Terry Collins said early Sunday that his relief pitchers need to throw more strikes, otherwise their early-season struggles are likely to continue.
"We're behind in counts," Collins continued. "You're asking for trouble, especially when you're behind in the game against a good team with an outstanding lineup."
In 20 1/3 innings this season, his bullpen is 1-1 with a 4.43 ERA, during which they have combined to walk 15 batters compared to 22 strikeouts.
"We're getting ourselves in counts when we're throwing nothing but fastballs and in the big leagues you're going to get hurt," he concluded less than 24 hours after watching relievers Josh Smoker and Hansel Robles walk leadoff batters the night before.
Nov 1, 2015; Reed throws a pitch during the World Series at Citi Field. Credit: Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Collins is currently without All-Star closer Jeurys Familia, who is under suspension through the first 15 games of the season due to a 2016 domestic violence incident.
The way it stands, Familia will be eligible to return to the Mets on April 20.
Familia, 27, had a 2.55 ERA (2.39 FIP) and 1.21 WHIP last season, while striking out 84 batters in 77 2/3 innings as he saved a team-record 51 games.
In Familia's absence, Addison Reed has yet to allow a run in three appearances, during which he has primarily served as the team's closer.