Ike Davis makes the case for staying up

Ike Davis. ()
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Prior to yesterday's game, first baseman Ike Davis told reporters that the Mets had assured him he wouldn't be going to the minor leagues.

"It’s just nice to get that out of the way and know that if I go 0-for-4 tomorrow I’m not gonna get sent down," Davis said to reporters.

It wasn't until recently that a demotion for Davis seemed like even a remote possibility. But he has been awful this season. He entered Thursday hitting .159, reaching base less frequently than Mets pitcher Jon Niese, and slugging just .290.

Davis didn't even get the start on Thursday. Against the lefty Eric Stults, the Mets elected to start righty Vinny Rottino at first base.

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But in the eighth inning, after a 68-minute rain delay and a battering by the San Diego Padres, Ike Davis entered a 10-3 game as a pinch hitter, with two men on.

Reliever Luke Gregerson started Davis off with a fastball, and Davis lunged at it, fouling it off. The league has fed Davis a steady diet of off-speed pitches, and the more Davis struggles to hit them, the less likely he ever is to see a fastball. When he has gotten them, he's tended to overswing.

Safely ahead in the count, Gregerson went to his slider for the next four pitches in a row. Davis fouled three of them off and let one go that was in the dirt. Gregerson was still ahead 1-2, and tried to get Davis to chase a low fastball. Davis has been waving at such pitches all year, striking out more than 28 percent of the time he comes up. But Davis watched it.

Now even at 2-2, Gregerson returned to the slider to finish Davis. But he left it up, just slightly. And Ike Davis did what he'd done so often in his big league career, lashing a mistake pitch on a line drive to right field, scoring a pair of Mets runs and earning cheers from the hardy few who'd sat through a rain delay.

It can't be said based on one at-bat that he's coming out of his slump. But at the very least, on a day on which the Mets took demotion off the table, Davis responded. 

Elsewhere in New York sports:

YANKEES

They head to Oakland to begin a nine-game road trip against the Athletics, Angels and Tigers. In the meantime, the Yankees state unequivocally that they are not for sale.

RANGERS

The Rangers face possible elimination Friday night at the hands of the Devils at Newark's Prudential Center.

GIANTS

Hakeem Nicks, the indispensable Giants receiver, has a broken foot, putting him out for 12 weeks. That takes him to roughly the end of training camp.

SOCCER

The Red Bulls are off, but the U.S. National Team will play three friendlies and two World Cup qualifiers in the next 18 days. The first match is a friendly against Scotland on Saturday.