TC sticking with Ike; Kirk sets tone

Terry Collins said it was unpleasant to need to pinch hit for Ike Davis with Justin Turner in the seventh inning. Still, the manager said he is sticking with Davis -- including against left-hander Mark Buehrle on Wednesday. The manager added that there has been no talk whatsoever of potentially optioning Davis to the minors to right himself there.

Ike Davis

Ike Davis

#29 1B
New York Mets

2012 STATS

  • GM17
  • HR3

  • RBI7

  • R4

  • OBP.185

  • AVG.131

Davis, after going 0-for-2 Tuesday, is hitting .131 with 21 strikeouts in 61 at-bats. He is 3-for-his-last-25.

“I love Ike Davis. He’s going to hit,” Collins said. “We’re going to put this in our past here real soon, because he’s going to start hitting the ball like we know he can. As I said the other day when I took [closer] Frankie [Francisco] out of the game, once in a while it’s not just about one guy sometimes. It’s about all 25. He understood.”

A team insider noted that the Braves just sent accomplished Jair Jurrjens to the minors, so no young player with options remaining such as Davis is exempt. But any such decision would not be made unless Davis struggled for a few more weeks, the source added.

“I truly believe the only way to get out of something like this is to make sure he continues to get in there and get at-bats,” Collins said. “And if we have to pinch hit for him, I don’t want to do it, but we may have to.”

As for any demotion chatter, Collins emphatically said: “We have never talked about that. Right now we have to get Ike Davis going. And the only place to get him going is here, I think.”

Sandy Alderson, by the way, said pregame that Davis’ suspected case of valley fever is a nonissue with respect to his play on the field.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Kirk Nieuwenhuis

#9 CF
New York Mets

2012 STATS

  • GM16
  • HR2

  • RBI4

  • R8

  • OBP.397

  • AVG.327

Kirk Nieuwenhuis set the tone for the game, when he raced into the left-center gap and corralled Jose Reyes’ shot on the second pitch of the game with a leap at the wall.

“I kind of knew that one was going to be close,” Nieuwenhuis said. “And then, once I got to the wall, I thought I had a pretty good chance. Thankfully I caught it. Otherwise, he’d be running for days.”

• On the relay from left fielder Mike Baxter to shortstop Ruben Tejada to catcher Josh Thole that went awry in the top of the seventh, allowing the Marlins to take a 1-0 lead, Collins said:

“First of all, the ball that Tejada threw, he threw a rocket. He just short-hopped the catcher. Another two feet and it’s in the air. I’ll tell you, there are not a lot of catchers who are going to make that play. That ball is really coming in hard. You don’t have any idea how high it’s going to bounce, if it’s going to bounce. And the ball just skipped on him.

“It started when Mike went to pick the ball up. He really didn’t have a good grasp of it. Had he got it in right away, we probably would have had a lot easier shot.”