curtis Granderson when the throw to first skipped past Stassi.  Neil Walker then brought Bruce home with a sacrifice fly to center to tie the game, setting up the fireworks and heroics in the eighth.

The Mets bullpen did the rest, with a little drama along the way.  Jerry Blevins (W, 1-0) finished off the seventh inning for Josh Smoker, who put two runners on with a single and a walk as the Mets caught Howie Kendrick off first base in a run-down play after a pitch escaped Travis d’Arnaud.  Blevins then needed a double play to end the eighth after a two out single put the tying run at the plate.

In the ninth, Addison Reed came in for the save and gave up a home run to Stassi leading off the inning to make it 4-3, as Stassi got revenge for hitting into the double play in the first inning.  Reed then got a strikeout before Daniel Nava got a base hit to put the tying run on base.  But Hernandez filed out to center and Reed struck out Kendrick for his second save of the year.

Matt Harvey (1-0) gets the start tomorrow against Clay Buckholtz (0-0) as the Mets try to make it three in a row.  Mets complete the series with the Phillies on Wednesday, then travel to Miami for a four-game weekend series.  The Mets play their first 24 games of the season against the NL East, including six with Washington.

POSITIVES:  DeGrom got his 500th career strikeout in only his 77th career game, the third fastest Met to 500K behind Doc and Harvey … Mets had only four hits and Bruce had two of them.  Three of their hits went for extra bases … Granderson’s hit got him up to .208 … Blevins still hasn’t allowed a run

NEGATIVES:  Reyes went 0-4, dropping down to .037 … Phillies had 10 hits and Mets issued four walks … Mets were 0-5 with runners in scoring position

Paul DiSclafani is a featured writer on “A View From The Bench”, which has been recognized by Major League baseball as one of the top 100 blog sites.

Mets Rout Phillies 17-0, Closing In On Wild-Card Berth

By Paul DiSclafani:

 AP Photo/Seth Wenig

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

The Mets saved the best for last as they kicked a late Field Goal and beat the Philadelphia 17-0 in the last home game of the regular season. This was the largest shutout in franchise history.

The win, combined with a loss by San Francisco in San Diego, gives the Mets (83-73) a one-game lead over the Giants (82-74) and the lead for the top Wild-Card spot, which would result in the Wild-Card game being played in New York.  The Cardinals (81-73), who play the Cubs tonight, are in a virtual tie with the Giants for the second spot.

The Mets will head into Miami for three games starting tomorrow followed by a day off on Thursday, then to Philadelphia for the final weekend of the series. Although the series in Miami will have a heaviness to it after the tragic loss of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez early Sunday morning, the Mets just completed a powerful display hitting against the Phillies.

The Mets scored 43 runs in the four game series against Philly, matching a franchise record by scoring at least eight runs in four consecutive games. Of course, the Mets pitching gave up 23 runs in the first three games before rookie Robert Gsellman threw seven scoreless innings in the finale.

After falling behind 10-0 on Saturday and almost coming all the way back in a 10-8 loss, Gsellman was just what the doctor ordered for the Mets bullpen that was decimated in the previous three games. And what a three games it was.

On Thursday, Mets starter Seth Lugo gave up three runs in his five innings, but manager Terry Collins needed six other pitchers to complete the regulation nine innings, capped off by Jose Reyes crushing a 2-run dinger in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game 6-6 after Addison Reed gave up a go-ahead 3-run home run in the eighth to give the Phillies a 6-4 lead. Then the Phils got two runs off Jeruys Familia in the 11th, only to have Asdrubal Cabrera win it for the Mets with an improbable 3-run homer in the bottom of the 11th for a 9-8 Mets win.  Collins ended up using 10 pitchers in the game, nine of them in the final six innings.

Then on Friday, Collins burned through three pitchers in the first five innings before the Mets blew the game open with six runs in the fifth and three more in the seventh. Gabriel Ynoa threw 43 pitches in the first two innings and Logan Verrett followed with 46 more in the next two.  Josh Smoker needed 32 to get his three outs in the fifth, but he got the win.  Mets needed three more pitchers to finish the game, now having used 16 pitchers in two wins.

