David Wright's mostly lost season hasn't been an especially pleasant story. But, for one shining moment, we got a little glimpse of the David Wright we once knew so well as he took a calculated gamble on a 3-0 pitch, swung, and drove home the winning run in the bottom of the 9th of the Mets 5-4 victory this afternoon.
Wright's dealings with spinal stenosis have been well-documented, but this has been building for a few seasons. Wright, without the lineup protection he had in his younger days, and with now 14 Major League seasons on his odometer isn't what he used to be. Last October, when he was reveling in the spoils of finally making it to a World Series, I noted that Wright looked old. Heck, Wright's been looking old in the Baseball sense for a few years now, but, you know, most of us look the other way because it's David Wright and he's the Mets Guy. At least one person I know feels differently. His stance is that Wright was really good early in his career, but never as good as the Mets wanted us to think he was. He'd been spoonfed to us as the Face of the Franchise for so many seasons that we just accepted it, sort of in that John Franco vein except that Wright isn't a complete ass like Franco. He also didn't like the fact that Wright was boring and a bad interview, although I personally wouldn't damn him for that. It is to the point that, when I attend games with him and Wright comes to the plate, he immediately starts screaming "RETIRE!!!"
Harsh, yes. Illogical, not so much. But with 4 years left on that contract, I'm not sure if that's actually going to happen.
Regardless, there are still little glimpses of that young fellow, and one of them happened to be this afternoon. This, after a game where the Mets appeared to literally be sleepwalking, like last night's game ended, they went home and just forgot to show up. Jacob deGrom again weaved his way through another uneven outing, this time only managing to parse his way through 5 innings while the Brewers hen-pecked him for 4 runs. Two of those runs came when Ramon Flores took him out in the 2nd inning. Another two came in the 4th, one of those irritating innings where you could see deGrom just trying to throw whatever he could past a Brewer hitter to get through the inning only to see another dunk hit fall in. Combine deGrom's issues with Harvey's issues, and you can see why a Mets fan might be apoplectic right now.
Fortunately, the Mets got off the mat and came back from this 4-1 deficit. They'd already plated a run off of Zach Davies, the Brewers' 15-year old starter, when Curtis Granderson hit a leadoff Home Run in the 1st. Asdrubal Cabrera did what he seems to do just about every day now and drove home a run with a 4th inning single. Finally, Yoenis Cespedes dragged the Mets back into the game kicking and screaming by essentially one-arming a Davies Changeup over the Left Field wall for a 2-run Home Run that tied the game at 4.
Then, of course, the rain came and I had visions of extra innings and suspended games dancing through my head, probably because that's what usually happens in instances like this. The crowd, from what I could gather on TV, seemed sparse to begin with, probably because of an ominous forecast, and thus had forsaken the allure of the pristine, eBay condition Bucket Hat to the point where I have a feeling there might have been some Bucket Hats left over at game time. And once the rain started falling that number appeared to dwindle. Sometimes, in games like this, the rain starts and the bullpens take over and the bats just decide to stop. That's basically what happened. Hansel Robles, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia stopped the Brewers--although stopping the Brewers isn't a terribly tall order--and the Mets did nothing against Carlos Torres and others of lesser acclaim, except that the fact that they can't hit Carlos Torres is galling to me.
But then, Michael Blazek came in for the 9th and the Mets awoke, as Eric Campbell hit, and Kevin Plawecki got on with a walk, and there was a sacrifice and then an intentional walk to get to David Wright. In prior years, intentionally walking the guy in front of Wright led to imminent disaster. Now, I would have been happy if Wright managed to not hit into a DP. But Blazek couldn't find the plate and it appeared was all to happy to make this easy for Wright by nearly wild-pitching the winning run home. Nonetheless, at 3-0, you figured Wright would take, so of course he swung and lined a single to Right Field to bring home Campbell and all of a sudden it was like 2006 again, when Wright would do things like this on a regular basis. And there were no rain delays or suspended games necessary.