The Mets were so frustrated with the struggles of Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada that they were prepared to demote the duo to Triple-A after Tuesday night's game, according to a person familiar with the situation.
But general manager Sandy Alderson and the front office decided at the last moment it wasn't the right time to make such a move, what with the Mets fresh off beating Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and coming off consecutive feel-good victories over their crosstown rivals.
So, not long after taking part in the on-field celebration, Davis and Tejada were called into manager Terry Collins' Citi Field office. There, with Alderson, Collins and assistant general manager John Ricco, both players were told they are all but out of time to right themselves.
Faced with the challenge Wednesday night of playing for their roster spots, Davis survived another night by going 2-for-5 and driving in two runs in a 9-4 win. But Tejada was not as fortunate, injuring his right quad in the ninth inning and almost certainly heading for the disabled list.
The injury to Tejada figures to give the Mets the opportunity to recall Omar Quintanilla from Triple-A, which was the likely scenario had they decided to demote Tejada. The Mets said they will make an official decision after Tejada is evaluated Thursday.
Before the game, Collins acknowledged that a meeting took place Tuesday night with Davis and Tejada, but he declined to offer specifics. The manager also made no secret of the fact that the Mets believe it has reached the point where they must decide what to do about Davis and Tejada.
Asked if it sometimes takes the threat of a player's roster spot to get them going, Collins said, "There are guys who play very well when they're comfortable, and maybe there are those who play more aggressively when they're standing on the edge. We'll find out."
Davis said "the fire has been lit for a while" for him, so the contents of the meeting didn't change that. "Basically they just said to me I got to play better," he said. "I've been trying to do it for some time now. Nothing really has changed."
The early returns for Davis were positive.
He came in Wednesday night with only four hits in his last 53 at-bats. But he looked confident in the first inning as he fought back from a 0-and-2 count to make it full before lining a two-run single to left-center. Davis' hit was only his second in 30 at-bats in which he fell behind 0-and-2.
Davis lined another single to centerfield in the fifth, an important sign considering Collins said the Mets want him to use the whole field. He also grounded out to first with the bases loaded to end the ninth.
"Honestly it doesn't matter if it's day-to-day or it's month-to-month," Davis said of his status. "It's life. I just need to play better. That's what I'm going to try to do. Work my butt off and see what happens."