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Ike is slow-pitch king

7/24/2010

OFF-SPEED DEMONS

The slowest pitches belted for homers in 2010, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Ike Davis matched Chicago Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin for the most homers by a rookie in the major leagues by belting his 14th longball of the season during Friday’s 6-1 win at Dodger Stadium. The shot came on 53 mph eephus pitch from Los Angeles right-hander Vicente Padilla.

Padilla actually had thrown the slow-motion offering twice to Davis in the three-pitch sequence.

“The first time he threw it I was like, ‘That’s way high.’ And then it dropped in for a strike,” Davis said. “I was like, ‘Oh my lord.’ And then he threw a pretty hard fastball the next pitch and I was like, ‘Geez.’ That’s a speed different of like 40 or 50 mph right there. I somehow stayed through it [on the third pitch] and kept my balance and got enough of it to get out.”

Davis, whose second-inning shot gave the Mets a 2-0 lead at that point, used to be an accomplished pitcher at Arizona State. The rookie was unable to throw that pitch as a collegian because it’s too difficult to have the delivery look like the motion for any other pitch.

“I couldn’t do it,” Davis said. “It’s hard to keep your mechanics and your arm action like he does and throw it like that. Many people can’t do that. Usually, you can tell as soon as they do it that it’s coming because they change that [arm speed]. He doesn’t. So it makes it a tough pitch to hit.”

Davis suggested you can’t sit on the slow pitch, either.

“Because if it’s a slider, it’s by you,” Davis said. “It’s not something you sit on. You just hope you react right.”