Ike Davis breaking out of slump in big way

Well, that 17-1 trouncing of the Cubs on Wednesday was exactly what the Mets desperately needed in more ways than one.

First, the Mets ended a four-game losing streak and expunged the bad taste left in their mouths by losing their last two games to the Yankees, while also exorcising their demons of comic mishaps in the first two losses to the Cubs.

Secondly, the Mets finally brought the whipping stick and won a game by just clobbering the ball and taking advantage of the wind blowing out in Wrigley Field. Heck, even Daniel Murphy had two home runs!

Capitalizing on this day perhaps more than anybody was Ike Davis.

Davis was practically left for dead a few weeks ago. He is a player many fans wanted to fix his swing in Buffalo (and rightfully so consider this was a guy hitting way under his weight) and not come back until everything was ‘alright’ with him.

But there was Davis on Wednesday connecting for his 10th home run of the year, while also doubling twice and driving in four runs.

I think it is now safe to say that Davis is definitively back.

In his last 16 games, Davis is batting .353 with five home runs, five doubles, while also driving in a hearty 20 runs (almost half of his RBI total for the year). With yesterday’s 3-5 effort at the plate, Davis also now has finally surpassed the dreaded Mendoza line and is now batting .201 on the year.

It has been one grueling battle for Davis to get out from the depths of despair. On June 8, Davis was batting a paltry .158 with only five home runs. Fast forward approximately three weeks and Davis is now second on the team in home runs with 10 (tied with Scott Hairston) and third in RBI’s with 41 (he is only one behind Lucas Duda and only a mere five RBI’s separate him from clubhouse leader David Wright).

Almost every single Mets’ fan was demanding that Davis be sent down just a few short weeks ago. Of course, they had a point because prior to this emergence, Davis had looked lost at the plate and was lacking any confidence to give the Mets any sort of presence in the lineup.

Credit should go out to both Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins, though, for sticking to their guns and going against popular opinion while standing behind their embattled young slugger. Maybe they thought Davis’ confidence would have been shaken if he had to go back to Buffalo. Who knows? What they did worked, though.

Prior to this explosion, Davis always had to be reminded of how bad he was and had to be asked time and time again just when he was going to bust out and become the player we all know he can be.

You have to remember this was a guy who hadn’t played in a real MLB game for almost a year and one who had to overcome both his ankle injury plus his bout with valley fever. There was a lot on Davis’ plate and ultimately the pressure to come back and immediately to pick up where he left off was just too daunting and taxing for him.

Now that he is playing loose and relaxed, Davis has shown more confidence on the field and is finally starting to restore faith in the Mets’ faithful.

The last test for Davis is for him to see regular at-bats against some opposing lefties. With ex-Met Chris Capuano and Clayton Kershaw scheduled to pitch in the Dodger’s series, it will be interesting to see if Collins inserts Davis into the lineup for these matchups (particularly the matchup with Kershaw, who is one of the most dominating lefties in the league).

Regardless, it’s a great sight to see the Davis of old. If he is clicking and the Mets also get solid production from Duda and Hairston, then there just might be enough offense for this team to have more days like they had on Wednesday.

In any event, Ike is back and hopefully it is for good.

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4 comments for “Ike Davis breaking out of slump in big way

  1. June 28, 2012 at 9:52 am

    It’s great to see Davis hitting the ball with authority.

    I’m not sure if I’m ready to say that Alderson and Collins did the right thing keeping him in the majors. Maybe they don’t go 6-8 in mid-May if Davis, who began the stretch with a .548 OPS, didn’t post a .125/.167/.250 line in that same frame.

    The Mets showed incredible patience with Davis and were able to stay afloat while he hit like a backup middle infielder on the verge of being released. Hopefully he continues to provide a big bat in the middle of the lineup the rest of his career. But it’s going to take awhile to get the image of the guy who posted a .501 OPS over his first 190 PA out of my mind.

  2. Dan Stack
    June 28, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I’m not saying they did the “right thing” either, but the bottom line is he’s hitting now.
    I was just saying their backing may have helped.

  3. NormE
    June 28, 2012 at 11:38 am

    Ike is Ike. He is a streak hitter, though this bad streak was way too long. Ike, when healthy, will have hot periods and cold ones. It would help to have Ike, Duda and Wright all hitting at the same time, but then what happens if they all go cold at the same time? This year Wright
    has avoided prolonged fallow periods. Duda and Ike have not shown to be as accomplished as Wright.

  4. June 28, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    You have to remember that Ike was a player that Gary Cohen had reported he heard that veteran players went to Collins asking him to not be demoted. Inside that clubhouse those guys were doing what they could to help him succeed and rooted hard for him. This coming in a time where there has been more accountability with players the Organization knew not all cases are the same and went against what was probably the easy decision to send him down and stuck with him.

    Agreed that the team’s overall record played a big part as well because had they been say 4 games below .500 it would be nearly impossible to justify him staying on the roster.

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