Is it panic time for the NY Mets?

Rich Mancuso

Three more games starting Friday night for the New York Mets at Citi Field. Then a grueling early season road trip to Atlanta, Los Angeles (Angels) and to Arizona with the Diamondbacks and it there is no hesitance to say it is crucial time for the Mets.

Why is it so crucial? The three opening of the season games with the Nationals did not project anything positive. The bullpen issues are evident, the first base situation is not any better, and there is every reason to believe that the hits will be far and few between.

Though, in defense of the putrid offense, this time of year the pitchers may still be ahead of the hitters. But, if the Mets don’t take two of three this weekend from the Cincinnati Reds, the panic button will continue to be pushed. The talk of 90-wins will obviously be a mirage that we all knew was never a possibility.

Manager Terry Collins, assuming things continue to be dismal, will be under a watch. And though the manager is always the first one to go, it is still too early as to determining his future if the Mets come home after that road trip with a dismal outcome.

The attitude in the Mets clubhouse is so much like last season. Optimism of course Monday on Opening Day and then it went downhill the next two games against the Nationals. The strikeouts at the plate compiled and set a club record in the first three games.

If the strikeouts continue to compile, the Mets could rival a Major League record at the end of September. However, there is every reason to believe that it will get better, and that is what this Mets team is setting out to prove the next three games against the potent Reds.

In essence, the post game locker room after the first three games so much resembled much of what was seen last season. Players took their time to speak with assembled media, and they were very cautious with their comments.  They, too, appear to be concerned after the first three games.

Should there be concern, and if so, to what extent?

Collins has decided for the moment that Lucas Duda will get the starts at first base. That leaves Ike Davis, again, on the bench. The three man platoon at the position leaves Josh Satin on the bench, who was supposed to face left pitching. It is hoped Duda can be the power hitter that was expected. If not, he sits again and Davis returns, or the rotation resumes of the three.

Davis goes along with the plan. Duda, for some reason will always be in the Mets plans. Even if with that proficiency to swing at bad pitches, and is better at handling first than putting him in right field

See, for the moment, there is room in the outfield with Chris Young disabled with a bad quad and no telling when he returns. The bright spot, Juan Lagares will continue to have his spot locked in the lineup. Out in center he is Gold Glove material and he was one of the few that got some hits in the Nationals series.

Curtis Granderson can’t continue to look as bad as he did. Swinging at bad pitches and striking out five times in 13 at bats, though he had two hits, one promising tow-base hit in the finale of the Nationals sweep Thursday afternoon. He can’t continue to look that bad despite missing most of last season with the Yankees. There are no lingering effects of his injury plagued 2013 season, as determined.

There is more, and it is not David Wright. Ruben Tejada, not sliding at home Thursday was explained to be confusion about the new home plate collision rule. Give that shortstop issue some time. Tejada, if healthy and with the proper mental approach can revert to form.

The starters, all three, maybe with the exception of Bartolo Colon, should not be blamed. A bullpen with a three-game and combined earned run average over 10.6 is an issue, and again so much resembling last season as Jose Valverde needs to close the job with Bobby Parnell on the disabled list.

So, there is panic and the next three games do appear to be crucial. But do not expect any changes soon. As they say, it is too early. But is it, with the New York Mets?

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