Ike Davis exits with a strained right oblique

4 Comments

Mets first baseman Ike Davis may have played his last game in 2013. In the third inning, with the Mets leading 1-0, Davis skied a sacrifice fly to left field. He grabbed at his side, then left the field gingerly with trainer Ray Ramirez, writes ESPN’s Adam Rubin. Rubin later verified that the injury is a strained right oblique, an injury which likely keeps Davis out for the remainder of the season.

Davis has battled adversity all year long. Through June 9, he mustered a measly .500 OPS before the Mets demoted him to Triple-A Las Vegas. There, he posted a 1.091 OPS in 21 games, prompting the Mets to give him another shot. The power didn’t return to levels the Mets would have preferred, but his plate discipline was much improved. Between July 5 and August 30, he drew 38 walks (three intentional) and struck out 35 times in 168 plate appearances. Comparatively, from the beginning of the season through June 9, he drew 19 walks (two intentional) and struck out 66 times in 207 PA.

Rubin suggests the left-handed Lucas Duda and right-handed Josh Satin could share time at first base. Rubin also wonders if the Mets will tender Davis a contract in the off-season, as he will have earned $3.125 million this season and will enter his second year of arbitration eligibility.

Matt Carpenter hit a standup bunt double

Getty Images
3 Comments

The wave of defensive shifts we’ve seen over the past few years has led to a lot of armchair hitting coaches demanding that players bunt to beat it. This is easier said than done, however.

The shift happens because certain hitters tend to pull the ball. Certain hitters tend to pull the ball because pulling the ball is what happens when one gets a strong, quick swing on a pitch one identifies early and which one endeavors to send as far away from home plate as possible. Which is to say that pulling is a skill that is good to have and which is strongly selected for among hitters.

In light of that, “why not just bunt to beat the shift” takes are kind of lazy. Bunting is hard! And it is not a thing guys who get shifted a lot are good at. Most of the time asking a player to do a thing he is not well-equipped to do is a bad idea. Indeed, a hitter voluntarily going away from his strength is something the defense would much prefer.

Most of the time anyway.

Last night Matt Carpenter made those armchair hitting coaches happy by laying down a bunt to beat the shift. And he laid it down so well that he ended up with a standup double:

One batter later Carpenter scored on a Starlin Castro error.

The shift giveth and the shift taketh away.