So of course, Saturday’s starter Sean Gilmartin couldn’t even get out of the first, giving up five runs on four hits and three walks. Rafael Montero came in to get the final out of the first inning, but he lasted only three more innings giving up five runs of his own to put the Mets in a 10-0 hole after just four innings.  You already know that the Mets AAA players took over and almost completed an improbable comeback, falling 10-8.  But it took five more pitchers to finish that debacle, bringing the total to 23 pitchers to complete three games.

It was up to Gsellman to save the day.  “Our bullpen was shot,” manager Terry Collins said. “When you run 23 pitchers out in three games, you’re out of gas. It was nice to be able to have comfortable innings at the end of the game.”

In the finale of the very entertaining series, the Mets pounded out 14 hits, had four players hit by pitches and worked out nine walks. They scores a season high 17 runs and even left nine runners on base.  Six Phillies pitchers threw 201 pitches in only eight innings.  Even Jay Bruce (remember him?) had two hits.

Curtis Granderson hit his 30th home run of the season, a career high and Jose Reyes drove in four runs, coming to bat four consecutive times with the bases loaded.  In the seventh, with the score 7-0, Cabrera hit a grand slam and in the eights, the Mets tacked on six more to complete the rout.

Now it’s on to Miami for what will unquestionably be an emotional experience. The Mets are banking on veteran Bartolo Colon to be up to the task.  “Tomorrow is going to be a rough one for everybody”, Collins said, “Because I’m sure they’re going to be all fired up not only to beat us, but in honor of Jose. But we’ve got to do what we’ve been doing — go out and play, execute. We’ve got to feel good because we’ve got Bart going tomorrow night, because if anybody can handle those situations, it’s him. We’ll see what happens.”

Six games left. The Mets have a Magic Number of 7 with the Cardinals, pending their game tonight.

REMAINING SCHEDULES:

  • Mets (6 games): 3 @ Miami; Thursday off; 3 @ Philadelphia
  • Giants (6 games): Monday off; 3 vs Colorado; 3 vs Dodgers
  • Cardinals (8 games): 1 @ Chicago; 4 vs Cincinnati; 3 vs Pittsburgh

HONORING JOSE FERNANDEZ

The Mets honored Miami Marlins star Jose Fernandez before the game by hanging a #16 Mets jersey (Fernandez’ number) and his name in the dugout. The Mets will take the jersey with them to Miami for the series next week.

POSITIVES:  Mets home attendance (2,789,602) was the highest since the first season at Citi Field (3,154,262) … Four hit batters were a franchise record as Cespedes, Rene Rivera, TJ Rivera and Gavin Cecchinni were all bruised today … Two more home runs today gave the Mets 112 at home, a team record.  Their 212 overall is already a team record … Mets scored 28 runs (27 earned) against the Phillies bullpen in 17 innings … Jay Bruce, who hit the first pinch hit home run of his career in the Mets 10-8 loss, was 4-2 … TJ Rivera had two more hits and his average is up to .361 … Mets finished 44-37 at home this year. Mets were 49-32 at home in 2015.

NEGATIVES:  Granderson has just 56 RBI with his 30 home runs.  He needs 9 RBI in the final six games of the season or he will set an MLB record for the least amount of RBI for a player with at least 30 home runs – 64 set by Felix Mantilla (Red Sox) in 1964 and Rob Deer (Detroit) in 1992 …

Five Home Runs Power Mets Past Cubs Again, Arrieta is Next

By Paul DiSclafani:

Brandon Nimmo Celebrates First Major League Home Run in 10-2 rout of Cubs AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Brandon Nimmo Celebrates First Major League Home Run in 10-2 rout of Cubs
AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Within the span of two games against the team with the best record in baseball, the Mets have brought their fans back a few more feet from the ledge as they hit five home runs against pitcher Jason Hammel on Friday in a 10-2 drubbing between multiple rain delays to go along with Thursday’s thrilling come from behind 4-3 win, which snapped a four game losing streak. Although the Mets had lost nine consecutive regular season games to the Cubs since 2014, they have now beaten them six straight, including a sweep of last year’s NLCS.

