Fernando Nieve likes to be prepared for what's coming. That may explain why he's settled in so well of late to his setup role, with his 1 1/3 perfect innings Wednesday giving him 7 2/3 scoreless innings in his last eight appearances.
"Like if someone's going to punch you in the face, you want to be prepared," Nieve said. "[The relievers] know a little bit what situation we're going to be in."
But now knowing his role as the seventh- or eighth-inning righthander - he came on in the seventh after John Maine walked Jamey Carroll to lead off the inning and got Russ Johnson on a fly to center and then Russell Martin on a 6-4-3 double play - makes all the work worthwhile.
"I was waiting for that, a chance to be on the field all the time," Nieve said. "I know what I'm going to be doing every time, so I'm more focused on that instead of waiting to see when I was going in."
What's not to like?
Ike Davis had two more hits and an RBI, giving him six RBIs on the 10-game homestand to go with a .355 (11-for-31) average. Davis flared a single over shortstop to score Jason Bay in the seventh, again displaying his patient hitting stroke.
"I kind of saw him as purely a power guy, an add-on guy - if you're up 4-2, he can make it 7-2 with one swing," Jerry Manuel said. "He's shown the ability to drive in big runs. It's a surprise to me."
"You wouldn't know he's been here 10 days," Bay said. "He handles it well."