Ike Davis’ colossal slump masks recent ineffectiveness of Lucas Duda and John Buck

 With each mounting loss, it is becoming incredibly hard to find a silver lining to the Mets’ start to the 2013 season.

With the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Cardinals on Wednesday night, the Mets have now dropped six consecutive games. This is the second time this year that the Mets have dropped at least six games in a row. The Mets now have the third worst record (14-23) in the majors.

Ike Davis, who has become every fan’s favorite whipping boy for the Met’s pathetic offensive troubles, is not alone in this fight. Sure, once again Davis has been atrocious to start the season while sporting a pathetic .164/.254/.279 slash line to go with just four home runs and nine RBI’s.

But like I said he is not alone.

After good starts, Lucas Duda and John Buck have come crashing down. Between the two of them, they are a combined 8-66 in their last ten games. Duda, who was getting on base at a great clip early on, is now only sporting a meager .205/.350/.464 slash line. Buck has been great at knocking the ball out of the park (10 home runs-tied for second in the NL) and driving in runs in bunches (30-tied for fourth in the NL), but he now has a measly .232 batting average to go with a scant .290 on base percentage.

Simply put, outside of David Wright, the middle of the order (or for that matter any part of the order) is punchless.

You certainly can lay a lot of blame of the Mets’ failures this year on the pitching (outside of Matt Harvey‘s heroics, no will argue with you there); the offense isn’t doing their part either.

The Mets are second to last in the NL in batting average (.227), third to last in on base percentage (.301) and 12th in slugging percentage (.378). And just think how bad these stats would be if not for the hot starts by Buck and Duda.

Also not helping matters is the funk Daniel Murphy finds himself in. Murphy is also struggling and his batting average has dropped 79 points (he was batting .357 on April 23 and is currently batting .278) in the last month or so. But we have seen enough from Murphy over the years to know he’ll heat up soon enough.

So while Davis needs to shape up or be shipped off to Las Vegas, Duda and Buck should not be exempt from criticism either. For the Mets to have any notion of turning things around, they have to provide Wright with some more protection, and no, Rick Ankiel is not the answer.

It would have been nice if uber-catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud did not have to get hurt and in the process stall his eventual call-up to the big leagues. d’Arnaud will likely begin to rehab soon, but he is probably months away from getting the call. d’Arnaud could have caught while Buck got some time spelling Davis at first base. In any event, we’ll have to keep waiting for d’Arnaud to make his impact.

All these hitters need to collectively get their heads out of their, well, you know what. If not, this season could resemble the 2003 edition of the Mets when the team only finished with 66 wins.

8 comments for “Ike Davis’ colossal slump masks recent ineffectiveness of Lucas Duda and John Buck

  1. Chris F
    May 16, 2013 at 9:15 am

    This is systemic failure to be sure. The only people without blame are Harvey, Wright, Buck and possibly Parnell. I do disagree with you about Buck. He’s pretty much fallen back to who he is, a damn fine defensive catcher with occasional pop. Sure he’s fallen off, but I can’t envision anyone thought his first 3 weeks would go on, and we got him to clear up some finances for Toronto. He’s doing all he can.

    As I watch the games in agony (and manage to survive mostly because of the wonderful game chatter!), I blame the team. I see sloppy play everywhere. We cannot hit, pitch, throw, run, or catch. Looking over the game, those seem important. These are pros and should be able to execute baseball fundies and 100% effort, but they aren’t. That means the coaching is not sticking, and blame goes there. After sitting back and analyzing loss after loss, Season after season, it’s clear that these guys collectively cannot get it done—the players are not good enough. That’s the FO, and ownership. The fish rots from the head down…we need new owners, a new FO, new coaches, and new players. Other than that, we got a rockin’ radio and TV crew!!!

  2. May 16, 2013 at 11:31 am

    You lost your top 2 pitchers albeit one was traded and the other is out for the season. So Harvey would of been slated as your third starter with Niese second and Santana at the top. You can never have enough pitching. So I do believe that Met management knew this season was to try to build the pitching staff for 2014. But the offense is just awful with no hope for ANY of the youngsters staying up here for the foreseeable future. Just a bunch of ragtag fundamentally poor group of leftovers. What can you expect?

  3. Name
    May 16, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Not just Davis, Duda, or Buck. It’s everyone.

    Tejada- last 13 games .160/.208/.200
    Murph-starting to heat up the last 4 games, but 15 games before .138/.180/.155
    Wright-Has been doing fine
    Davis- last 17 games .151/.246/.189
    Duda-last 12 games .100/.163/.325
    Buck-last 15 games .182/.286/.364

    Top 6 hitters, and only one of them is hitting over .200, only 1 OBP over .300
    Add in Lagares who has been playing pretty regularly
    Lagares- last 15 games .118/.167.147

    So pretty much everyone has been ugly.

  4. Za
    May 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Yup. Tragic. For Buck at least, we know we have D’Arnaud rehabbing; had he not gotten hurt, he would probably be getting the call at the same time as Wheeler. And we have Wheeler. But it’s true – we’ve got offensive holes with no real fixes in the near future at 1st, short, and all three OF positions. This season should be one allowing us to see what we’ve got – Lagares and Valdespín need to get more playing time and hopefully Den Dekker will get a shot at some point this year to see what he can do in the bigs as well. We’ve got Vaughn and Puello at AA but who knows if they’ll pan out.

    This off-season, I think we should make a strong push for both Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran. With Bay and Santana coming off the books, we can afford both of them easily, if they’re willing to come. With that outfield, D’Arnaud behind the dish, some regression from Tejada, and a better effort from 1B, we’ll be a much better team than we are now.

    • May 17, 2013 at 12:08 am

      In response to Za. The Mets are paying Bay 6 million this year with 12 million deferred over 2014-15. Still the Mets have plenty of salary room for 2014 with a payroll sitting at just under 40 million(6 million for Bay not listed). The problem is who will want to come here? The Yankees will be well below the 189 million dollar threshold Hal Steinbrenner has stated as their limit. The Braves will have the same amount as the Mets for committed salaries in 2014. The Met farm system doesn’t have enough depth to make a trade unless you are willing to give up some of our top prospects. With so many holes to fill where do you begin?

  5. Chris F
    May 16, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Today after going 0-5 and wearing the shame of the golden sombrero, here’s Ike’s thoughts: “It’s not the off-speed that I’m missing,” Davis said.

    Hmm, I’m just curious, exactly what games has he been going to?

  6. Dan Stack
    May 16, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Well, Murphy is starting to heat up. Boy was that needed today!
    And kudos to Ike for not getting the platinum sombrero. Ugh, he has the Chicago series to get going or he has to go to LV.

  7. charles walte
    May 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Editor’s note: Comment deleted for using all caps. Don’t do that.

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