NEW YORK -- For now, the New York Mets' concerns are limited to the short term. They're not happy with a 2-5 start to the season, not thrilled that their offense has stumbled in the first week-plus of the season, disappointed that they couldn't turn another brilliant Noah Syndergaard effort into a losing-streak stopper.
And, also, they’re not overly concerned that this slow start is a sign of some bigger problem.
It's just seven games, and even if this is the Mets' worst seven-game start since 2010, it certainly isn't their worst seven-game stretch since then. The Mets lost five of seven as recently as last September, just a few weeks before they played in the World Series.
They scored just one run Tuesday, on the heels of scoring zero and two in consecutive losses to the rebuilding Philadelphia Phillies, and three in a blowout loss to the Marlins on Monday. The Mets have just one game in seven in which they've scored more than three times.
Then again, as David Wright pointed out, the opposing pitcher was part of the issue on this night.
"Jose Fernandez is never the remedy for a struggling offense," Wright said.
Fernandez gave the Mets some chances, and his early struggles forced his pitch count up and forced him out of the game after just five innings. But the Mets didn't do any more against the Marlins’ relievers, more proof that they are struggling or scuffling, the other word Wright used.
So they couldn't win on a night when Syndergaard struck out 12 in seven brilliant innings. They couldn't win on a night when they got Fernandez out of the game after five. They lost this one because reliever Jim Henderson lost a 16-pitch battle with Dee Gordon to begin the eighth inning, and then walked the bases loaded to set up Martin Prado's game-winning sacrifice fly off Jerry Blevins. But really, they lost because, once again, they sputtered at the plate.
Collins admitted to some concern with the at-bats, a significant concession for a manager who earlier in the day was bemoaning the "drama" created by his team's slow start.
"We're fine," Collins had said then. "But when you come to the ballpark every day and keep getting hit with a pie in the face that you're not very good, you don't like it.
"We are good."
They still believe they're good, and they still should believe that. But the 2-5 start is enough of a concern that Wright also spoke of the need to get things turned around quickly.
"I think guys will heat up, hopefully [Wednesday]," he said. "We just need one of those days we put up a seven- or eight-spot, relax a little."
The Mets actually did put up a seven-spot not all that long ago. It was last Friday, in the home opener against the Phillies, and if it feels like a distant memory. That's what four straight deflating losses can do. It's been a tough week at home, and the Mets know it's going to be followed by a nine-game trip to Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
"We certainly think we're a good enough club to run off a string of wins, no matter where we play," Collins said.
They should think that. The 2-5 start and offensive slump should feel like a short-term concern. For now, that's exactly what it is.