First, allow myself to introduce…myself. The handle is Taryn, but you can call me Coop, some circles know me as “The Coop,” and others know me as “The Coopinatrix.” Erm, plead the fifth on that one. Anyway, I am the primary contributor of a three years running Mets blog called “My Summer Family,” a passionate narrative from a cool chick and the love for her baseball team. I contribute to other sites as well, and now MetsMerized is the newest collaboration I have! I look forward to chatting with you and having intelligent baseball conversation here.
Now…back to biz. I will probably contribute once a week, and I’ll try to make my posts as interactive as possible. That said, my “Coffee Talk” topic of the week would be Ike Davis. Since he’s joined the team on April 19, they’ve gone 9-1 on an “amazin” (no irony intended) homestand, on their way into the City of Brotherly Love to reignite the I-95 rivalry versus the hated Phillies.
Is the injection of so-called new blood in the name of Ike Davis like the rug in the movie The Big Lebowski? While not tying the room together like that blasted rug did, he could very well be tying the team together.
Let’s take a look at the evidence in the form of stats. In this homestand, which he played in every game, he boasted an impressive line of .355/432/.538 with 1 HR, 6 RBIs and even 5 walks. What’s more is that he even made some impressive defensive plays at first base, which got first baseman extraordinaire Keith Hernandez to remark on positively in some of the broadcasts.
At the same time, an interesting phenomenon occurred. Things started to come together. They won two in a row, lost the third game to the Cubs and won the fourth. On Friday, April 23, Jerry Manuel decided that change was, indeed, good, and mixed up the lineup with Jose Reyes, perennial lead-off hitter, started to bat third. Jason Bay, who had yet to impress Mets fans, was batting cleanup, and he started to turn it on as well. In the last week hitting .333 with 1 HR (his first of the season and as a Met!) and driving in 5 runs. David Wright got his 1,000th hit. Mike Pelfrey has barely given up a run. Mets fans were left wondering “Carlos Who?” with Angel Pagan starting centerfield…okay, that’s a little joke, to see if you were paying attention. And the bullpen has been more than a pleasant surprise, they’ve been absolutely rocking it so far this season, with head rock star Hisanori Takahashi making us have Darren Oliver chills again as long man in the ‘pen.
One could argue that the lineup change could very well have been the flashpoint of this occurrence. And who knows, if they continue to roll over the competition, especially in the NL East with the lineup constructed the way it has been since April 23, maybe just maybe the shake up is what the team needed.
I think, however, there is a bit more to the equation than just shifting some players around to get more at-bats in a game. I’m a firm believer that sometimes young blood can come in and make a change for the better. According to the Mets 2010 Maple Street Press, Toby Hyde’s Mining for Gold piece ranked Ike Davis the Number One Mets prospect. After watching his performance in Spring Training this year, it was baffling to this Mets fan why he was not brought up with the team in April, while players like Mike Jacobs and Frank Catalanotto were given a chance to start. To the naked eye (or super-passionate fan) It was evident that Ike Davis was very well ready for action on the major league level.
The Mets often do things pretty backwards, and I felt this was no different. As a “for example,” I do not like Jenrry Mejia in the ‘pen right now (I have my asbestos suit on, so flame away). I will admit that they were quick to right a wrong and bring Ike Davis up to inject life into a team that desperately needed to get a hot start in 2010. And what happens? They go on a 9-1 homestand tear and are currently in FIRST PLACE in the NL East, storming across the Delaware River much like General George Washington did in the Revolutionary War.
I consider myself a realistic Mets fan. I get excited when they win, down when they lose, but I don’t lose sight of the “big picture.” I know that Mike Pelfrey will not sustain a 0.69 ERA all season and I also know that Ike Davis will come down to earth eventually. Jason Bay and David Wright will continue to be incredibly streaky. And we’ll still manage to scratch our heads on some patented Manuel Moves. That’s the realness you get with the Coop, folks.
All I can say right now is IF we are looking back on the season in late September with some fall anticipation in the air, we may just very well look to this homestand as a reason why.
I think that Ike Davis will be a BIG reason why we are considering that as well.
Talk amongst yourselves!