With nothing specific to point to other than the infectious smile of rookie Brandon Nimmo, the gloom and doom of being swept in Washington earlier in the week has given way to hope and optimism. That is, until Jake Arrieta takes the mound for the Cubs tonight.

Arrieta, arguably the league’s best pitcher at 12-2 will try to use that league leading 2.10 ERA to his advantage against a Mets team that is suddenly feeling its Wheaties.

The Mets finally provided some run support for Jacob deGrom on Friday as they tied a team record hitting five home runs against the same pitcher, allowing deGrom (4-4) to become a winner for the first time since April 30th, snapping a 10 game winless streak.  Asdrubal Cabrera (twice), Yoenis Cespedes (#20), James Loney and Nimmo hit home runs in the rout.  For Nimmo, it was his first in the major leagues (measured at 442 feet) and prompted the appreciative Citi Field crowd to demand a curtain call.  Nimmo, smiling all the way around the bases, gave the ball, which landed in the bullpen area, to his parents, who were in attendance.   Loney and Cabrera went back-to-back in the second inning.

In addition to his home run (and curtain call), Nimmo made a sliding one-handed catch of a fly ball in right field, prompting manager Terry Collins to say, “It’s always nice to have those young guys come up, because they bring energy.”

Now we’ll see how that energy translates to offense against Arrieta. Since tossing six shutout innings against the Pirates on 6/17 and lowering his ERA to 1.74, Arrieta has come back down to Earth a little.  He was the losing pitcher against St. Louis on 6/22 and lasted only five innings in his last start against, of all teams, the last place Reds.  Arrieta was charged with five earned runs and issued five walks, but the Cubs still managed to get him the “W” in an eventual 11-8 win.

The Mets roughed up Arrieta in Game 2 of the NLCS for three runs in the first inning highlighted by two-run home run by Daniel Murphy en route to a 4-1 win. But Arrieta is 2-1 lifetime against the Mets with a 1.82 ERA in the regular season.

Bartolo Colon (6-4, 2.86) goes tonight and tries to keep this good feeling going for the Mets as they continue to tread water heading into the All Star break next week. After what the Mets have been through the last two weeks, they are certainly enjoying their new-found enthusiasm.

“I’m real aware that it’s the gloomiest days when you lose here,” Terry Collins said. “If you lose two or three in a row here, it’s very hard to deal with. But it’s a long year.”

POSITIVES: Mets hit five home runs in a home game for the fifth time in franchise history, but for the first time at cavernous Citi Field.  Last time was at Shea Stadium in 2000 against the Marlins … Juan Lagares has been activated for tonight’s game after going 6-18 with a triple and a couple of RBI with AA Binghamton as he continues to try to play through a partially torn ligament in his left thumb … Reliever Seth Lugo made his big league debut and pitched two scoreless innings of relief (2 hits and a HBP), but then was sent back to AAA Las Vegas to make room for Lagares.  He is the first Met to ever wear #67 – now THAT’s a future trivia answer …

NEGATIVES: Curtis Granderson will miss the rest of this series and the Mets expect to make a decision on whether to put him on the DL today or tomorrow … David Wright looked gaunt in speaking to the media yesterday and has resigned himself to the fact that he will not play again this season.

Paul DiSclafani is a featured author at A View From the Bench, an official affiliate of MLB.com. A View from the Bench is recognized in the Top 100 of MLB.com/blogs.

Mets Take Two From Royals, But Syndergaard and Cespedes Leave With Injuries; Familia Notches 40 Straight Saves

By Paul DiSclafani:

AP Photo / Kathy Williens

AP Photo / Kathy Williens

Fresh off putting together back to back wins against the Royals, the Mets (38-32) and their fans couldn’t even enjoy the moment. Both Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes were forced to leave today’s game with injuries.

