Ike Davis was received with pleasure and hospitality into the Mets’ shaky 2010 venture yesterday. Summoned from the team’s Buffalo farm club at noon, flown to Queens and immediately installed as the latest answer to the two-year-old “Who’s on first?” gag for last night’s 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs, Davis slapped a clean single to rightfield in his first big-league at bat. It seemed like a fulfillment of the prophesy of his .480 spring-training average.
He faces robust expectations to move the needle on the Mets’ lagging offense, turn their thin-gruel attack into red meat. Plus, the next time the Mets play a 20-inning game, his experience as a crack pitcher — starter and finisher — during his Arizona State days could come in handy.
Closer to earth: He went 2-for-4 with a run batted in, parachuting into the much-scrutinized doings at first base, where recent employees there have not exactly buttressed the wisdom of Mets’ decision-makers.
Daniel Murphy, currently rehabilitating a knee sprain, hit .266 last year. Mike Jacobs, through 12 games this season, was at .208 before he was designated for assignment yesterday. Nick Evans, summoned a year ago much as Davis was yesterday, was gone after 30 games and now labors for Double-A Binghamton.
All that made Davis, at 23, appear during spring training to be the solution, but instead he was packed off to Triple-A Buffalo to start the season.
“Completely out of my control,” he said. “Did I want to be ? Yes. But did I think I would . . . ? They just said, ‘Go work on your game, get into the flow of things.’ ” Yesterday, he was dressing for a 1 p.m. game in Buffalo (written into the cleanup spot) when the Mets’ call came for reinforcements.
He called his mother. “She didn’t answer,” he said. He called his father, former major- league relief pitcher Ron Davis, whose career included one All-Star season and a stretch with the Yankees. (By mid-afternoon, a proud Ron Davis was all over the city’s sports-talk stations, saying he’d watch last night’s game on TV from his Arizona home and fly to New York today.)
Ike Davis, meanwhile, strolled into the Citi Field dugout at 4:45 — “S’up, guys?” he asked — wearing the No. 29 that, only a day before, had been the property of relief pitcher Tobi Stoner, who spent all of 21/3 innings as a Met, just long enough to be Sunday’s losing pitcher in St. Louis.
Davis took infield and his turns in the batting cage (putting three balls into the seats), was hustled into a five-minute interview session (“I’m pretty excited,” he said), assigned an empty locker next to the team’s laundry room and given yet another uniform, because every Met and Cub donned No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson last night.
His photo was taken to be displayed on the giant video board during his at-bats. So far for him, everything about the majors is bigger than life.