Ike Davis has already overcome a lot in his brief major league career, beginning with an injured ankle that forced him to miss most of last year and a bout of Valley Fever which sapped his strength.
However, after a dismal start that had some clamoring for him to be sent to the minor leagues Davis has rebounded to hit 25 homers with 74 RBI. Thirty could happen but it would take a monster finish to have 100 RBI.
Terry Collins believes not sending him down was a display of confidence by the organization and Davis has reacted.
“I think Ike has responded to the patience the organization had in him at the very start,” Collins said yesterday in Miami. “We all knew he had power. We all know he is a good defender.
“He’s had a very good second half — his power numbers speak for themselves. We need to look at how to get him off to a better start next year so those numbers improve.”
There are several steps in the development of a young player, and for a left-handed hitter, improving against left-handed pitching is a must. I would think Collins would give him as many at-bats as possible against lefties.
Hopefully soon, this will become a non-issue.
We are at arguably the worst part of the season. The dreams of March and April, followed by the anticipation of a strong start have faded into mediocrity. The second half collapse after the break robbed us of meaningful baseball in September.
Sure, the Mets could play a spoiler role, but really, what fun is that? If the Mets wanted to spoil things for the Nationals they had numerous opportunities this summer.
No, this is the time of year, with winter looming, that forces us to take some statistical interest in the Mets, both as a team and individually. Here’s what I’d like to see:
1) Team: On Sept. 1, finishing .500 and in third place are possible. Third moreso than .500 as the Mets are eight under. Can they finish eight over the rest of the way? They reached that level only once. Of all things, it’s the one I’d like to see most. As far as third place goes, it is better than fourth, but still won’t be close.
2) David Wright: Earlier this summer, when the Mets were streaking and Wright was hovering around .500, he was a legit MVP candidate. He’s at .316 with 17 homers and 78 RBI. It would take a monster September, but I’d like for him to reach over 90 RBI, maybe 100. If he does, he most likely would have over 20 homers and be hitting over .300.
3) R.A. Dickey: He’s at the top of all NL pitching categories. The competition is strong, so even 20 wins – he has 17 – will be formidable for the Cy Young Award. Dickey leads with three shutouts and also has four complete games. All with a tough pitch to master.
4) Ike Davis: Davis was below .200 for much of the season, but is at .224 with 25 homers and 74 RBI now. It would take a blistering month to finish at .240, but if he does, he’ll probably reach the 30 homers and 90 RBI levels. That would be a good season.
5) Jon Niese: He been erratic and has 10 wins. I’d take 13 or 14 now. Would be a nice thing to shoot for.
6) Daniel Murphy: He’s fallen below .300 to .285. I can see him getting back to .295, but .300 would be difficult.
There are others, such as Ruben Tejada hitting .300 and Lucas Duda belting 17 homers. However, for the remainder of the team, for guys like Josh Thole, Andres Torres and Jason Bay, there’s not much left to be aiming for as their numbers are so woefully weak.
For the above, reaching those levels would take some of the sting from the season and perhaps make the winter more palatable. Individual numbers is what passes for meaningful baseball in September for the Mets.
Jason Bay is a good guy. He plays sound defense and hustles. All admirable qualities. He just isn’t hitting and that’s what the Mets are paying him $66 million to do. It’s also something he hasn’t done in just under three years here.
Two months remain in likely the Mets’ sixth straight season without seeing the playoffs. With hours remaining before the trade deadline, he’s impossible to deal. Nobody wants his contract, and heading into tonight’s game at San Francisco on an 0-for-22 slide, there’s no indication he’s about to snap out of his funk.
Bay is hitting .159 with five homers and eight RBI. When he’s not hitting, he’s been hurt.
Terry Collins said Bay is concerned with losing the respect of his teammates, which sounds commendable, but in reality is totally within his capabilities if he’d just hit the ball – even occasionally.
The Mets have been exceedingly patient with Bay, but it hasn’t worked for either party. It is getting clearer the Mets aren’t going anywhere this season, and Bay isn’t about to turn it around.
The Mets cut their losses with Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, and it’s time they did the same with Bay. The Mets decided they were better off without those distractions, but Bay has become one himself. Bay is more team oriented in attitude than Perez or Castillo, but has done nothing to help them on the field.
It is time they cut ties with him.
For those of you who missed the first half of the season, you got the gist of things if you tuned in last night’s victory over the Phillies.
David Wright, who delivered the game-winner in the ninth along with hitting a homer, said as much when he indicated the Mets worked every at-bat and utilized every out. No waste for these Mets.
“It seems like all year we’ve had that never-say-die attitude, continuing to play the game no matter what the score is,” said Wright, whose four RBI all came with two outs.
It has been like this all year for Wright, who, despite only 11 homers, is a legit MVP candidate, even if Mets fans don’t vote with the fervor or Giants fans for the All-Star team.
With Jason Bay down, and Ike Davis and Lucas Duda slumping at various times, Wright has been the mainstay of this lineup. If the MVP was announced today, could anybody begrudge Wright if he were the winner? There’s a lot of season left, but how soon before we hear the MVP chanting?
The ninth began with Davis going the opposite way on Jonathan Papelbon, and included a bunt by Josh Thole and a drawn-out walk by Ruben Tejada that showed a lot of patience. All that fundamental work paid off when Daniel Murphy singled off Papelbon’s leg.
From there, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. The Mets weren’t going to lose.
The only concern was R.A. Dickey, who matched a career high by giving 11 hits. Even so, he pitched with guile and got out of enough trouble where he kept the Mets in the game. Really, that’s the most important thing.
And, as usual, he was stand-up after the game.
“I didn’t deserve a no-decision, I deserved to lose tonight,” Dickey said. “The guys picked me up.”
Actually, they returned the favor.