NEW YORK -- One day after bashing a walk-off grand slam, Ike Davis made his first start at first base since Opening Day.
That much was coincidence; Mets manager Terry Collins had penciled Davis in for Sunday's start prior to the weekend, wanting to keep his former first base starter fresh. Because it came on the heels of Saturday's dramatics, the opportunity created -- at least in theory -- a thought that Davis may be able to reclaim his starting job sooner rather than later. But Collins was adamant in saying that Duda will start Tuesday in Atlanta, no matter what happens.
"We've got to at least stick by our plan a little bit," Collins said Sunday morning. "I hope Ike has a big game today, but the plan is set in stone in Atlanta."
It is a plan that Collins mapped out late last week, after naming Duda the starter and telling Davis that he would receive only sporadic opportunities.
"When I talked to him the other day, I said, 'Listen, you're going to play Sunday,' so even though it may not be an everyday thing, you're going to get playing time," Collins said. "When the decisions are going to be finalized in the end, somebody's got to be left standing. You've got to keep yourself ready."
For now, Davis is attempting to do so, looking at his Sunday start from a bench player's perspective.
"There are only so many starters in the Major Leagues, and there are a whole lot of bench players that have to do a job too," Davis said. "I've just got to take it in stride and try to help the team win from the bench."
Still, just because Collins named Duda the first-base starter earlier this week, does not mean Davis' playing time will suffer to any staggering extent. With a run of right-handed opposing pitchers on the schedule, Davis could see another start as soon as this week in Atlanta. And with three games in an American League park next weekend, he and Duda could both see their names in the same lineup card multiple times.