Ike Davis and Zack Wheeler, two key, but struggling players for the New York Mets, came up big Friday night in Milwaukee. In his return from the minors, Davis had three hits, while Wheeler, who was hit hard in his previous start, settled down by throwing more fastballs.
They didn’t have great nights, but most importantly persevered. Davis still had his hitch, but it wasn’t as pronounced. He was quieter at the plate, saying he was “calming everything down.’’
Wheeler remains a project, but his confidence had to get a boost because he completed five innings and didn’t get overwhelmed by a two-run first. He was especially impressive getting out of a bases-loaded jam in his final inning.
Pitchers aren’t just measured when the mow down an offense, but when they escape trouble. It’s a long process from phenom to dominance, and that will come by reducing his pitch count. He threw 98 in five innings, with only 56 going for strikes.
That will change in time, and hopefully, unlike Davis, he can make the corrections without going to the minors.
Rather than lament his demotion, Davis said all the right things, such that he learned while he was down there and worked hard.
“It’s still not fun to see .160 or whatever is on the scoreboard,’’ Davis told reporters last night at Miller Park. “But I’ve got a lot of time and I can make things up in a hurry. … Leaving on a bad note and coming back on a good note, it’s nice. Hopefully I can continue this and make up some ground.’’
Davis also had praise for his replacement, Josh Satin, who is carrying a ten-game hitting streak.
The Mets have decisions to make on Davis and Satin, notably, which one of them is their future? Davis is making $3.1 million this year, which will increase in 2014. The Mets must decide if they want to tender him a contract or let him become a free agent, or even if they want to trade him. Satin hit well enough to draw interest should the Mets dangle him.
Manager Terry Collins said it is not an option to platoon Davis and Satin, and he will try to keep the latter relevant. Satin, who is hitting .353, was performing because of regular at-bats. It doesn’t look as if he’ll get them now.
Collins said Satin will hit against some lefties, and could also get time at third, second and in the outfield.
“You don’t do what Josh Satin did and then, all of a sudden, go sit on the bench. That’s not going to work,’’ Collins pledged. “I’m going to try to figure out how to get him in there, where to play him.’’
We shall see.
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