NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins hasn't been afraid to play the waiting game this season. It's a new philosophy, which Collins credits as the biggest change in his managerial style.
So while the Mets have seen their early struggles with injuries, bullpen malfunctions and prolonged slumps, Collins hasn't hit the panic button. Instead, he has dished out more opportunities.
"I've been doing this way too long to throw your hands up just because a guy is going through a bad stretch, because the minute they think you don't believe in them anymore, that bad stretch is going to last a long time," Collins said.
Despite repeated votes of confidence from Collins, the nightmare stretch did last a long time for Ike Davis, who had the worst batting average of any player in the Major Leagues entering last weekend's series against the Yankees. But over the last five games entering Friday, Davis hit .571 with a home run and seven RBIs. Collins rewarded his first baseman with a bump up to fourth in the starting lineup on Friday.
"I hope that that confidence that we showed in him reaffirms the fact that we believe in him," Collins said. "That's not to say he hasn't been frustrated, he hasn't been angry, he hasn't gone in and behind the scenes and destroyed a bat. I don't know if he has. I don't follow him up the runways, but that's only human nature for guys at this level. When they are upset about the way things are going, they have to hit something hard, and that'd be a wall."
If hitting the wall for the short term means success in the end, Collins will take it. Collins said he's going to need Davis to produce in the middle of the order with the recent success of his hitters at the top of the lineup, but for now, there's encouragement that Davis has turned a corner.
"It was really frustrating. It still is," Davis said. "I started off really slow this year. Hopefully, I can have the next two and a half, three months and show that I'm getting back to the player that I should be."
Mets Draft picks Cecchini, Plawecki take BP
NEW YORK -- Mets Draft picks Gavin Cecchini and Kevin Plawecki were at Citi Field on Friday night for the series opener against the Reds.
Cecchini and Plawecki, who were respectively selected at 12th and 35th overall earlier this month in the First-Year Player Draft, were invited to get a post-Draft day feel for the organization. Both suited up prior to the game and took batting practice with the team.
The 18-year-old Cecchini, who is set to join Rookie League affiliate Kingsport, joins the Mets' farm system straight out of high school. Plawecki, headed to short-season Class A Brooklyn, played three years of collegiate ball at Purdue.
"These two were very high on our board, extraordinarily high on our board, both of them," Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said in a joint news conference with Cecchini and Plawecki. "We're very proud of them both and we're happy they're here."
The pair met and posed for photos with a handful of current Mets, including David Wright, who called Cecchini on Draft night to offer his congratulations.
"It was awesome," Cecchini said. "Just meeting all of the big league players, me and [Kevin] and everyone else that gets drafted, that's our dream is to make it to their level."
Cecchini, a shortstop, donned a blue No. 2 batting practice jersey on Friday. Alderson joked that his motivation for wearing No. 2 should be "stricken from the record," but Cecchini was honest about why he made the decision.
"Derek Jeter's my favorite player," he said. "The reason he's my favorite player is because he plays the game hard, always. He runs out balls hard, and he's a great [role] model for me and all the rest of the kids."
Bay likely has concussion after sliding into wall
NEW YORK -- Mets outfielder Jason Bay left Friday's 7-3 loss to the Reds in the second inning after slamming into Citi Field's left-field wall. He was diagnosed with a likely concussion after being examined in the locker room and was taken home shortly after.
Bay's head and right shoulder appeared to strike the wall after he dove onto the warning track in an attempt to catch Jay Bruce's inside-the-park home run leading off the second. Bay did not move for several moments, before eventually getting to his feet and throwing in the ball.
Justin Turner, who went 1-for-4 in his second rehab game with Triple-A Buffalo on Friday night, will come to Citi Field on Saturday in anticipation of a roster move to place Bay on the disabled list.
Bay missed the final two months of the 2010 season with a severe concussion after slamming into Dodger Stadium's left-field wall. He also missed six weeks earlier this year with a fractured left rib, the result of a diving play at Citi Field.
"I felt terrible for Jason," manager Terry Collins said. "As he always does, he plays the game only one way -- all out. Never backed off anything, didn't back off the wall, didn't back off the broken rib. He still dove and still played the game the only way he knows how."
Bay told Collins he felt dizzy in the moments after the collision. He was taken out of the game and was replaced by Scott Hairston, who belted a two-run homer in the seventh.
Collins said Bay's situation is now similar to that of Mets catcher Josh Thole, who landed on the seven-day disabled list earlier this season with a concussion. Thole had previously sustained a concussion two years prior playing for Triple-A Buffalo.
"It wasn't that this one was more serious than the others, but since [Bay's] had it in the past, this becomes a pretty serious thing," Collins said.
Bay is batting .187 with four home runs in 22 games.
Dickey, Koosman reflect on scoreless mark
NEW YORK -- Before Friday's game, R.A. Dickey met with Mets all-time great Jerry Koosman, who the knuckleballer dethroned for the franchise's scoreless-innings record on Wednesday. In his complete-game one-hitter, Dickey surpassed Koosman's mark of 31 1/3 scoreless frames, finishing with 32 2/3.
"I was just very happy for him that it happened," Koosman said. "Throwing that many scoreless innings is very difficult, because everything has to be going for you -- the great plays, the umps calls. To just about have a no-hitter on top of it, that's a feat that is more difficult than just about anything else in baseball, because everything really has to be going for you there."
Dickey's streak was eventually snapped in the ninth inning on Wednesday, when Elliot Johnson scored an unearned run on Desmond Jennings' groundout. The one hit Dickey allowed came in the first inning, when third baseman David Wright mishandled B.J. Upton's ground ball. The play was reviewed by Major League Baseball, but not overturned. Dickey hasn't allowed an earned run in his last four starts.
"It's an honor," Dickey said. "To even be in the same sentence as him is pretty incredible."
Adam Rosenbloom and Ethan Asofsky are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.