Kirk Nieuwenhuis is in the midst of a horrid 3-for-26 slump, looking so bad he sat yesterday against a right-hander. He’s likely to sit again tonight against lefty Chris Capuano.
Nieuwenhuis is striking out in 33 percent of his at-bats (once every three), and has 15 since June 15.
Terry Collins is careful not to quash Nieuwenhuis’ confidence, saying he’s giving him a mental breather. However, one can’t help but wonder when that breather will turn into “the need to play everyday.”
If we see Nieuwenhuis sitting more and more, don’t be surprised if he’s sent down to play every day when Jason Bay returns.
Ike Davis is showing signs of getting it, both at the plate and with his demeanor.
During yesterday’s game in Chicago, Davis apologized to plate umpire Manny Gonzalez for inadvertently touching him with his glove in a dispute at first base the night before. Davis was ejected, will be fined and could be suspended for at least a game.
DAVIS: Apologizes to ump.
”I just told him I’m sorry for touching him with my glove, and I didn’t mean to touch him,” Davis told reporters in Chicago. “And he said, ‘No worries. I know you weren’t doing it maliciously.’ It was good. He didn’t seem like he was too upset at me. And, obviously, I had forgotten about it.”
In the first couple years of his career, Davis was developing a reputation with the umpires as a complainer. He’s calmed down considerably in that regard, and yesterday was a positive step.
Gonzalez missed the call, and hasn’t acknowledged as such. Nonetheless, umpires do appreciate it when a player apologizes. It shows signs of maturity and this could go a long way in helping Davis.
Who knows? The next borderline pitch he might get.
Slides often end this way, with the Mets taking out their frustration of the last four days with a 17-1 mauling of the Cubs this afternoon. Daniel Murphy, who hadn’t homered since last July, went over the ivy twice to back the solid pitching of Jon Niese.
MURPHY: Homers twice.
You can’t call this a turnaround game unless they reel off a few more, but it was a good start heading into Los Angeles. At one point, the Dodgers were running away with the NL West, but after losing eight of their last ten games, including being swept by the rival Giants, Los Angeles finds itself tied for first with San Francisco.
Chris Young goes against former Met Chris Capuano (who should have been re-signed) tonight, but with R.A. Dickey and Johan Santanta going the next two nights, the Mets will have the pitching advantage. With Clayton Kershaw starting Sunday night, LA would get that pitching advantage thereby making the series a toss up. If the Mets come home from LA with a split, who wouldn’t take that consider how this trip started?
As bad as the Mets played the first two games, they were that good today. Pitching and power; the Mets had it all together this afternoon. Will they keep it up over the weekend? It’s possible, but they showed signs of life and answered being pushed around by pushing back.
With how the Mets played the first three months of the season, it was what we’ve come to expect.
Despite the Mets facing a right-hander, Kirk Nieuwenhuis will sit:
Andres Torres, cf
Ruben Tejada, ss
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, rf
Ike Davis, 1b
Scott Hairston, lf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Josh Thole, c
Jon Niese, lhp
If last night’s postgame media session with Mets manager Terry Collins was animated, you could’ve seen the steam coming from his ears and his face getting fire engine red. Collins was clearly angry, and when asked about the lousy umpiring, said they didn’t leave all those men on base.
After Monday’s throwaway game, you would’ve thought the Mets would have stormed Wrigley Field and taken no prisoners. Nope. They responded with ugly baseball. Bad pitching all around, no clutch hitting, hesitant baserunning and porous defense. They brain cramped their way through nine innings.
What the Mets accomplished last night was to make us think for the first time they were morphing into “the same old Mets.”
Say it ain’t so.