The Mets cannot continue to play this kind of baseball without someone being held responsible.

The Mets lost another 1-0 game today to fall to 2-9 on their horrific road trip. It should have been even worse. It could have been 1-10 or 1-9-1 with the tie going to home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi in that bizarre game in San Francisco.

The offense has fallen into a coma, being shutout for the fourth time on this road trip. The Mets have scored more than three runs in a game just three times in their last 16 games.

I've written so many different tones of articles this season with the rollercoaster season the Mets have had.

Unfortunately at the moment, the one I keep coming back to is the one where I said that it felt like Omar Minaya's reign as GM has come full circle, that 2010 was feeling an awful lot like 2004.

Howard Johnson deserves to be a former Mets hitting coach by the time the Mets plane lands in New York later tonight.

Under his watch, this offense has become stagnant, as the strikeouts are up, the quality at-bats are down, and the entire team looks listless with every plate appearance.

The hitting coach deserves to take the blame for that. Even the Phillies know that. They fired their hitting coach Milt Thompson on Thursday after a terrible road trip themselves that saw their team batting average and on-base percentage fall to 12th in the NL. (.254 and .322 respectively)

The Phillies also have been held to one run or fewer 23 times, the most since 2005 when they were an also-ran.

They've scored 20 runs in their first three games under their new hitting coach.

I'm not saying the Mets should fire HoJo and everything will be ok. It won't be. But the man has to go. These hitters simply cannot listen to the advice of a career .249 hitter any longer. It's gotten them nowhere.

Howard Johnson is the first of likely a few casualties that don't deserve to survive this season if the Mets, who are now only one game above .500 at 50-49, end up crashing and burning again.

The Braves are in the stratosphere compared to the Mets right now, at 7.5 games ahead. The Phillies, despite the injuries they've had and their inconsistent offense, are five games behind Atlanta, 2.5 ahead of the Mets. The Marlins are only half a game behind the Mets at 49-49.

The Mets better get this ship righted fast. As the trading deadline approaches in less than one week, they'll have to decide whether they're buyers, sellers, or something in-between.

HoJo should be gone by Monday or Tuesday, hopefully. Jerry Manuel may not be too far behind. And we know Omar Minaya is loyal to Jerry and won't want him ousted... which means he could be headed out on the same train as well, if the Mets don't pick it up soon.