Well Ike Davis got his little reward last night as promised by Terry Collins and started against a lefthander as many on this thread wanted.
Davis went hitless against Chris Capuano going 1-for-6 overall and stranding four runners on base. His lone hit was against righthanded reliever Brandon League – a double in the eighth.
His batting average against lefthanded pitching is now down to .141 for the season.with a team worst .394 OPS in 64 at-bats.
I enjoyed reading this article today from Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal who digs deep into the numbers of Ike Davis who is batting batting .306 (26 for 85) since returning from his Exile on Main Street in Las Vegas.
Diamond writes that since the All-Star break, Ike Davis has swung at just 18.1% of pitches outside the strike zone, the second-lowest mark in all of baseball, and that “the most incredible thing about Davis’s turnaround has nothing to do with how well he’s swinging, but rather how well he’s not swinging.”
He adds that since the All-Star break, Davis is walking in an MLB-high 28% of his plate appearances. Obviously, we can all see that this is a vast improvement over the pre-exile version of Davis that was flailing at anything within a one mile radius of him and earning him the moniker of Strike Vegas.
But again, let me remind all of you that he’s been doing this exclusively against righthanded pitching as I mentioned yesterday. In fact, Davis has not started a game against a left-handed starter since May 14, exactly three months ago. Although that streak may end tonight against Dodgers lefthander Chris Capuano – at least that’s what Terry Collins said two days ago.
Josh Satin, who was on base twice against one of the toughest left-handers in the league last night, raised his average for the the season to .294, but even more remarkable is his .372 mark against leftys. Compare that to Davis’ .150 average against LHP and you have to wonder if Collins is filling out his lineup card to win, or something else?
There’s no doubt that Davis has made progress, but he has also reinvented himself into something else. As I told Jared Diamond this morning, yes these walk rates and swing rates are all nice, but at what cost?
Is this new Ike Davis the same middle-of-the-order, power-hitting first baseman the Mets thought they were getting when they selected him 18th overall with their first round pick?
Only time will tell….