With another mighty swing of his bat, Travis d’Arnaud smacked his sixth homer of the season last night, a two-run shot in the seventh that led to a 4-1 victory for the Mets and their fourth straight win – a new season high.
The Mets catcher is as responsible for this recent Mets turnaround as anyone else and in the last two weeks since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, the team is seeing the power that had scouts drooling over the last four years.
In 13 games since returning from the minors, d’Arnaud is hitting .300 (15-of-50) with three homers and ten runs batted in. Quite the switch from the player who looked lost and was hitting .180 before his demotion.
“I looked at it as I had work to do to get back up here. After it happened, I stepped aside, looked myself in the mirror and had a conversation with myself. Accepted it for what it was, kept my head up and went down and worked.”
“It was nothing mechanical, strictly mental,” d’Arnaud insisted.
“You can either go down there with a bad attitude, you’re frustrated,” manager Terry Collins said. “Or you go down there with the point, ‘I’m going to get better.’ He went down there and got better.”
Describing his home run off Ervin Santana for reporters, the 25-year old catcher said, “I just was trying to do some damage. If I got out, I got out. If I hit a double, I hit a double.”
Even while mostly batting in the lower part of the order, d’Arnaud has shown himself to be a solid run-producer and hopefully this will lead to a middle-of-the-order spot at some point if this current hot streak continues.
It goes to show that a demotion to the minors isn’t always the worst thing that could happen to a young player. Sometimes the process works exactly as it was intended. Apparently, a return to basics and a big wake-up call has done wonders for d’Arnaud and his bat may be just the cure to help this Mets offense.