He picked a lot of brains to get where he is now. No closer – past or present – escaped the Mets clubhouse without fielding at least one question from Bobby Parnell.

Of the stacks of advice he assembled, there is one piece he clutches tight each time he returns to the mound. It is a souvenir he culled from his conversations with Francisco Rodriguez.

"I remember K-Rod saying that no matter what happened batter by batter, he knew that he was going to get the next batter out," Parnell said during a quiet moment in Miami this past weekend. "If he gave up a leadoff single or a leadoff double, he wasn’t worried about the runner or worried about what happened. He knows that he’s going to get the next three guys out."

Parnell has adopted this as his mantra. The Mets have won just 22 games this season. Parnell has saved nine of them. He enters tonight’s game in Washington with a record of 4-1 and a 1.85 ERA.

"I really, really am truly impressed with the development he’s made with the way he’s handled things," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "I think he’s just grown into the job also, very similar to what Matt [Harvey’s] done.

"He knows he has the stuff. He knew that two years ago, three years ago. I just think he’s listened and learned and gotten better as time’s gone along."