David Wright broke out at the plate, and did some little things to help deliver a win
For David Wright, things couldn’t have been going much worse in his first postseason in nine years over his first six games.
Yes, he delivered a big two-run single in game one of the Division Series against the Dodgers, but he went just 1-for-19 with eight strikeouts and only those two RBI over his first six playoff games in 2015.
His problems got to a point his manager decided to meet with him after game one of the National League Championship Series, during which he went a weak 0-for-3 against Jon Lester and the Cubs.
In that meeting, Collins asked Wright how he was feeling, specifically in regards to his back in which he suffers from spinal stenosis in the lumbar spine.
But whether Wright was being honest or not, he insisted he was fine, and simply, “sucked” over the first week of playoff baseball.
But since the two met after Saturday’s game, Wright’s bat has perked up. He’s 4-for-8 with two doubles, an RBI and three runs scored in his last two games, including a 3-for-4 performance in game three of the NLCS on Tuesday night at Wrigley Field.
Better late than never, especially when there’s a lot of winning going on in the postseason.
But it was some little things which defined Wright’s breakout night in Chicago.
In the seventh inning with the Mets leading 3-2, Wright was on third and Yoenis Cespedes was at the plate. Cespedes hit a soft line drive to Kyle Schwarber in left field. Schwarber backed up on the ball and ultimately dropped it, but Wright was wisely tagging up anyway, and was able to score without any hesitation to make the score 4-2.
“That was a big play by David tagging up late when Schwarber was kind of backing up on the ball,” manager Terry Collins said after the game. Those are the things you’ve got to do right now to take advantage of any little chance you’ve got to try to score runs.
Wright recognized the importance of the Mets taking advantage of that mistake by Schwarber, among others in this game and not letting run scoring opportunities fall by the wayside.
“We can’t solely rely on hitting home runs to score runs,” the Mets captain explained. “Once you get ahead of a team, I think you have to continue to put your foot on the gas and do those small things.”
Said Daniel Murphy, “Each time we talk to them to really try to keep pressure as much as we can on them. The basepaths seems to be one of the biggest places we’ve been able to do it. I think as an offense, it’s also a testament to how much traffic we’ve been able to put out there. We’ve had really good at-bats. We’ve been able to have traffic on the basepaths, starting with [Curtis Granderson]. He was on there again tonight to lead the game off. I know even though he got thrown out, we’re still trying to put pressure on him.”
Of course, without Wright’s performance at the plate, he wouldn’t have been among the traffic on the bases in game three.
Wright has always been among the more intelligent players in the game. He has great instincts, hardly ever makes any mental mistakes, and has a great awareness of the game and situation around him. His ability to read that ball off of Cespedes bat is simply a testament to all of that, which is part of what has always made Wright a special player for the Mets.
But being able to contribute on this stage, especially after all he’s been through over the last nine years and in this trying season in particular, has to be extra sweet for Wright.