Jeff McNeil #1 of the Mets reacts after flying out...

Jeff McNeil #1 of the Mets reacts after flying out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the fifth inning Sunday at Citi Field in Queens. Credit: Getty Images / Adam Hunger

It was time for eighth-inning karaoke at Citi Field on Sunday, and the late Bob Marley was ready with what seemed like a hopeful message.

“Don’t worry about a thing, ’cause every little thing gonna be all right,” began his classic song, “Three Little Birds.”

Many Mets fans in the holiday crowd of 22,222 — a very low number, but at least a very symmetrical one — sang along, but did they really believe it?

That was difficult after a 4-1 loss to the Brewers that left the Mets 0-3 for the first time since 2014 and seemed to confirm the many doubts about them entering 2024.

Even without having played a game in April, this regrouping season, or whatever owner Steve Cohen and baseball ops boss David Stearns are calling it, looks as if it could be even more painful than expected.

Naturally, baseball people are with Marley when it comes to making sweeping judgments three games into a 162-game season.

Bench coach John Gibbons, who filled in for suspended manager Carlos Mendoza, was ready with the expected answers after the game.

 

“Everybody in that [locker] room out there, everybody involved in baseball, you [reporters] have all seen it, we just got beat,” Gibbons said. “We’ve got a good ballclub. We like our ballclub. If we’re going to take three games and worry about them, we’re better than that.”

Time will tell, of course. Those 2014 Mets were not good, but they were not terrible, finishing 79-83 under Terry Collins, a year before winning the National League pennant.

But the odds are better that this slow start is a sign of things to come for the Mets than it is an anomaly for a team destined for big things.

The fact that it came against Stearns’ former team added to the pain.

So, of course, did the fact that New York’s other major-league team is 4-0 behind Juan Soto, whom the Mets are assumed to covet when he becomes a free agent after the season.

One series in, this is not good. Not good at all.

Francisco Lindor, who was 0-for-4 Sunday and is 1-for-12 this season, said: “It’s going to change in the way of I will get my hits, and we’re going to win games. But it doesn’t feel good to not have a win right now.”

Lindor also said, “It’s one of those where you start seeing the way things are shaping [up] and you’re like, ‘Uh-oh.’ You have to find your ground, and we haven’t really done it.”

The Mets’ leadoff hitter, Brandon Nimmo, is 1-for-13. Jeff McNeil, who batted fourth on Sunday, is 1-for-11.

Add Lindor, and their No. 1, 2 and 4 hitters against Milwaukee on Sunday are a combined 3-for-36.

And then there was this: Tylor Megill left the game after four innings with tenderness in his throwing shoulder that prompted an MRI, adding to the precariousness of the starting rotation.

“Definitely not ideal and definitely not what we wanted in how to start,” Pete Alonso said. “We’ll just get right back at it tomorrow.”

That would be for a home game against the Tigers, who are 3-0 after a sweep of the White Sox in Chicago.

Defining success or lack thereof this season is tricky, what with Cohen and Stearns targeting 2025 after using this season as a transition after the spending-spree bust of 2023.

But what the Mets have shown so far certainly ain’t it. Yes, it only was March, and yes, it was Easter Sunday, but the weather was fine and the stands were half-empty. If this keeps up, things will look grim and glum in Flushing come midsummer.

When someone asked Alonso if the sweep was made even worse because of the questions surrounding the team coming into the season, he offered a terse cliche.

“Honestly, we just need to keep playing hard and come ready to go tomorrow,” he said.

Not that there was anything wrong with the answer. What else is there to say at this stage?

The Mets should think positively and not worry about a thing this early in the season. The rest of us can be more clear-eyed: There are plenty of things to worry about.

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