The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Reds)

This was a grim series, with little good to report from a three-game sweep, but a few topics caught our attention.

Ike’s slump

Ike Davis’ slump continued both at bat and in the field, as he went 0-for-8 in the series, was called for obstruction, and missed handling Brandon Phillips’ go-ahead ninth-inning double in the series finale.

Davis has now been held hitless over multiple at-bats in 22 of the Mets’ 44 games this season. Only twice has a player had that many hitless multi at-bat games this early into a season in Mets history. Both were weak-hitting middle-infielders: Bobby Klaus in 1965 (he ended up hitting .191, but his OBP was .302) and Kevin Elster in 1990 (ending the year hitting .207 with a .274 OBP).

Worst Starts By a Met
Through May 22

Davis is now 1-for-38 with 14 strikeouts and three walks in his last 11 games, dropping his batting average for the season to .147.

There is only one example in Mets history of a player hitting below .150 in at least 100 at-bats through the team’s games played on May 22 and that one comes with a couple of notable caveats.

Centerfielder Tommie Agee opened the 1968 season with a .147 batting average through that date as well (he was 17-for-116 with 38 strikeouts). His .14655 was a hair worse than Davis’ .14685.

But it should be noted that Agee had two things of note working against him.

a) 1968 was "The Year of the Pitcher" -- a season in which just about every major leaguer struggled to hit (the league hit .237 collectively, compared to the .255 average in 2012)

b) Agee was beaned in spring training that season by Bob Gibson and may have been dealing with the physical (and mental) ramifications of that at season’s start.

At least Agee showed that such struggles can be overcome. The next season he hit .271 with 26 home runs and was making amazin’ catches in the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Not Harvey’s best day

Matt Harvey allowed a season-high four runs, snapping a streak of 16 straight starts allowing three runs or fewer. That’s the fifth-longest streak in Mets history. Dwight Gooden holds the Mets mark with a run of 24 straight games.

This is no knock on Harvey, but it should be noted that for each of the four streaks longer than his, the starting pitchers involved (Gooden twice, Johan Santana and Tom Seaver) all averaged better than seven innings per start. Harvey averaged 6 2/3.

Reds shortstop Zack Cozart went 4-for-4 against Harvey in the series finale and became the first player to get more than two hits in a game against Harvey.

Two of those Cozart hits came against fastballs clocked at 96 mph. Cozart had not had a hit against a pitch thrown that fast since last June 14 against the Indians.

Votto, Phillips are Mets killers

Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips crushed the Mets throughout this series.

Votto recorded five hits and four walks, including a homer vs Harvey. He has now reached base safely at least once in each of his last 20 starts against the Mets. The last time he didn’t reach (other than one pinch-hitting appearance) was on July 12, 2009, when he went 0-for-2 against Mike Pelfrey and left the game after playing only three-and-a-half innings.

Phillips had two RBI in the series opener and the series finale, giving him 42 RBI in 49 games against the Mets. Phillips has 10 more RBI against the Mets than he does against the division-rival Cubs, despite having played 59 more games against the Cubs in his career.