As Yogi once said: “It’s like deja-vu all over again.”
Ike Davis, April, 2012: .185 average, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 24 Ks in 81 ABs
Ike Davis, April 2013 (as of Sunday morning): .176 average, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 25 Ks in 74 ABs.
Striking? Yes. Scary for Met fans? Oh yes. Curious? Absolutely.
Ike is now getting the label of a “slow starter” which is fair if you just started watching baseball in 2012. Because just two seasons ago, in 2011, Ike tore up April, hitting .337 with 20 RBI in 95 ABs. So what’s the problem? Why is one of the hopes for the Mets’ future struggling yet again?
I have no freaking clue. Nor do Terry Collins, Dave Hudgens, or Ike Davis himself.
Analysts will use all the cliché terms: “pressing”, “trying to find his stroke”, “scuffling”. But Met fans don’t really care about the semantics of the situation. With the bullpen and 3/5 of the rotation underperforming, the Mets need offense. And they can’t rely on John Buck to anchor the lineup all season. Ike Davis has to start hitting, or the Mets are destined to free-fall into unimportance again this year.
If you look back to 2012, the news doesn’t get any brighter for May. Davis hit just .154 in May and had fewer homeruns and more strikeouts than he did in April. Though, if history is repeating itself, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Ike was second only to Chase Headley for post-All Star homers in the NL last year (20) and, overall, his average and slugging percentage spiked in the summer.
And that’s all well and good. But the Mets don’t have the luxury that other teams in less competitive divisions have. There is very little room for error. The Mets can’t wait on promising semi-stars to “find themselves” while the Braves, Nats and Phillies battle it out. I love John Buck. But it should be Ike getting headlines and topping off leaderboards. That’s his role on this club, and he needs to start playing it.