Lucas Duda is in one of those grooves, but will it last?
The Mets have an unusual circumstance with Lucas Duda, and that is to maintain what is now his third white hot streak of the season into the playoffs.
Duda had another big night on Tuesday, clocking two home runs which accounted for all three runs in an otherwise flat evening for the Mets offense.
Duda is 9-for-17 over his last five games with three doubles, five home runs and 15 RBI in 22 plate appearances.
“I’m seeing the ball pretty well right now,” Duda said after the Mets dropped the opener of their three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday. “The ball is just finding holes and stuff.”
Well not really. More often than not lately, the balls Duda have hit have gone over the wall or for doubles, to the tune of a 2.225 OPS in his last five games.
“It’s great, he’s swinging the bat really well, just when you need him to get hot too.” Terry Collins said after Tuesday’s game. “Good signs.”
Duda has basically had three different hot streaks which have essentially saved his season. He’s in his current five game stretch which has elevated his OPS for the season from .805 to .853. But between August 3 and September 22, Duda saw his OPS drop from .832 to .799 while hitting .192 with six extra-base hits in a 24 game span, which included a two week stint on the disable list with a mildly herniated disc in his thoracic spine.
But there was his torrid stretch between July 23 and August 2, which saw Duda produce nine home runs and 12 RBI in a ten-game span, which was preceded by a 43 game span in which he hit just .160 with a .542 OPS, three home runs and 13 RBI with 52 strikeouts in 183 plate appearances.
And of course, he had his first hot stretch from May 21-May 30 when he hit six home runs with ten driven in over an eight-game span.
In the 23 games combined which accounted for these hot stretches, Duda hit 20 home runs with 37 RBI.
In his other 108 games, Duda has hit just seven home runs with 36 RBI.
So the valleys have been much deeper than the peeks have been high in 2015, although when he’s peeked, Duda has been impossible to contain.
The question is, how do the Mets keep Duda from sinking into another valley into the ahead of the Mets first playoff run in nine years, and if he does start to struggle again, will the Mets remain patient in the playoffs?
Time has been on the Mets side throughout the season, but time runs short quickly in October.