Wright looking to snap out of postseason skid
Third baseman enters Game 3 batting .087 over last seven games
CHICAGO -- Routinely confident and typically optimistic, David Wright has grown a tad unsure of himself. "I've been better," Wright admitted after an 0-for-3 line in National League Championship Series Game 1 dropped him to 1-for-19 in the postseason at that time. He shook his head, explaining how he was making due by drawing walks and playing solid defense in spite of his offensive struggles.
Following that game, Mets manager Terry Collins spoke to Wright privately for 20 minutes, peppering him with questions about his health. Wright insisted he was -- and is -- fine, then proved it with an RBI double in Game 2. Yet through seven postseason games, Wright is batting .087, doing his best to prevent his struggles from hampering his enjoyment of his first postseason in nine years.
"Being a part of going out there and playing well as a team, you allow yourself to enjoy it a little bit more," Wright said Monday, on the eve of NLCS Game 3 (air time at 7:30 p.m. ET, game time at 8 p.m. on TBS). "It's fun. Coming in here today, walking into Wrigley Field for October baseball, as a kid growing up that's what you truly dream about: October baseball in New York, and walking into Wrigley trying to beat the Cubs. This is about as good as it gets."
Because Daniel Murphy is hitting at an otherworldly clip and the Mets are winning on a nightly basis, now just two victories from the NL pennant, Wright's struggles have been relatively easy to overlook. And it's true that Wright is enjoying this whole postseason thing in spite of them -- thank Murphy and the Mets' pitching staff for that.
But this slump is nonetheless nagging at Wright, who joined Lucas Duda and Michael Conforto -- the three of them batting a combined .093 through seven postseason games -- for a round of batting practice Monday at Wrigley Field. While most of their teammates enjoyed an off-day in Chicago, resting their travel-worn bodies, those three spent their afternoon taking aim at Wrigley's ivy.
"I've said all along I've had some poor at-bats and some good at-bats where you have nothing to show for it," Wright said. "But through all of it, you try to grind it out and you try to do some other things, if you're not swinging the bat that well."
Added Collins: "David's going to continue to play as long as he physically can."
Since Wright returned from a four-month stay on the disabled list in mid-August, the Mets have carefully plotted their third baseman's usage, never starting him in more than four straight games. To that end, Collins has had little choice but to assume that Wright -- notorious for playing through injuries in the past -- is being as honest as possible about his health.
That, more than anything, is what prompted his postgame meeting with Wright after Game 1. "I'm fine," Wright insisted that night. "I [stink], but I'm fine."
As long as the first part remains true this October, the Mets are confident the second part won't stay true for long.
"So are they getting to him? No," Collins said of Wright's struggles. "He's a baseball player. He's been in this environment a long time. I just keep saying, 'Hey, look, keep putting those good at-bats on because it's going to happen. He's just too good a player."