- Last Updated: 1:37 PM, May 18, 2012
- Posted: 2:02 AM, May 18, 2012
David Wright pulled a Michael Jordan yesterday at Citi Field. Riddled with flu-like symptoms, he riddled the Reds yesterday, continuing a torrid season that is forcing the Mets’ hand to sign him to a contract extension before it costs them a small fortune.
There were many heroes in the Mets’ 9-4 come-from-behind win. Lucas Duda had a key two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning; Ronny Cedeno hit a three-run homer in a five-run eighth inning and the bullpen trio of Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell and Frank Francisco shut down the Reds after R.A. Dickey allowed four runs over the first six innings.
But the hub of the comeback was Wright, who sandwiched a pair of doubles around three walks to raise his batting average to .411. He also scored three runs. His double in the eighth drove in Rob Johnson with the go-ahead run, giving Wright six game-winning RBIs this season, tying him for the most in the major leagues.
You wouldn’t have known Wright was sick by his performance yesterday.
“What he’s doing is mythical,” said Dickey.
Wright has finally become the player the Mets have always envisioned him being, the kind of player who can not only put up big numbers but make his teammates better. You hear that a lot in other sports, especially basketball. But baseball is primarily viewed as an individual sport within a team concept.
But Wright is proving it can actually be done in baseball, too. The Mets are feeding off his talent, passion and determination, building the chemistry that can make them perform beyond normal expectations.
Yesterday’s was the kind of the game the Mets didn’t win in the past. Down 4-0 after the top of the fifth, the Mets could have called it a get-away day and packed their bags for Toronto.
Instead they continued to battle. Wright walked and scored the first of his three runs during a two-run fifth. He walked in the seventh and scored again when pinch-hitter Justin Turner hit a sacrifice fly to right, tying the game 4-4. Then the Mets broke it open with a five-run eighth, when Wright collected his second double of the game.
Wright credits his teammates and hitting coach Dave Hudgens for his hot start.
“I’m at a place now with Hudgens and guys like [Daniel] Murphy and guys I’ve played a few years with now, we know each other’s swings so well, we can go to the cage and they know what to look for in my swing and I know what to look for in their swing. That’s the name of the game. If we see somebody out of whack, we’ll let them know about it. Murphy is good like that with me.”
Murphy wasn’t accepting much credit.
“He’s a freak of nature,” Murphy said. “He has quality at-bat after quality at-bat. I’m jealous.”
Wright’s hitting proved more contagious yesterday than the flu. The Mets spanked Reds starter Mat Latos and a strong Cincinnati bullpen for 12 hits. They also had a selective eye at the plate, drawing six walks, three of which were issued to Wright as the Reds tried to pitch around him.
Wright leads more by example than with words, which is why the Mets should follow his preparation pattern.
“You kind of replicate and duplicate the same thing,” Wright said. “Muscle memory and doing the same thing over and over again helps when you find something you feel good with and you’re consistent with it and you don’t try to continuously make major adjustments.”
The Mets all donned hockey jerseys after yesterday’s game for their trip to Toronto, where they’ll play three against the Blue Jays. It might have more appropriate for Wright to wear a Bulls jersey — something with the No. 23 on it.