Davis delivers Mets' walk-off in 11th
Blast makes it nine wins in a row at Citi Field
NEW YORK -- After Ike Davis went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his first big league game, Jeff Francoeur found the rookie in the Citi Field dugout and slammed a shaving cream pie in his face.
A month or so later, after Henry Blanco hit a walk-off homer against the Giants at Citi Field, Alex Cora greeted Blanco with his own shaving cream concoction.
Angel Pagan wasn't a fan of that precedent. Shaving cream stings; whipped cream is delicious. So when Davis hit a walk-off homer off Edward Mujica in the 11th inning Tuesday, leading the Mets to a 2-1 victory over the Padres, Pagan raced into the clubhouse to whip up his preferred type of dessert. Then he found Davis on the field, snuck behind him, and struck.
"When he hit that ball, that was the first thing on my mind," Pagan said. "Last time Cora did the pie, it was terrible."
With Pagan as the chef, Davis' pie was "delicious." And his home run, aptly, was "sweet."
"Walk-offs," Davis said, "are amazing."
The Mets, who now have three of them on the season, would certainly agree. Stuck in a 1-1 game in the 11th, they craned to watch Davis smack Mujica's hanging splitter into the second deck in right field, putting a quick end to what was descending into a drawn-out game.
One inning earlier, Pagan crushed a ball in the same direction -- only his hit bounced off a fan and back onto the field. Racing around second, Pagan settled for a two-out triple, somewhat miffed that umpires did not review the play.
But after Davis hit his ball a ways farther, Pagan stopped caring.
"He made me look bad, I'll tell you that," Pagan said, laughing. "He crushed that ball."
Umpires did turn to video replay in the seventh, when Jose Reyes hit a ball off the fence adorning the left-field wall. Originally a double, Reyes' hit became a game-tying homer off Clayton Richard once the crew reversed the call.
It was the only run off Richard, the man who prevented Mike Pelfrey from recording a win.
After serving up a run-scoring double to Adrian Gonzalez in the first, Pelfrey -- once again -- was brilliant. He allowed three hits the rest of the way, striking out six, walking one, and needing only 103 pitches to complete nine innings.
Briefly, Pelfrey lobbied for manager Jerry Manuel to allow him to pitch the 10th, but Manuel nixed the idea, telling the right-hander he would never consider it.
Pelfrey wouldn't have recorded his ninth victory anyway -- the Mets needed 11 innings to down the Padres, relying on some shutout relief from Francisco Rodriguez, Pedro Feliciano and Elmer Dessens. But Pelfrey felt strong. And he looked dynamic.
"His ball must move a lot," Davis said. "He's just filling up the zone with pitches and keeping them off-balance, and they can't really find the barrel on him."
"We knew what we were getting," Padres manager Bud Black said. "A guy with a good fastball and movement."
On this night, Pelfrey may not have received the same hype or attention as Stephen Strasburg did a couple hundred miles down the Eastern seaboard. But a former first-round Draft pick himself, he pitched just as effectively.
"I didn't feel like the ball was jumping out of my hand, but I felt like I was putting it where I wanted to," Pelfrey said. "That's the biggest thing."
It has been that way all season. After a quiet winter, the Mets are continuing to receive significant contributions from within: from Pelfrey, now one of the National League's best young starters; from Pagan, now a dynamic center fielder; and from Davis, a rookie first baseman with seven home runs and a world of potential.
For those reasons and several others, the Mets have now won four in a row overll and nine consecutive games at Citi Field, improving to 23-9 overall at home. They are just 8-18 on the road.
Though they have all struggled to explain that disparity, one theory is that the Mets have finally learned how to hit at Citi Field. They are aiming for the gaps. They are receiving strong starting pitching (see: Pelfrey). And they are no longer trying to hit balls over the fence.
Every once in a while, though, a pitch comes in so fat and perfect that, as Francoeur likes to say, it makes a man's eyes grow as big as saucers.
That happened in the 11th inning for Davis.
A no-doubter at Citi Field. Imagine that.
"You don't see too many," Francoeur said. "But that was one I don't think we had to worry about coming back."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.