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

VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.

Local

City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.

Local

Behind the costumes at the Brooklyn Cosplay Fashion…

Echo Chronum, 17, is a quiet and reserved Brooklyn high school student who often buries herself in her homework. But there is another side to…

Local

Reddit helps man locate missing mother in New…

The Reddit community helped Josh Goldberg find his missing mother on Tuesday.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.

Books

A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."

Movies

Review: 'The Railway Man' is a literal-minded look…

In "The Railway Man," Colin Firth plays a WWII vet suffering from massive trauma acquired from his days as a beaten POW.

NBA

Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.

MLB

Fantasy baseball: Searching for early season prospects

It’s relatively rare for a mediocre 30-year-old hitter to suddenly go nuts offensively for 162 games. That’s why minor league prospects are so exciting.

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC 'targeting' US international Mix Diskerud

Metro New York has learned Mix Diskerud has drawn “interest” from the expansion MLS side, NYCFC.

NFL

Jets announce they will return to Cortland for…

The tradition of holding camp in Cortland began in 2009 when Rex Ryan wanted to get his Jets away from the distractions of New York City.

Style

Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.

Parenting

What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.

Sex

Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.

Tech

Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."