I’ve found that if you go back through my blogs for this season, there’s two running themes. And that’s just if you go by the pictures I use. It’s either: “Boy, this Kirk Nieuwenhuis is pretty good”, or it’s “What the f**k is wrong with Ike Davis?”
Tonight, unfortunately, I give you the latter. Because something is really wrong with Ike Davis. I don’t know if it’s the Valley Fever or if it’s the fact that he’s just plain lost at the plate, but now he’s taking his problems to the field with him. With the Mets up by two in the eighth, Davis starting the inning by trying to field a ground ball with the glove in front, but he didn’t quite get there all the way and just looked damn awkward with the ball going through him. Think about it, Davis … a crackerjack fielder … looked like me in my early softball days (trust me, that was bad). It was the key that unlocked a chain of events which ended with Jon Rauch throwing hanging sliders to everyone from the Diamondbacks to the Two Boots Pizza vendors, and for good measure Scott Hairston letting a ball drop in front of him strategically so that he can knock it into the stands with his glove (and they say this team’s baseball IQ is low). Not that it mattered, but Jason Bay would have dove for that ball. He would have been flipping and flopping just like a flounder, but at least he would have dove. From 4-2 Mets to 5-4 Arizona in a matter of mere moments.
Then came the bottom of the eighth with Davis at-bat and Jordany Valdespin pinch running at first base. Davis struck out on a pitch that hit him in the leg. Not only do you have to be completely lost at the plate to swing and miss at a pitch that hits you (Davis said post game it was the first time that ever happened to him … and hopefully it’s the last), it probably cost them the tying run. Andres Torres singled to send Valdespin to third where he might have scored if Davis didn’t swing at that pitch. At the very worst, Josh Thole’s line out to end the inning would have been a sac fly. It’s a leap of faith to assume that Torres and Thole would have been pitched the same way with one out as they were with two, but Davis’ swing at the HBP changed that entire frame, just as his error changed the complexion of the top of the inning.
And don’t forget Gerardo Parra’s diving catch off Daniel Murphy to end the game with David Wright, who’s got more hits than Saduhara Oh, on deck (with J.J. Putz pitching) if you want the full effect of misery that this team provides. Diamondbacks 5, Mets 4, four straight losses for the Mets who now drop to the .500 notch. The Mets will turn to Johan Santana to set straight this Watergate. If not, it could be a long freefall to the bottom.
To end this nonsense: too bad they don’t count for extra runs, but extra points to the Mets (and to Hairston and Justin Turner) for getting everybody to walk up to the plate to Beastie Boys songs to honor Adam Yauch, who passed away on Friday. And extra points to you if you already picked out the references. RIP MCA.