When your pitching lets up just one run, you should win the game. Unless you are the team that lives in Flushing. The impotent Mets offense let down another starting pitcher Tuesday, losing to the Cubs 1-0.
This time it wasn’t one of the young studs — it was Jonathon Niese, turning in a fifth straight solid start. He is only increasing his trade value, a move for which Niese is probably praying after watching his teammates’ continuing futile efforts at the plate.
In the 12 games dating back to the beginning of the Mets seven-game losing streak (in which they are 4-8), the Mets have been shut out three times, scored one run three times, two runs four times (they won three of those games), scored four runs once and seven runs once. Of course in that game, pitcher Steven Matz was the offensive spark plug, driving in four of the runs himself. That’s 22 runs in 12 games, fewer than two per game. That is pathetic.
For the season the team is batting a National League worst .235. Their vaulted patience-at-the-plate philosophy has produced a .300 on-base percentage, fourth worst in the league.
The Mets have a huge black hole in the middle of the lineup where Michael Cuddyer has been lousy all season and Lucas Duda had a miserable June. Juan Lagares is in a funk and Ruben Tejada has come back down to earth.
On the bright side, Curtis Granderson is red-hot, Wilmer Flores has 10 home runs and Daniel Murphy is back. Travis d’Arnaud should be back until he gets injured again.
Despite all of this, the Mets are still somehow two games above .500. Credit the 11-game winning streak which gave the Mets a nice cushion, and of course, the superior pitching which will only get better.
If the offense does not pick up very soon, Sandy Alderson will have to make a move to beef things up, even if it means Cuddyer ends up becoming a part-time player. The Mets cannot let this season slip away into mediocrity like the six previous campaigns.