With everything going on around them, all the bad news of injuries, all the talk about a possible Jose Reyes reunion and a workout scheduled for Free Agent Cuban star Yulieski Gourriel, the Mets managed to shake it off and win two against the defending World Series Champions.

The Mets bullpen, which was largely responsible for the World Series collapse considering they led in every game at one point, was spot on in these two games. After Colon got hurt on Tuesday after the first batter, they were called on to get the final 26 outs in a 2-1 win.

Today, after Syndergaard was unable to come out for the seventh inning after throwing just 91 pitches, they protected the 4-3 lead with three innings of one-hit ball. Jeurys Familia, who was charged with three blown saves in the World Series against the Royals, finished each game for his 23rd and 24th save of the season.  He now has saved a club record 40 consecutive regular season games.

With Juan Lagares already on the DL with a thumb injury and Steven Matz having elbow tightness, the Mets then found out that Zack Wheeler is experiencing tightness in his TJ elbow.

And now this…

Noah Syndergaard, one of the few Mets pitchers who has NOT had Tommy John Surgery, is experiencing tightness in his elbow. Sheesh.

Yoenis Cespedes, who is hitting .290, hit his 18th home run yesterday and had two hits in the game, left with a wrist injury.  “I don’t know what the issue is”, manager Terry Collins said about Cespedes after the game, “But I am certainly concerned about it.  He had a similar problem last fall with that left hand and he ended up tearing up the National league for a while.”

The Mets that could play, came to play today. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a home run, made a fantastic play behind second base, flipping a backhand throw to second for a force out and then scoring the first run of the game by avoiding a tag at the plate with a great inside slide, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Syndergaard (W, 8-2) has won six straight decisions, but he allowed a home run to Cheslor Cuthbert in the fifth to tie the game and the Royals scored again on a single, a sacrifice and two out single to take a 2-1 lead.

The Mets got that one back and more in their half of the fifth when Cabrera hit a two run home run to center, giving the Mets a 3-2 lead. Not to be outdone, KC came right back the next inning with another two out hit as Paulo Orlando drove in Salvador Perez, who had doubled.  Tie game again.  But not for long.

Matt Reynolds, making his major league debut in the outfield, hit his first home run in the majors off Joakim Soria, giving the Mets the lead again, 4-3. When asked why he would put Reynolds into the outfield when he had never played there before, Collins said, “He’s making the most of every opportunity.  He’s never played the outfield in the big leagues.  He’s a baseball player.  There are those guys who will do whatever you ask.  He handled himself just fine.”

With Syndergaard unable to come out for the seventh inning, Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed did their job (2 innings, one hit) setting up for Familia.

Thursday is an off day as the Mets look for revenge in a weekend set in Atlanta.

POSITIVES: Blevins has now gone 21 straight appearances (13 innings) without giving up a run …Colon is still scheduled to make his next start ,,, James Loney RBI single in the fourth snapped the Mets 0-28 futility with Runners in Scoring Position.  Loney is hitting .289 … Cespedes was 4-6 with a HR and RBI against KC … Syndergaard beat KC in the second game of the season and had the only win for the Mets in the World Series, so he is 3-0 lifetime against them.

NEGATIVES: Rene Rivera is hitting just .180 … Wilmer Flores is just 1-14 since getting hit by a pitch on the wrist …

Mets Roll Boxcars In The Third Inning And Beat The “Craps” Out Of Giants, 13-1

By Paul DiSclafani:

Cespedes greeted by Wright, Conforto and Granderson after drigin them all home with his Grand Slam. AP Photo / Julie Jacobson

Cespedes greeted by Wright, Conforto and Granderson after driving them all home with his Grand Slam. AP Photo / Julie Jacobson

When the 13-7 Mets completed their second consecutive series sweep on Wednesday to win their seventh straight game, the NY newspapers could only talk about the quality of the teams they had beaten – the Phillies and the Reds.

“Wait until the Giants come to town”, they said. “Now they are getting into the tough part of their schedule”, they cried, “Let’s see how they respond.”

Respond they did.

