Ike Davis Hitting His Way Back into the Lineup

By Matt Musico

Well, apparently it only took a few certain words for Ike Davis to settle down and start to get his confidence back. Since Sandy Alderson and the Mets announced on Wednesday night that Davis would definitely not be sent down to the minors to try and work out of his slump, the first baseman has looked like a brand new player, going 3-for-5 with 5 RBI in his last 3 games. I’ll tell you what, even though I didn’t agree with sitting Davis in favor of the match-ups, it’s obviously working. This is just another reason that proves how well Tery Collins knows his players.

After it was announced that the young first baseman wouldn’t have to be packing his bags for a minor league assignment, it looks as if a huge weight has been lifted off Davis’ shoulders, allowing him to concentrate on getting back on track instead of worrying about answering questions about his uncertain future. Terry Collins told the media that he would still pay attention to the daily match-up for Davis, and if he didn’t feel like it was one that had the odds in his favor, he would sit him for someone else.

Today was his second pinch-hitting apperance in three games, and it was the second time he delivered with an RBI hit, yesterday’s

double being the most impressive of all. It was only his 10th extra base hit of the season, so it was nice to see Ike drive the ball and bring in the first run of what ended up being a big eighth inning for the Mets. I thought Ike took a very encouraging swing because he finally didn’t pull off on the ball that was out over the plate.

When he was struggling badly, he was pulling off of everything and either popping it up or grounding out weakly to the second baseman. In yesterday’s at-bat, he got a fastball over the outer half of the plate, and not only stayed on it enough to hit it to left center field, but he drove it with authority to the wall. Whenever a hitter is struggling, the best thing to do is to try and take every pitch to the opposite field. It allows the hitter let the ball travel more in the zone instead of jumping out at it on its way to the catcher’s mitt, which is a tendency of slumps. Ike is letting the ball travel into the zone more and he’s already seeing the results.

Even though he’s feeling better and is more confident in himself during the course of an at-bat, he realizes that he still has a long way to go, noting to the media that there are still months ahead where he needs to continue hitting. Obviously, you don’t expect a guy that’s hitting .173 to be satisfied with his last five at-bats after a season of struggles, but it was nice to hear those words come out of Davis’ mouth.

Ike will have the opportunity to continue building upon his recent performances because Terry Collins has already said that he will not only start today against Edinson Volquez, but he will also be in the lineup against Cole Hamels on Memorial Day. Now, unlike what it sounded like earlier in the week, Collins has instilled that confidence in Davis that it doesn’t matter whether a righty or lefty is on the mound, he feels that he’s turned a corner enough to start earning his spot back in the lineup.

Although it was long overdue, I’m very happy to see Ike getting some consistent positive results, in forms other than the home run. He’s an integral part of the offense and even though home runs are one of the things he’s expected to do, the organization and fans would much rather see productive at-bats and runs being driven in more than anything else. Wouldn’t you?