McDonald: Wright Struggles Is Like The Kid In ’86

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

The Mets are winning and that’s all that matters in the postseason. It doesn’t matter who the hero is on a given night, if the Mets are one game over .500 at the end of the NLCS, they will be champions.

But baseball is a fickle sport and sometimes it can be cruel to those we love most.

And now we are looking at the Captain, David Wright.

Just one for 19 this postseason, which equates to a .053 batting average, Wright’s struggles at the plate are being washed over by his teammates. He won Game 1 of the Dodger series on his lone hit, but since then, nothing.

It’s becoming a problem when some of Wright’s teammates are wearing higher numbers than his batting average. Say hello, Kelly Johnson and Matt Reynolds.

“I think that I had some poor at bats,” he said. “I had some good at bats when I hit it right at guys. When you are not seeing the ball as good as you can and not swinging like you are capable of, you just grind it out. You see some pitches. It’s tough to explain your thought process, but you try to get on base any way possible.”

Great, and he did walk tonight and stole a base, but still the highest paid Met will need to come through if they want to ultimately beat the Cubs and the World Series as well.

Fortunately baseball can be a real redeeming sport and if No. 5 opens up his history books, he would see another beloved Met going through the same struggles 29 years ago.

Gary Carter had a horrible time through the first five games of the 1986 NLCS, hitting just one for 21, and was mocked by some of the Astros, namely reliever Charlie Kerfeld. The Kid, though, knew that he wasn’t that type of hitter.

”But when I went up there,” Carter said back then, ”I kept telling myself, ‘I’m going to come through here.’ I knew it was just a matter of time. I’m not an .050 hitter.”

Ultimately, Carter came through, hitting a seeing-eye walk-off single to score Wally Backman in Game 5 to send the Mets up 3-2 going back to Houston.

Wright is also not an .050 hitter and his day will come sometime in this series. He knows it. But right now, he has to grind it out.

“You want to go up there and get hits, but to me it’s been a combination of good pitching and I had some good at bats where I hit the ball at somebody,” he said. “But it takes one pitch that gets you that confidence where you feel more comfortable in the box taking a swing and then you get hits.”

It only takes one. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weak infield hit or a signature double. He will take it.

And he will get his chances as well. With both Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy hitting well, Wright likely will be the guy the Cubs zero in on to get an out.

“As a hitter, you want to get base hits, but in the postseason, a walk or a situational hitting when you are not hitting that you can help the team out,” he said.

Eventually, he will make them pay.

It happened with Carter and it will happen with Wright.

It’s just a matter of time.

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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