Even under the weather, Wright stays red hot
Mets star delivers sixth game-winning RBI in comeback win
NEW YORK -- Battling flu-like symptoms and a tough Reds bullpen, David Wright stepped up to the plate in the eighth inning of Thursday's game with his team locked in a 4-4 tie. With backup catcher Rob Johnson at first, Wright cranked a double over the center fielder's head, to the deepest part of the ballpark, scoring the go-ahead run and giving the Mets a lead they would never relinquish.
"I've never had a game like that. He wasn't feeling very good," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I'd like to be able to play like that if I weren't feeling very good."
The hit sparked a five-run eighth and was the defining moment of a huge day for Wright. He reached base five times on two hits -- both doubles -- and three walks.
"You cannot take it for granted," second baseman Daniel Murphy said. "What, he gets four pitches to hit today and he hit two of them for doubles? He hammered one off the center-field wall. He's locked in."
Wright, who is tied for the Major League lead with six game-winning RBIs, leads the Majors in batting average (.411) and on-base percentage (.513). Opposing pitchers are starting to pitch away from him, opting to walk Wright and attack hitters like Lucas Duda and Ike Davis instead. Collins compared Wright's season to that of Barry Bonds when he was in Pittsburgh.
"You know, hitting fifth in the lineup, really not a whole lot of big bombers behind him, and all he kept doing was when you threw him strikes, he kept getting hits and otherwise he took his base on balls," Collins said. "You look up and he's always in scoring position. We've won games because guys drove him in."
R.A. Dickey, the Mets' starter Thursday, called Wright's hot start to this season "mythical." Utility man Justin Turner said Wright's game to this point has been "off the charts." Collins said he has "never seen anything like it." Even with all the praise his teammates and coaches show him, Wright still refuses to publicly acknowledge his torrid streak, instead choosing to shower his teammates with credit.
"When Duda and Murphy are swinging the bats the way they are, I'm seeing a lot better pitches to hit and it makes my job a lot easier," Wright said. "It's been really good for me, and it seems like there's guys in scoring position all the time. I'm seeing pretty good pitches to hit with those guys behind me."
Wright has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games and has scored 23 runs in his past 23 games. Since May 6, he's hitting .487 with eight RBIs and 11 runs scored. He's reached base safely in all but two games he's played.
"They're pitching around him, and I can see why," Collins said. "He is the guy. Everybody goes to him. What he did the other night, the expression on those young players' faces in that dugout when he was willing to go up there and get drilled, it meant a lot."
Ethan Asofsky is an associate producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.