Ike Davis batting only .224, but 30-homer mark is a possibility

Ike Davis, right, and St. Louis Cardinals catcher

Ike Davis, right, and St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz watch Davis' three-run home run during the fifth inning of a game in St. Louis. (Sept. 5, 2012) (Credit: AP)

ST. LOUIS -- Early this season, it looked like Ike Davis was a lot closer to Buffalo than to a 30-home run season. That is what impresses his teammates so much about him.

He still is batting only .224, but he has 26 home runs, including a vital three-run shot Wednesday in a 6-2 win over the Cardinals. "The whole time, he knew he was a good hitter," winning pitcher R.A. Dickey said. "He has that confidence that I don't know that you can really teach. It might come from having a big-league father and being around the game, I don't know. That's a hypothesis. I'm really proud of him. He has stuck to his guns."

Terry Collins attributes the struggles to Davis having missed most of last season. Davis is displeased with his average, but is encouraged with having had better at-bats and more walks. Hitting the 30 mark, the player said, "would be really cool. This year, just breaking 20 would have been cool because I'd never done that. I'd like to hit 30. I'd also like to hit 40. At least it's possible."

 

Murphy sees the light

Daniel Murphy went 3-for-5 and is leading the majors with a .351 average in day games. "That just means I'm not hitting well at night," he said. Collins, though, said, "Dan Murphy is going to hit. That's never an issue."

 

Tough day for Tejada

David Wright had the day off, and Ruben Tejada looked as if he needed one, too. He made an error, misplayed another ball and struck out four times. "I've never, ever seen him have a day like today," Collins said. "It might behoove me to get him a couple [days off]." . . . Shelby Miller, the Cardinals top pitching prospect, made his major league debut and struck out four in two scoreless innings . . . The Mets haven't announced any specifics, but they will honor longtime nemesis Chipper Jones of the Braves at Citi Field this weekend . . . Retired Cardinals manager Tony La Russa has written a book, "One Last Strike," with Hall of Fame sportswriter Rick Hummel and will do a signing in New York early next month.

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