Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ike Davis just hits bombs

See? You can hit home runs at Citi Field.

Jose Reyes did. Barely. Angel Pagan almost did; another foot higher and it would have been a walk-off game-winner (alas, there are no cheapies at Citi).

And of course, Ike Davis did. But then again, Davis has the kind of power you can't teach, the kind of power that will launch bombs in any park, even the cavernous home of the Mets. He's already hit one onto the Shea Bridge, and Tuesday night's blast in the bottom of the 11th inning -- deep onto the Pepsi Porch -- gave the Mets a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Padres that extended the team's home winning streak to nine games and improved their home record to a gaudy 23-9.

Ron Darling almost called the shot on the telecast, noting moments before the homer that Davis took Padres reliever Edward Mujica deep to center field when the Mets were in San Diego a week ago. Davis had been 0-for-8 since his four-hit game Saturday, but he pulverized a changeup, allowing the Mets to celebrate the way so many teams have celebrated in Mets road losses this season.

On a night when Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg won his debut -- striking out 14 Pirates -- Mike Pelfrey turned in a Johan-like performance, throwing nine innings and allowing just five hits with no walks and six strikeouts, the lone run coming in the first. Perhaps the most Johan-like thing about the gem was the fact that he got a no-decision, thanks to the Mets' continuing inability to do anything against Clayton Richard.

That is, until Reyes popped his second homer of the season on a ball that just made it over the orange line at the top of the wall. The hit was ruled a double on the field but overturned by video replay. Pagan's shot in the bottom of the 10th fell a foot or so short and ended up as a two-out triple (my reaction: "Damn you, Citi Field!"), but Jason Bay (0-for-5, three strikeouts) left Pagan stranded.

Pelfrey's work cannot be forgotten here. He has stepped up his game immensely this season and is pitching with incredible confidence and intelligence. Can we imagine Cliff Lee as the third starter on this team? I can.

I did get a chance to see Strasburg's first inning as a major leaguer on the MLB Network, and I have to say, the 99-mph fastball and the sharp-breaking curve had me thinking of one player: Doc Gooden. That's a name that serves as both compliment and cautionary tale, but I'm guessing that Strasburg has seen enough of "Chappelle's Show" to know that cocaine is a hell of a drug.

And unless he goes the way of Mark Prior and is undone by injury, the kid is going to have one hell of a career.

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