Mets lose 9-2 to Cardinals in first game without Ike Davis

 

Even as Ike Davis began the process of resurrecting his once promising career, the first baseman’s specter hung over the Mets like a cloud.

Prior to Tuesday night’s 9-2 series opening loss to MLB-best St. Louis, Mets manager Terry Collins spent most of his pregame press conference explaining the organization’s rationale for finally pulling the trigger on Davis’s long-rumored demotion.

Davis, outfielder Mike Baxter and reliever Robert Carson were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas after the Mets’ 8-4 loss to the MLB-worst Marlins on Sunday. First baseman Josh Satin, centerfielder Collin Cowgill and reliever Josh Edgin were called up in the corresponding roster moves.

“As I’ve said for two years, I’ve never seen more guys cheer for a guy in my time than they do for Ike Davis, so I think there were some guys disappointed that it finally came to this,” Collins said. “But they also ultimately know it’s for the best for Ike, which ultimately will be the best for the organization.”

The first baseman was hitting just .161 with five home runs, 16 RBIs and 16 runs scored when he was sent down. His season-long struggles at the plate fueled speculation prior to the Subway Series that Davis was going to be sent down. An 8-for-37 stretch in the 11 games between May 26 and June 9 — which actually saw Davis’ batting average rise from .158 to .161 — convinced organizational decision makers it was best for both the player and the team that the first baseman be sent 2,500 miles away to work on his swing.

“I think in this particular situation, because of all the speculation for the weeks, I don’t think anybody was [numbed] by it. I think there were some guys disappointed by it for sure,” Collins said. “[Ike] is a great teammate and a good player.”

The organizational plan is to have Daniel Murphy play first and Jordany Valdespin will be at second. Murphy, the everyday second baseman, has played first base in the major leagues.

Murphy was 1-for-4 and Valdespin was 2-for-4 in Tuesday’s listless loss. Justin Turner came into the game late and replaced Valdespin defensively at second.

What was not in consideration was moving Lucas Duda from left field to first. Duda had played first base in the minors.

“We don’t think Ike [is] going to be gone very long. So we did not want to move Lucas to first base and send a terrible message that that job is taken,” Collins said. “If Ike Davis comes back and is swinging the way he can, we’re going to have a nice problem on our hands.”

Collins believes Davis’s problem is equal parts fundamental and psychological. The manager wants Davis to see the ball while limiting the amount of voices offering advice.

“It’s all up to Ike,” Collins said. “I know one thing: the hitters, you have to see the baseball. He’s not seeing it. That’s what’s got to get changed. He’s got to keep his head back. I don’t care what anybody says mechanically. I don’t care about what anybody talks about where his hands need to be. He needs to keep his hand behind the baseball. When he does that, he’s dangerous. That’s where it starts with me.

“[Hitting coach] Dave [Hudgens has] suggested some things. Guys in the minor leagues that have worked with him, [Triple-A hitting coach] George Greer being one and [minor-league hitting coordinator] Lamar Johnson being another, they’re going to have ideas. I got phone calls from high school softball coaches. … Everybody’s calling. Everybody’s got a stinkin’ suggestion. That’s one of the reasons why he’s struggling right now, [because] he’s got 55 suggestions in his head. He’s got to settle himself in; he’s got to get in the batters’ box where he sees the baseball, is comfortable, make a couple tweaks and he’ll be fine.”

The Mets offense struggled Tuesday after putting up two runs in the first inning. After two hits in the inning, they had just three the rest of the game. Michael Wacha, a top prospect for the Cardinals, went six innings and got his first career win. Allen Craig provided a three-run homer in the fifth inning as the big hit.

Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…