While the New York Mets’ 5-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night was all about the glorious performance of Matt Harvey and the contributions from Wilmer Flores (in his second game of action); underneath it all was another solid outing from the very embattled Ike Davis.
Say what you will about Davis’ colossal slump to open the season—which stretched more than three months and ended up with a demotion to Las Vegas—Davis has looked a lot better at the plate in the last few weeks, with “better” being the operative word.
Ever since he has come back, Davis is seeing the ball really well and is not looking like a lost cause at the plate like he previously was. He is recognizing pitches really well and is not swinging much out if his comfort zone. Prior to Wednesday night’s game, Davis was sporting a .282/.446/.422 slash line in his 26 games back from the minors. Davis once again had a solid outing on Wednesday night in in which he went 1-3 with another double (he has six in his last nine games), two runs scored and a walk. Not to mention he made a nice leaning catch to end the game.
Not bad for a guy who, according to most of the fanbase wants out of town on the next flight out of Flushing, eh?
Certainly, no will argue with you that Davis was abysmal for the first three months of the season and absolutely deserved to be demoted. Heck, even with this latest surge, Davis’ overall numbers still look awful (.196/.307/.308 slash line).
However, sometimes when you get knocked down, it’s not about getting knocked down, but how you get back up. And ever since his demotion, Davis has been a new man.
Sure, the measly one home run he has hit in his comeback will not cut it in the middle of the order—especially for someone who the franchise fancies a power hitter (hey, he did hit 32 home runs in 2012). But, this is all about baby steps right now. Let’s crawl before we can walk. The home runs will eventually come. How Davis finishes the 2013 season will tell us a lot about the mental makeup of Davis.
You could argue that we have been down this road before (see his splits from the 2012 season). Is banking on Davis and having faith in him foolish? If Davis is to stick around and be a part of the 2014 squad and if he goes ice cold once again, many fans will understandably be upset. Why commit to a player who seemingly is only useful for one half of the season?
Then again, we can’t dismiss what his bout with valley fever did or does to his body. Maybe it will go away for good, or maybe it won’t.
However, giving up on a guy who has showed so much promise and has only played in just 421 games with the Mets, seems way too early.
Want a case study?
Name that player:
In 266 games with his first franchise, this player showed some major power (hitting 42 home runs in 882 at bats) but was awful at getting on base and piled up the strikeouts by the truckloads (302) while posting a meager .755 OPS with said franchise.
Yes, that player happens to be Chris Davis, one of the biggest and best sluggers currently in the league and worthy AL-MVP candidate. Yeah, the same Chris Davis that sports a whopping 1.052 OPS with the Baltimore Orioles and who the Texas Rangers deemed was a lost cause.
Ok, so obviously thinking that Ike Davis will be the second coming of Chris Davis is a little bit of wishful thinking. But, hey, for one of the game’s preeminent sluggers to struggle early much the same way Ike Davis has is a bit comforting.
So, while it may take a little while longer for Davis to become what we all want him to become, when we bear the fruits of that labor, it could be all too sweet.