NEW YORK (AP) — Mets general manager Sandy Alderson focused on a number before the season began: 90, as in 90 wins.
The opening series against Washington produced other figures, some frightful ones New York fans can fret over.
The Mets are 0-3 for the first time since 2005. They have lost their first three home games for the first time since 1997.
Their bullpen has a 10.61 ERA, allowing 15 hits and seven walks in 9 1-3 innings along with a .366 opponents' batting average in 41 at-bats.
They outscored the Nationals 6-0 in the first innings over the three games — and then were outscored 22-4.
And with runners in scoring position, they're 2 for 14.
"I assure you, we're better than what you've seen the last three days," Mets manager Terry Collins said after Thursday's 8-2 loss completed a three-game sweep for the Nationals.
Closer Bobby Parnell went on the disabled list after the opener with a partially torn medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. He received a platelet rich plasma injection, was told to rest two weeks and then start a throwing program. Only then will a decision be made on whether he needs season-ending surgery.
"I obviously have a couple of weeks to see if this thing works or not," he said. "But ultimately, I've got to make a fairly quick decision on what I want to do."
PRP is designed to stimulate healing.
"It's a relatively new treatment. They're optimistic it could work," Parnell said. "In that case, I want to make sure I'm 100 percent for next year also and kind of weigh my options. So, we're going to wait the two weeks and see how I feel and make a conscious and wise decision after that and give me my best chance to come back fully and healthy."
Parnell was 5-5 with a 2.16 ERA and 22 saves in 26 chances last year, when he missed the final two months of the season because of a neck injury that required surgery.
"At the end of spring training and a couple of days before the season started, I had what I thought was some muscle soreness," he said. "As a pitcher, if it's muscle, you keep going. It wasn't even my idea to get the MRI. I was going to keep pitching, but the training staff asked me to do it as a precautionary thing, and here we are today."
Parnell spoke after Mets pitchers labored through 174 of the game's 313 pitches.
Tanner Roark (1-0), an emergency starter in place of ailing Jordan Zimmermann, got just two swings and misses in the first four innings and fell behind in a 30-pitch first. He wound up allowing just the two runs and six hits in six innings with three walks and five strikeouts — including his final four batters
Ryan Zimmerman tied his career high with four hits, including three that led off innings. His second-inning home run started the Nationals' comeback from a 2-0 deficit.
Zack Wheeler (0-1) gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings, and the Nationals broke open the game with a four-run seventh against relievers Scott Rice and Jeurys Familia that included a two-run single by Adam LaRoche off the glove of first baseman Lucas Duda.
Before a small crowd of 20,561 Curtis Granderson doubled in a run in the opening inning for his first hit with the Mets following an 0-for-9 start that included five strikeouts. Juan Lagares' sacrifice fly made in 2-0.
"It's good to get the first one of everything out of the way," Granderson said.
Washington went ahead 3-2 in the fifth when Denard Span hit an RBI single to right, advanced as Granderson heaved a two-hop throw home and scored on Jayson Werth's two-out single.
"It was the right play to make. You've got to make the play there," Granderson said. "If the throw's down, it's up to the middle infielder and the catcher to decide to cut the ball at that time."
NOTES: Washington pitchers struck out 39 in the series, third-most in any team's opening three games since 1914, according to STATS. The only teams with more were Texas last year (43) and Cleveland in 1966 (42). ... Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson presented the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience to the New York Mets, Walgreens and Monsignor John Brown, then bounced the ceremonial first pitch. ... The Mets started a different first baseman in each of their first three games for the first time, STATS said. ... Travis d'Arnaud is 0 for 9 this season.