Frank Francisco isn't running from the truism that his first season with the Mets has been brutal.

"My season?" Francisco said, responding to a question about his overall performance. "Bad — not good."

The combustible closer wasn't needed last night in a 6-4 loss to the Nationals, but has been yanked from consecutive ninth-inning appearances in which he threatened to squander big leads.

The latest came on Thursday in Cincinnati, where he allowed three earned runs on four hits and a walk over two-thirds of an inning before Jon Rauch was summoned to get the final out in a game the Mets won 8-4.

Francisco's ugly numbers this season include a 1-3 record with a 6.25 ERA and 40 hits allowed in 30 1/3 innings. Since returning from the disabled list on Aug. 2, he has allowed eight hits and six earned runs over 2 2/3 innings.