The New York Mets are headed on the road after a very disappointing home stand. They were swept in three games by the Washington Nationals and split a four-game series with the Chicago Cubs. To make matters worse, the Mets matched their own futility mark- set in 2004- of going five consecutive games with four or fewer hits.
This futility is not a new development. Ever since the the All-Star Break, the hitting has been very lackluster.
The prime examples of these struggles are David Wright and Curtis Granderson. Wright has hit a dismal .224 since the break; even worse is the fact that he has only two extra base hits in that span. Granderson is 3 for his last 33 and only recently snapped out of an 0-for-12 skid. Even Daniel Murphy, the Mets’ most consistent hitter, has been slumping lately, dropping his average to .297.
This reveals a very serious problem that the Mets have faced all season. Outside of Murphy and Lucas Duda, there has not been consistent production from any part of the lineup. The Mets are still in dire need of a consistent bat in the middle of the lineup. Wright was expected to be “that guy” after signing his 8-year extension and his lack of power has come as a real surprise. Granderson was also expected to provide some power and clutch hits. That production also hasn’t been there lately. Wright and Granderson have only one home run since the All-Star break.
It won’t matter how good the Mets’ pitching is if they can’t put together more than four hits in a nine inning game. That said, the fact that the Mets won two of those five games, says something about their pitching as well as some occasional good fortune (I’m not going to try to explain how they scored 7 runs on four hits).
And speaking of good pitching, the Mets’ lives are not going to get any easier. Starting Tuesday, they will face Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija and Clayton Kershaw in consecutive days. Considering the subpar performances against Jake Arrieta, it’s unlikely the Mets will muster much against better pitchers on better teams.
The truth is something has to change because performances such as these cannot be acceptable for a big league team. I’m not going to suggest organizational overhaul but there are too many hitters that are not contributing on a major league level.
There are holes in the everyday positions and not nearly enough depth to contribute late in the game or on an off day.
Offense is going to have to be the big area to fix for the Mets this offseason, even if it comes at the cost of some young pitching.
Bartolo Colon will be put on the bereavement list and Gonzalez Germen will rejoin the team after spending much of the year in Triple-A after being injured early on. Germen will provide relief for an overworked bullpen. Carlos Torres started and pitched 5 innings Tuesday meaning he will need rest and that the Mets needed 4 innings out of other relievers who may begin to lose effectiveness due to overwork.
Among relievers in need of some time off is Jenrry Mejia. Mejia has been dealing with a handful of injuries, including a bad calf, a bad back and a hernia, and has pitched in 4 of the last 5 days, and not very well at that.
Colon should be back fairly soon, but there will certainly be members of the bullpen under the microscope.