New York Mets first baseman, Ike Davis, delivered his third multi-homer game of the season and added a career high five runs batted in propelling NY to a 6-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday night. With his 29th and 30th home runs of the year, Davis became only the third first base man in Mets history to reach the 30-homer plateau and the 16th player in team history to hit 30-homers in a season.
“It’s a cool milestone, I guess,” Davis told reporters following the game. “It’s something you can always tell your kids — you hit 30 homers in the big leagues. But, obviously, if I would have hit 29 this year I still would have been happy with the power numbers, for sure.”
Ike homered in back-to-back innings, the first of which came in the bottom half of the fourth when the 25-year-old first base man drilled a 3-1 offering from Pittsburgh starter Kyle McPherson over the left-center field wall. One inning later, Davis capped off a four-run frame with a three-run bomb to give NY a 6-0 lead they would not relinquish.
After a brutal start to the season, Ike has turned his 2012 season around with career high’s in both home runs (30) and runs batted in (88). What’s the biggest difference in Ike’s first and second half performances? “I’m just not awful,” Ike told reporters.
“I felt like I had never played baseball before. I kept saying I’m not going to play this bad forever. I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to do that. You guys can pick up a stick and do better than I did. But I told you there’s better things to come. I don’t know if I’ve had the greatest season of all time, but I definitely made myself feel a little better about this season working through stuff and grinding and seeing you can come from pretty far behind and still have a pretty good year. I guess everyone kind of goes through something like that. I’m glad, I guess, that I did. It definitely made me a better baseball player. It was mental strength, for sure. But hopefully I don’t do that again.”
I just hope that many fans — who have totally tuned out the Mets over the last two months — don’t judge Ike solely on what they watched in the first half. Or worse, look at his numbers and see that .227 batting average and not realize just how good he has been for the Mets over the last two months. Since the All-Star break, Davis is hitting .252 and his 17 home runs are tied for the second most in the NL with Washington’s Adam LaRoche — behind only Chase Headley (21). Over that span, only seven players have driven in more than his 39 runs batted in: