SAN FRANCISCO -- The whole of the contribution made Friday night by Travis d’Arnaud served as a perfect reflection of what has been a dismal season.
In the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Giants, d’Arnaud popped up and hit into a pair of double plays, an 0-for-3 performance that dropped his average to .180. Behind the plate, he failed to block a wild pitch that helped the Giants score the game-tying run.
D’Arnaud, who the Mets have long tabbed as their catcher of the future, did not hide from his own failings.
“I still have confidence,” d’Arnaud said after yet another frustrating night. “I’ve just got to be better than this. This is unacceptable for me.”
Earlier in the day, Mets manager Terry Collins tried to deflect the scrutiny from d’Arnaud, who has been dropped to eighth in the batting order. He pinned the Mets’ offensive failings on the whole of the lineup, not just the 25-year-old d’Arnaud, who the Mets hoped would blossom into an offense force.
D’Arnaud’s offensive potential was one of the major reasons that the Mets pushed to include the catcher in the 2012 trade that sent Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays. Though the deal also included pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard, it was d’Arnaud who was the centerpiece.
So far, the Mets have seen very little of the offensive-minded catcher they thought they were acquiring.
“I’ve set a higher standard for myself,” said d’Arnaud, who arrived in camp as the starting catcher. “This is unacceptable.”
When pressed about what has caused his frustration, d’Arnaud said “you know that answer.” Indeed, his recent performance left little doubt about his problems.
Since returning from a concussion that landed him on the disabled list, d’Arnaud is 3-for-26 with just one unintentional walk (with the pitcher hitting behind him, he’s been given four free passes).
“I’m frustrated with myself right now,” d’Arnaud said. “I’ve got some work to do. That’s pretty much it.”
D’Arnaud acknowledged that he’s been pressing, and after the game on Thursday night, he insisted he must “trust in the process.” But he also admitted that trust has been tough to come by, especially with average dipping well below the Mendoza Line.
“Every day I show up I’m ready to play. I’ve just got to battle through this and stay positive,” d’Arnaud said. “I’ve been through this before. It’s just frustrating. Like I said, I’ve got to do better than this. This is unacceptable.”