Mets catcher John Buck continued his assault on National League pitching yesterday by blasting a garbage time home run to left-center in the ninth inning of a blowout loss. Yesterday the victim was Phillies pitcher Jeremy Horst. But Buck has been taking advantage of NL pitchers all month.
Buck started to tail off a bit over the last week, so I thought his storybook month might have come to an end. But he lit up Horst for a garbage time homer to keep the fairytale alive for one more day.
Buck’s now third in the NL in home runs and first in RBI’s. The Mets haven’t had a catcher with this kind of pop since Mike Piazza left. Sure, Paul LoDuca had some solid seasons. But what Buck is doing right now is amazin’.
We shouldn’t expect this to continue. I really think Buck just started the season hot and will trail off back toward (or maybe below at his age) his career averages. He’s hitting almost 30 points above his career average, slugging almost 200 points higher, and his OPS is almost 200 points higher. I just don’t think it’ll last for much longer.
Sadly, Buck’s performance makes me think of PED’s and I wish it didn’t. I certainly don’t know or suspect Buck has done anything like that. It’s just a product of the world we live in the last 15 years of MLB stories or PED abuse that makes me think about that.
I hope Buck keeps it up but I have my doubts. I still think Travis d’Arnaud will be here in the second half of the season to take over for Buck when he gets tired.