MIAMI -- The opposite-field double that Ike Davis ripped in the fifth inning Friday was not only his first extra-base hit since May 9, but the hardest-hit ball he had mustered in weeks. It was also some of the best evidence yet that Davis' mechanical changes may be working, at a time when he still faces constant danger of a Minor League demotion.
"He's changed a lot of things," manager Terry Collins said. "He's moved up on the plate a little bit. Obviously he's more upright than he has been. He's been able to keep himself back on his backside a little bit longer, which I think has helped. If you look at where he's hit the ball, he's not necessarily trying to pull, pull, pull. So I think that's made a big difference."
Davis entered Saturday's play riding a modest 6-for-19 run, though even that stretch is not without its flaws. He has struck out eight times in those 20 plate appearances, walking just once. And he has not hit a home run since April 25.
Collins said what least concerns him is the lack of over-the-fence pop; if Davis can correct the flaws in his swing, the home runs will inevitably come.
"If he makes better contact, he's going to hit homers," Collins said. "That comes with his territory. He's a big, strong guy. Ike's struggles came because he wasn't hitting. He wasn't hitting the ball. If he makes solid contact, he's going to hit home runs."