Even with the benefit of time to reflect, Ike Davis believed he had done the right thing. In the ninth inning yesterday, with the go-ahead run standing at third base, Davis thought Brandon Phillips' slow grounder down the first-base line was going to bounce foul.
He didn't believe he had a play at the plate, nor did he think he could start a double play, so the Mets' struggling first baseman decided that his best option was letting the ball go.
But nothing has gone well for Davis this season, and with his spot on the roster in jeopardy, his fortunes weren't about to change. Which is why after the Mets' 7-4 loss to the Reds -- a defeat hastened by his poor decision -- Davis had to relive his latest moment of abject failure.
"There's a lot of ifs and whats, but that's the way I thought I had to do it,'' said Davis, who opened the door for a three-run inning that sealed a three-game sweep.
Davis was 0-for-2 with two walks and a fly ball to the warning track in centerfield. He also stranded a runner in scoring position, making him hitless in his last 25 at-bats in such situations, while his overall average plummeted to .147.
Despite speculation that he could be sent to Triple-A Las Vegas during Thursday's off day, a person familiar with the team's thinking said Davis will remain on the roster when the Braves arrive at Citi Field to begin a three-game series Friday night. However, if Davis fails to show signs of improvement, the Mets may demote him before the Subway Series begins Monday.
Davis' mistake did little to quell the notion that he may soon be destined for the minors.
"The way things have been going, that just typifies everything that's happened,'' manager Terry Collins said.
Even phenom Matt Harvey, who did not factor in the decision, couldn't keep the Mets (17-27) from falling to a season-worst 10 games under .500. Harvey, who has been nearly flawless this year, allowed a career-high nine hits and a season-high four runs in 61/3 innings. Joey Votto hit a two-run homer on a 3-and-0 count off Harvey, who also allowed four hits to Zack Cozart, who entered the game batting .206.
By the end of the seventh, Harvey found himself in line for his first loss of the season, trailing 4-2. But the Mets took Harvey off the hook.
With the score tied in the ninth, Collins turned the game over to closer Bobby Parnell in hopes of setting up a possible walk-off. Instead, Shin-Soo Choo started a rally, doubling to right-center. With one out and Choo on third, Parnell intentionally walked Votto to face Phillips, who fought off a ball in on his hands. It rolled toward Davis.
"When things aren't going well and you're not catching many breaks, the ball finds you,'' Mets captain David Wright said. "That obviously was the case today.''
The grounder kicked up chalk before taking a bounce toward the bag. Had Davis been more aggressive, Collins thought he might have had a play at the plate. But Davis banked on the ball spinning foul, so he pulled his mitt back. Umpire Phil Cuzzi signaled fair when the ball bounced over the base.
Said Davis: "Everything that could go wrong for me right now is going wrong.''
With David Lennon