Ike Davis, yes, THAT Ike Davis, hit a two-run single in the bottom of the 8th to give the Mets the lead and the win over the Braves, 4-2 on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.
The Good Stuff:
- Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 8th, Justin Turner led off with a pinch-hit single up the middle. After a struggling David Wright struck out, Lucas Duda sliced a groundrule double down the left field line. John Buck singled on a line drive to left and brought home the tying run in Turner, and Mike Baxter was hit by the pitch to load the bases. That brought up the man whose very place on the team was at stake, a man who mere days ago was a pitch or two away from an extended Memorial Day trip to Las Vegas. But Ike Davis put all that behind him and swung at a 1-1 sinker that zoomed into right field and plated the go-ahead runs.
- The two-run single was the apex of a game as good as Ike has had all season: 2-3 with a walk. Tonight in front of a national TV audience he eked out as many hits as he had in his previous 40-something at-bats.
- The runs came a little late for Shaun Marcum, whose grand effort resulted in a tough no-decision. His final line for the night: 7 innings, 4 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 12 strikeouts.
- LaTroy Hawkins earned the W with a scoreless 8th, and Bobby Parnell shut down the Atlanta bats 1-2-3 for his 7th save to send the 27,296 fans at Citi Field, including 3,000+ military personnel on Military Appreciation Night, home happy. Finally.
- Lucas Duda had the other run of the game, a solo homer that just cleared the wall in right to lead off the 4th.
- Daniel Murphy started two more double plays on the night, including a key turn in the top of the 8th.
- David Wright's slump continued as he went 0-4 to drop his average down to an ordinary .284.
Even the collective relief and joy of all Mets fans cannot possibly trump the feelings of relief and joy Ike Davis is experiencing tonight. An enormous burden was lifted from his shoulders with his swing in the 8th inning. Time will tell if this is the moment where he finally turned it around for good, but for the first time all season, Issac Benjamin Davis has some momentum going into tomorrow's game.
It was an utter shame Shaun Marcum couldn't get the win after a brilliant 12-K night where his only mistake was a hanging changeup that Dan Uggla put in the upper deck. Unfortunately, when New York doesn't score runs, pitcher basically have to throw near-perfect games every time out. Matt Harvey learned that lesson a couple weeks ago, and Shaun Marcum learned it tonight in wake of his best start as a Met.
Speaking of Harvey, he has a date with destiny coming up on Tuesday night in the middle of this year's Subway Series. The Mets will split four this week with the hated New York Yankees, two at Citi Field and two at Yankee Stadium. If Matt Harvey wants to affirm himself as one of the best in the game, he'll have to go toe-to-toe with the game's Evil Empire. What a fine matchup it should be.