Mets starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws during the first inning...

Mets starting pitcher Jose Quintana throws during the first inning of a spring training game against the Astros on Feb. 29 in West Palm Beach, Fla. Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – The Mets went into Tuesday night’s game against the Nationals with the lowest spring training ERA in baseball.

By a lot.

The Mets’ pitching staff entered Tuesday with a cumulative 2.51 ERA through 15 exhibition games. Next was Houston with a 3.39 ERA. Last was Seattle at 6.89.

Meaningful . . . or meaningless?

“I mean, it's spring training,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said with a smile. “But it's always good to be on the positive side of things, right? I think it’s one of those things that, since the beginning, [pitching coach Jeremy Hefner] and the whole crew addressed attacking the strike zone, using early contact, staying ahead of hitters, executing pitches. And the guys, they’ve been doing a hell of a job attacking hitters, trusting their stuff. We’ve seen results, even though it's spring training.”

The Mets are pretty set in their rotation without the injured Kodai Sengai and in the meat of the bullpen now that Edwin Diaz made his spring training debut (a perfect, three-strikeout tour de force vs. Miami on Monday).

Mendoza said he isn’t ready to name an Opening Day starter, but lefthander Jose Quintana seems to have a leg up.

Quintana threw four shutout innings on Tuesday against Washington (two hits, one walk, two strikeouts) and has a 2.08 ERA after three starts.

The rest of the projected rotation and their spring ERAs: Luis Severino (0.00), Adrian Houser (3.86), Sean Manaea (4.05) and Tylor Megill (1.50).

The top six veteran Mets relievers by ERA going into Tuesday: Diaz (0.00), Adam Ottavino (0.00), Brooks Raley (0.00), Drew Smith (0.00), Sean Reid-Foley (0.00) and Michael Tonkin (0.00)

Sensing a theme?

“I'm just going to go down to the health, like making sure guys are healthy,” Mendoza said. “The way the ball’s coming out of their hands and how they're using the whole repertoire and things like that. It's great that we're having great results because we're attacking hitters, but it's always about the health.”

Quintana is healthy, which is a huge change from last spring training, when he fractured a rib and then underwent surgery after a benign lesion was found in the area.

Quintana, who was in the first year of a two-year, $26-million contract, didn’t make his Mets debut until July 20. He finished with a 3-6 record and 3.57 ERA in 13 starts.

For what it’s worth, the Mets’ spring ERA last season was seventh at 4.10. During the season, it was 4.30, which was 19th overall.

This year’s team ERA rose to 2.64 on Tuesday after the Mets lost to the Nationals, 4-1. Joey Lucchesi allowed four runs in 1 1/3 innings in his first outing.

Still, it’s the best spring ERA in baseball.

“I know it’s just spring training,” Quintana said. “But it’s a great feeling to start the right way before the season.”

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