David Wright has written a romantic chapter in the Mets story about 2015
The Mets have been writing themselves quite the script for a Hollywood feature film over the last month, bull charging their way into first place as a run scoring and pitching machine Flushing hasn’t seen in nearly 30 years.
But in this particular scene of the film, it wasn’t about a team win, or or another record the Mets were demolishing with their bats, or a pitcher lighting up the scoreboard with a Cy Young performance.
This was the scene for the romantics who love drama and emotion.
David Wright hadn’t even stepped into a big league on-deck circle more than 130 days, the day he awkwardly slid into second base against the Phillies, pulling his hamstring and leaving the game moments later.
In between, there was anger, frustration, skepticism, fear he might never be the same player again after being diagnosed with spinal stenosis in his lumbar spine, and spending week after week in that time sentenced to what seemed like an ice age worth of physical therapy at Dr. Robert Watkins’ clinic in Los Angeles.
“There were some times when I was very frustrated and there were some times I was angry and upset at what was transpiring,” Wright explained. “But, you’ve got two options. You either hang your head and feel sorry about yourself and don’t get your work in or you go out and do everything you’re asked.”
He chose not to hang his head, and pursue the, “one shot” he had at coming back in 2015.
So after all of that painstaking work, the day finally came on Monday, after only 28 at-bats with Single-A St. Lucie during his major league rehab assignment. This was the day the hard work, determination, and fear fighting would be tested.
And, this is what he had to say to all of that, and the skeptics who were kept up to date with his progress across the country, including some of his own teammates and his own manager.
The first swing the team’s captain took since April 14 sent a baseball into the upper deck in left field in a place he loves hitting in. His 417 foot blast was his first since April 10 against the Braves, although that must seem like three or four seasons ago to the team’s beloved captain.
“Sometime in June where he was scuffling with some things, I didn’t think we’d get him back,” manager Terry Collins said. “But it’s a testimony to the way he works and the way he goes about things.”
It was his 20th career home run at Citizens Bank Park. His 20 home runs are the most by a visiting player in Citizens Bank Park history. In addition, his 69 runs scored and 20 home runs at Citizens Bank Park are both career-highs for him in a visiting ballpark.
“I still can’t believe that happened,” Travis d’Arnaud said after the game. “To not be playing for four months and your first swing of the bat, to do that, it’s so special.”
Wright’s home run was just the first hit of his memorable return. He also singled, walked and scored three of his team’s 16 runs on Monday night.
“He hit the ball tonight and a couple guys [shook] their heads and said, ‘He’s back,’ ” Collins said.
He did strike out twice and also committed two errors, the latter presumably a result of not playing hardly at all over the last four months.
“I need to clean up a little defensively. That was a little disappointing,” the captain said.
It’s ok. No harm, no foul, and it’s better to get it out of the way when there’s actually a margin for error as there is at the present time.
For what became years, Wright often had a tired look on his face, as in he was tired of the painful losses, the embarrassing moments, having to explain awkward situations to the media, and being the lead soldier in a lost war. But on Monday, his faced looked refreshed, almost as if he had found the fountain of youth.
So did his swing.
He looked like the David Wright of his MVP-caliber seasons in 2007-2008 with his quick hands, short stroke, and fighting his way back to work deep counts. It all paid off into a night he will probably never forget.
But being the team player he’s always been, he did what he could on Monday night after the win to push away any trophies being handed to him for his successful return.
“I think I’m at the point now where the ego is much further behind actually winning,” Wright said.
He said it three weeks ago when he rejoined the team for the end-stage of his rehabilitation: he just wants to be here and be a part of his first real shot at a winner since 2006.
“This team seems like it’s on a mission, and I’m glad to be a part of it,” he concluded.
Now that this chapter is complete, he can help the club write the final quarter of this edition of masterpiece theatre.