McDonald: Of Course It Was The Captain

(Neil Miller/Sportsday)

This was a hit fit for a captain.

In another time, in a ball yard across town, this was the type of hit Derek Jeter would have delivered.

Time and time again.

However, Jeter is now busy being a media mogul and there’s just one captain left in baseball and David Wright delivered last night, driving in two insurance runs with a clutch two-out single.

“I was fortunate I got a chance to see a couple of his fastballs early in the count that were balls, so I felt like timing-wise, I was on time,” Wright said after the Mets 3-1 win in Game 1 of the NLDS. “Then you get ahead in the count and the guy that’s got a great fastball usually that’s his go-to, especially with the bases loaded. So it was just kind of sitting on something hard. I was able to be on time and just try to put a good swing on it.”

If the Mets are going to win this October, Wright is going to be a big part of the offense. After missing most of the regular season campaign, Wright worked hard to come back from spinal stenosis. And when he returned in late August, it was almost as if the Mets acquired another big-time bat for the stretch run.

Yet, Wright was somewhat different, because his pedigree was born in New York and much like Jeter’s pinstriped bloodline, No. 5 was blue and orange through and through.

Even though, Wright had the big hit, he also had a big walk in the first inning, with a 12-pitch at bat against Clayton Kershaw. From the start, Wright helped work the Dodgers ace, which helped set up the hit later on.

“He gets in there and works just Grande put a really good move on that ball, but it was 0-0, so you kind of think, man, is he going to — is Clayton going to sneak out in this inning and you only have to throw eight to ten pitches and David works that at-bat and he wins it,” said Daniel Murphy, who put the Mets on the board with a homer in the fifth. ” I think he got done with that, and I think it really paid dividends in that 7th inning when Clayton came back out. The at-bat that Duda had to leave the inning off, great at-bat, then Ruby works the walk. Jake moves him over and Grande goes left, left walk.”

Added manager Terry Collins: “We’ll go back to the other instances. His first at-bat coming back after being out four and a half months, he hits a homer. It’s just a tell-tale sign that he’s back. Last at-bat of the season, it’s the three-run homer in the day we clinched, and tonight he’s up there in a big spot against a guy throwing 9 miles an hour, and gets a base hit up the middle and drives in two big runs. That’s just who he is. I have no other way to describe it. He’s a big-time player, and when you need him, he seems to get the big hit.”

Enough with the celebration, though. The Mets have Game 2 tonight, which isn’t going to get any easier with Noah Syndergaard taking on Zack Greinke. The Dodgers will be desperate, because if the Mets come back to Citi Field up 2-0 with the Dark Knight on the mound, it’s series over.

And if the Mets come out of Game 2 on the winning side, you know Wright will front and center.

“I think that you try to come up with a game plan,” he said. “When you’re on the on deck circle, you try to come up with a game plan and stick to it. It sounds simple, but you try to keep it simple when you’re a hitter. So I don’t know if anything changes.”

Spoken like a true captain.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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