LOS ANGELES—During the Mets' current road trip, their hitting has been as bad as it's ever been.
The Mets are now 2-8 on their current 11-game road trip that concludes tomorrow afternoon and have gone through three prolonged hitting funks during the stretch.
Their first prolonged slump occured at the beginning of the trip. The Mets didn't score for the first 24 innings while in San Francisco; it took them until the seventh inning of their third game to score.
Ike Davis hit a monster two-run shot into McCovey Cove at AT&T Park to snap the string in a Mets 8-4 loss.
Their second hitting drought came on Wednesday and Thursday against the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, respectively. The Mets were shut out over the final eight innings of their 14-inning 4-3 loss in Arizona and were shut out completely Thursday in Los Angeles, 2-0, to run their string to 17 straight scorless innings.
After breaking up the drought in Friday's win, the Mets began a third streak of consecutive scoreless innings in today's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers.
After tying the game at 2-2 in the sixth, the Mets failed to score over the final seven innings from the seventh to 13th. It's almost equivalent to what happened in the 14-inning game, only one less inning was played. The Mets hope they're not shut out tomorrow, the way they were following the 14-inning debacle.
The point of all of this is the Mets pitching has actually been fantastic for the most part over this stretch. On this road trip, twice has a game lasted 13 or more innings, only to find the Mets lose a close one via the walk-off.
Today's loss was the Mets 12th walk-off loss of the season, showing that they've been in a ton of close affairs this season. If they at least won half of those, they would be 14 games over .500 at this point at 56-42. They aren't, though, and that's the shame of it.
There has to be a reason why the Mets have been so bad on the road late in games. Could it be pressure? Is it the lack of clutch players? No matter what the reason, it has cost the Mets a shot at staying in the National League playoff race.
After all, the Mets are not only fading in the NL East, they have so many teams in front of them in the NL Wild Card race, and the Florida Marlins only trail the Mets by a game and a half.
For all the moaning that people and talking heads have been doing about the Mets not having enough starting pitching, it's not the pitching that is doing the Mets in this season.
When a team's starting pitching keeps a game tied or close late 12 times, that team should have at least a handful of wins.
Now with the trading deadline exactly one week away, what do the Mets do? Is there any point to trade for a starting pitcher if the hitting has gone in a 48-inning combined scoreless drought over a 10-game span?
What would the Mets be giving up in a trade? Looking at things realistically, the Mets aren't going to make the playoffs this season. They are five games behind in the Wild Card race with five teams ahead of them, and they are 7.5 games behind in the NL East.
Is this the right time to mortgage the future for pitching that won't help instead of holding on to perhaps rebuild the team in the coming years?
If the Mets don't make October this season for a fourth straight season, it may be time to trade some of the core players (i.e., Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana) and start rebuilding to try with a new foundation.
It's not something that Mets fans want to hear, but this group of guys is getting stale at this point. Something is not clicking obviously, and the Mets are starting to fade away in July again.
If the Mets want any hope at all entering the season's final months, their hitting can't continue to enter these prolonged droughts.
So with the trading deadline coming up, what do the Mets do? Reality says, they don't need any more starting pitching, and should hold on to future players.