The Mets (14-7) set a franchise record by scoring 12 runs in the third inning, highlighted by a Grand Slam from Yoenis Cespedes to turn an 8-0 nail biter into a 12-0 laugher and win their eight straight game, 13-1 over the San Francisco Giants (12-12). The Mets sent 15 batters to the plate in the third and registered eight hits and four walks, chasing San Francisco starter Jake Peavey (L, 1-2) before he even got an out (6 ER, 5W, 2 INN) and beating up on reliever Mike Broadway (6R, 5H, 1W, 1 INN), splitting the 12 runs between them.  Peavey, a former Cy Young winner, saw his ERA balloon to 8.61.  Broadway recovered nicely to get eight straight, but the damage was done.

Michael Conforto had two hits in the inning, driving in three runs, but it was Cespedes who put the icing on the cake. Cespedes had singled earlier in the inning to drive in two runs, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead, and when he came up with the bases loaded about 20 minutes later, it was already 8-0 and there was still only one out.  Like he did on Tuesday night with a pinch hit 3-run home run, Cespedes hit a laser just beyond the left field fence on the first pitch he saw, only this time it was a Grand Slam giving him 6 RBI in the inning.  Cespedes now has seven home runs on the year and 23 RBI.  He even set a franchise record with an extra base hit in nine consecutive games.

The lucky recipient of all those runs was Steven Matz (W, 3-1), who pitched six shutout innings, striking out four and scattering seven hits. Since losing his first outing of the year on April 11 and lasting just five outs while being charged with 7 earned runs, Matz has won three straight and given up just two runs in 19.1 innings (0.96 ERA), striking out 21 and lowering his ERA to 3.86.  The Mets have scored 27 runs during his streak.

Jacob deGrom (2-0, 1.54) takes on Matt Cain (0-2, 6.43) in the late afternoon (a 4:05 start) as the Mets go for their eighth straight win.

POSITIVES:  Cespedes broke Butch Huskey’s 1998 team record with six RBI in the third inning and is the first player to do it in the majors since 2012 … First eight Met batters reached base in the third inning until Matz fouled out on a third strike bunt attempt … Mets had 12 hits and six walks … Matz had an ERA of 37.80 after his first start of the year and now it sits at 3.86 … Mets were an incredible 9-16 w/RISP … Conforto, Neil Walker, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera had two hits each … Conforto is now hitting .343.  Cespedes (.313), Cabrera (.312) and Walker (.306) are all hitting over .300 …

NEGATIVES:  Peavey and Broadway combined for 66 pitches in the third inning … Broadway’s ERA is now over 18 … Lucas Duda was the only regular not to get a hit, but he walked twice and scored a run … Antonio Bastardo pitched a scoreless ninth, but he walked two more batters and has surrendered five walks and nine hits in his 10.1 innings.  He also has 16 strikeouts.

Thanks for reading!  You can read other articles from me on “Around The Horn Talk

”This is a game we had to have. We couldn’t sacrifice another game.”

By:  Paul DiSclafani

GETTY Images / ELSA

GETTY Images / ELSA

Mets manager Terry Collins wasn’t fooling around in the 8th inning as his Mets were clinging to a 2-0 lead over the Miami Marlins.  The Mets (3-5) had lost four straight and needed to win this game, not only to avoid a sweep, but to get back on track after a miserable 2-5 start to the season.

With one out in the eighth and Christian Yelich on first, Collins came out for reliever Jerry Blevins and summoned closer Jeurys Familia for a five out save. That raised a number of eyebrows, not so much because the move seemed a little panicky, considering it is only the eighth game of the season, but Familia pitched two days in a row (36 pitches in total) and was now being summoned to save what should be considered a meaningless game just 11 days into the season.

Was it panicky?  Tell that to the New York Media or the New York Fans, who have been struggling with their emotions as the Mets have stumbled out of the gate, hitting just .186 as a team and ranked 29th in runs scored with just 18.  Everyone needed the Mets to win this game.  Everyone.

”We’ve gotten off to a slow start. It happens. It happens. It’s part of the game,” Collins said. ”There’s a lot of teams that get off to great starts and falter. There are teams that get off to slow starts that have huge second halves and run away with stuff. I just thought it was important today for our fan base to stay excited.”

