Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ike Davis Is Having An Odd Season

In Saturday's 6-3 loss to the Diamondbacks, Ike Davis became the ninth player in Mets history to hit three home runs in one game.  With his triple assault on Arizona starter Ian Kennedy, Davis reached the 20-HR plateau for the first time in his career.  He now has 60 RBI on the year and his batting average is at a season-high .216.

Despite Davis' low batting average, his power production has put him among the league leaders.  Should he continue to hit the longball at his current pace, he will enter rarefied air in club annals.

Fifteen players have hit 30 HR or more in a single season for the Mets, accomplishing the feat a total of 28 times.  In addition, the Mets have had 14 players drive in 100 or more in one campaign a total of 26 times.  Only ten players have been able to combine the two, reaching the 30 HR, 100 RBI mark in the same season.  Davis is trying to become the 11th man to accomplish this rare feat.  (Through the team's first 101 games, Davis' 20 HR and 60 RBI put him on pace for 32 HR and 96 RBI for the entire season.)

Of the ten players to collect a 30 HR, 100 RBI season for the Mets, the only ones to hit under .260 were Howard Johnson (.259, 38 HR, 117 RBI in 1991) and Todd Hundley (.259, 41 HR, 112 RBI in 1996).  Hundley also had the fewest hits of any member of the 30 HR, 100 RBI club when he finished the 1996 season with 140 hits.

Should Ike Davis reach the magic numbers for home runs and runs batted in, he would more than likely have the lowest batting average and the fewest number of hits of any member in that exclusive club.  As of Saturday night's game, Davis was hitting .216 and had collected only 71 hits.  That means that despite the season being nearly two-thirds complete, Davis is barely halfway to Hundley's 1996 hit total.

Let's take this a little further.  In 1982, Dave Kingman just missed becoming one of the few 30 HR, 100 RBI players in Mets history, finishing the year with 37 HR and 99 RBI.  For the season, Kingman collected 109 hits, finishing the year with a Mario Mendoza-like .204 batting average.  The Sky King's batting average and hit total were the lowest for any Met who hit at least 30 HR in a single season.

Four years later, Gary Carter hit 24 HR and drove in 105 runs for the 1986 World Champions.  The Kid racked up his high RBI total with only 125 hits and a .255 batting average.  Both figures are the lowest for any member of the Mets' 100-RBI fraternity.

Ike Davis is well on his way to hitting over 30 HR this season.  Although he is only on pace for 96 RBI, he has been driving in runs at a torrid pace since June 10.  Over his last 39 games, Davis has driven in 39 runs, an average of exactly one per game.  (He has also hit 15 HR over that time period.)  To reach 100 RBI, Davis would have to collect 40 RBI over the team's final 61 games, a figure well within his reach, especially with the way he's been driving the ball lately.

Will Ike Davis become a statistical anomaly for the Mets, erasing the names of fan-favorites Howard Johnson, Todd Hundley and Gary Carter from the team record books?  Will be able to stay ahead of Dave Kingman's futile all-or-nothing pace?  One thing's for sure.  Ike Davis has had a very odd season for the Mets in 2012.  But it's sure been fun to watch.


Brian Joura said...

All nine times that a Mets player has hit 3 HR in a game have come on the road, including when Fonzie did it in the Astrodome.

Ed Leyro (and Joey Beartran) said...

And Gary Cohen is still waiting on that first Met to hit 3 HR in a home game. He seems to mention it every time a Met hits two home runs at home and then comes up for another at-bat.

Here's another odd thing about Ike you may not have known. Did you know he has 13 multi-hit games this year, but all of them have come on the road? No Met who has played a full season of games has ever gone a full season without collecting at least one multi-hit game at home.