Duda, like Mets, fighting through 'tough period'
NEW YORK -- Lucas Duda couldn't name anything he's doing well right now. All he could muster was "not much" and a grim chuckle.
"Good question," he told the reporter who asked as he walked away. "Good question."
After a 2-0 loss in 11 innings to the Cubs that brought the Mets' scoreless streak to 20 innings, Duda placed the blame on himself. As one of the club's top hitters and the force that drives the middle of the lineup, he's fallen short, he said.
"It's centered around me," Duda said. "I'm not getting the job done. Moving guys over, not getting guys in. Pretty tough month, actually."
In 25 games in June, the first baseman hit .187 with just one home run and eight RBIs. With an 0-for-5 night Wednesday, it looks like that tough month may have bled into the next one.
As he's slumped, so have the Mets, who have scored more than four runs in a game just once since June 14.
It's an offensive free-fall that has caused the Mets to steadily fall behind in the National League East. Two weeks ago, they were 1 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals, holding steady despite some wobbles at the plate. Now the Mets are 3 1/2 games behind Washington.
Duda says that's on him, but his manager wasn't so fast to place the blame. It's been a teamwide slump, Terry Collins said, but at least Duda's still feared.
"He's struggling at the plate, along with a number of other guys," Collins said. "For me, the one thing about it, he's still a threat. You know he's going to get out of it."
Slump or not, Duda is batting .255, with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs. He's continued to progress after a 2014 season in which he hit 30 home runs and drove in 92 runs, both career highs.
But for now, it's a different Duda at the plate, one he's confident he can shake off soon.
"It's just one of those things," he said. "It's a tough period I'm going through."