Weekend could be sign of things to come for Davis
Slugger belts 425-foot homer, feels good at the plate in series with Marlins
MIAMI -- Four hundred and twenty-five feet is a long way from home plate, long enough to prove unreachable for many Major League hitters. That Ike Davis achieved that distance with his fourth-inning homer Sunday, a two-run shot to straightaway center, spoke to his raw abilities as a hitter.
For most of this season, such skills have been dormant. But Davis showed real signs of life this weekend in Miami, finishing 3-for-10 with a homer, a double and three RBIs.
Though he is not ready to predict the same type of breakout that occurred for him around this time last year, Davis does believe this could be the start of something significant.
"Really, I've been hitting the ball decent for the last four or five games," Davis said. "It's good that one went over the fence, and I feel like obviously I'm having better at-bats. I'm putting the ball in play more and hitting the ball more solid. Hopefully I continue to do this."
Davis' latest mechanical tweaks came last week, in the form of lowered hands and a more upright stance. Despite his uncertainty whether that has played a role in his revival, Davis is hitting .333 since his final at-bat on May 24, with three multi-hit games over that stretch. Perhaps more telling, after a crippling run of strikeouts from mid- to late-May, he has whiffed just twice in his last 16 plate appearances.
"I'm making solid contact again," Davis said. "That helps. I'm not striking out as much. I've just got to grind it out. There's a lot of games left. We'll see what happens over a longer period of time."
In retrospect, Davis' breakout last year came on June 9, when he singled and drew two walks at Yankee Stadium. He smashed a home run three days later, the first of 27 he would hit from that point until the end of the season.
It remains to be seen if his breakout this year will be as dramatic, or if he will even break out at all. But Davis has at least temporarily staved off talk of a Minor League demotion, a real possibility as recently as late last week.
"He's a huge part of our lineup," manager Terry Collins said. "If he gets it going, we're going to change things offensively for sure."