Fans have been lighting up social media since spring training about the Mets lack of urgency and possible lack of preparation as they lost 13 straight Grapefruit games and just continued to shrug off the results, pointing to the “real” games when the season started. Well, here we are, seven games into the season, and the Mets have looked exactly as they did during the spring – punchless at the plate and clueless on the field.

”I’m not worried about the confidence. I’m worried about the perception is that there’s no energy here, which is completely not true, that we’re not prepared, we’re overconfident or we’re not taking things seriously,” Collins said. ”I heard that last night and it made me sick to my stomach, that people actually think that this team, that accomplished what they did last year, would have any semblance of that type of makeup.”

The players and coaches are certainly taking notice of what is happening and they are plenty aware of what is being written and said about their low energy start. After the incredible high of the playoffs and World Series last year, compounded with seeing the start the Washington Nationals are having, winning exciting games late and coming out of the gate 5-1, Mets fans are a little nervous and a little impatient.

”I’m not deaf, and I’m not blind. I listen. I see how people are reacting. I hear what’s going on,” Collins said. ”I read the stuff, and I read between the lines of what’s being said.”

David Wright knows the expectations in the clubhouse as the Captain said, “This isn’t the start that we thought about and planned to have.”

Backup catcher Kevin Plawecki rescued the Mets with a two-out single in the 7th, driving home both Wilmer Flores (making his major league debut at first base) and Asdurbal Cabrera, giving them a 2-0 lead.  A lead that Collins felt was so worth protecting, he made the call for Familia with five outs left.

”If you start saying games are must wins, I think there’s some pressure that really is not needed,” Plaweicki said, ”but definitely there was a sense of urgency to get a win today.”

Lost in the Familia shuffle was Logan Verrett, who tossed six shutout innings in a spot start for Jacob deGrom, allowing just three hits. And in the seventh inning, with the game still tied 0-0, Collins went to reliever Jim Henderson, who threw a career high 34 pitches about 17 hours prior.  Henderson was awful, allowing a leadoff single and two walks to load the bases with no outs.  Henderson’s velocity is 89-91, way down from 95-97 in his previous appearances.

Hansel Robles came to the rescue, striking out Miguel Rojas looking and Derek Dietrich swinging. Blevins finished the job by getting Dee Gordon to fly out to left and end the inning.  But after getting the first out in the eighth, Blevins allowed a single to Yelich that ended his night and started the inquisition of Collins as Familia came into the game to face Giancarlo Stanton.

Familia snuck two fastballs by Stanton to get ahead 0-2, then got him to fly out to center for the second out. Martin Prado then singled, moving Yelich to second.  Familia got ahead of Justin Bour 1-2, but Bour singled to left to make it a 2-1 game.  Although Familia got JT Realmuto to hit it back to the box on the next pitch to end the inning, he still needed to go out there again in the ninth to secure the win.

In the ninth, Familia (S, 2) took care of business, just like Collins drew it up, finishing with a strikeout of Gordon to end the game and the Mets losing streak at four games.

”We’re talking about something now that’s going to be written up tomorrow like we’re on the cutting edge here, we’re walking that razor blade,” he said. ”We’re not. We just wanted to win today.”

So did everyone else.

Mets have the day off on Thursday and head out on a nine-game road trip, beginning with a weekend set in Cleveland as Bartolo Colon (0-1) gets things started on Jackie Robinson Day in MLB.

POSITIVES: Blevins got the win (1-0) … Yoenis Cespedes went flying into the stands in the eighth inning to try to snag a ball, crashing into a fan and hitting his knee.  He stayed in the game and was later rewarded by being hit in the elbow by a pitch … Cabrera had two hits … Flores, making his debut at 1B, turned a nifty 3-6-3 DP

NEGATIVES: Jacob deGrom may be headed to the DL … Mets were 3-9 W/RISP, but scored both runs on the same AB … Gordon snapped a 19-game hitting streak against the Mets