Like plenty of hitters around baseball, Ike Davis took an ofer today, striking out twice, flying out and grounding into a double play in the Mets’ 1-0 win over the Braves. I noticed it seemed like Atlanta was feeding him a steady diet of offspeed stuff, so I went to MLB.com’s gameday for closer inspection.
Davis saw 11 pitches from starter Tommy Hanson. Hanson, who might be related to the band Hanson, threw the Mets’ first baseman one fastball, two sliders, and eight curveballs.
Right-handed reliever Kris Medlen threw Davis a changeup and two curveballs. Lefty Jonny Venters threw Davis two sinkers and three sliders.
After the game, I asked Davis if he knew how many fastballs he saw.
“One,” he said. “Except from the lefty.”
I asked if that was typical.
“That’s the Braves,” he said. “Well, that’s Hanson.”
Davis said he has never hit Hanson well and suggested I look up his career numbers against him. It’s obviously a tiny sample, but Davis is now 2-for-12 with two walks and six strikeouts in his career against Hanson. And the two hits are described as “Pop Fly to Short LF-CF” and “Ground Ball thru 2B-1B” on the baseball-reference play index.
“Most guys don’t have curveballs as sharp as Tommy’s,” Davis said, adding that if he saw as many lesser curveballs, “I’ll hit ’em.”
So, you know, crisis averted.
And to Davis’ credit, Fangraphs’ pitch-type values (and watching the games) confirm that Tommy Hanson throws a very effective curveball and that Davis doesn’t consistently have trouble with curveballs. Plus, it’s probably worth noting that Davis sees about as few fastballs as anyone in the league, so a day full of offspeed offerings is probably nothing new to him.