NEW YORK -- Above him, the lineup card has changed almost nightly. The Mets have received almost no production out of their leadoff hitters this season and have gone long stretches without production from the two-hole as well.
Through it all, third hitter David Wright has tried to not do more than he is capable.
"For me, it's a constant battle to not do that," Wright said. "It's in my nature that you want to be a difference-maker. You think to yourself, 'OK, a single right here is not going to do anything. I've got to hit a home run, I've got to hit a double, I've got to do something.' And that's not my game. I can't go up there with that mentality, because that's when I start trying to do too much, and it has the reverse effect."
Wright said he is "still learning" how to avoid that do-everything mindset, though his statistics suggest he has managed just fine. Despite little protection in the lineup, Wright entered Tuesday's play batting .309 with six home runs and 28 RBIs, numbers typical of the six-time All-Star.
Perhaps more telling, he is swinging at less than a quarter of pitches outside the strike zone, similar to his usual rate. And he is walking in more than 15 percent of his plate appearances, a career high.
Wright said he tries "not to concern himself" with the quality of pitches he is receiving in his at-bats, though he did not deny the assertion that pitchers are offering him fewer strikes than ever. Better protection from Ike Davis or Lucas Duda could change that trend and boost Wright's numbers, but he understands he must settle for what he can in the interim.
"I have to be willing to take a walk," Wright said. "When I start trying to chase pitches out of the zone, trying to do too much, that's when I struggle. And that's not the type of example you want to set."