Mets stumble to third straight loss
Wright frustrated by Mariners on landmark night
SEATTLE -- David Wright's legacy, still very much a work in progress, has been forged overwhelmingly through his affiliation with the Mets. Wright grew up a Mets fan. He was a first-round Draft pick of the Mets. He made his Major League debut with the Mets. And he has played the past 10 years with the Mets.
For Wright, the downside of all that is that the Mets have not won with much consistency over the past decade. Sometimes frustration seeps through, as it did in the seventh inning of Monday's 5-2 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field. After flying out to end the inning, Wright spiked his bat to the ground in a rare show of emotion.
"It's just something where I wish we could do what we were doing before the break and after that first game," Wright said of a Mets team that won nine of 11 before its current three-game losing streak. "But the game can kind of humble you sometimes."
Desperately hoping to return to the postseason after seven empty summers, Wright had plenty of reason for his outburst. By the top of the seventh, the Mets were well on their way to their third consecutive loss, all but destroying the good vibes they established in their final 10 games before the All-Star break. Jon Niese was struggling in his return from the disabled list, and the Mets' offense was doing little to help.
Returning from a 16-game absence with left shoulder inflammation, Niese allowed 11 hits in six innings. The most dramatic of those was the homer Mike Zunino launched into the upper deck in left field to lead off the third, though several of the others -- Kyle Seager's RBI singles in the first and third innings, for example -- did as much damage. Niese struck out six, but the four runs he gave up were costly.
"I was a little rusty," Niese said. "I could tell I haven't pitched in a while. I left a lot of balls over the plate. I wasn't very consistent with my delivery and every mistake I made, they got a hit. All in all, the outcome wasn't what I wanted."
Things came far easier for Seattle starter Roenis Elias, who struck out eight over 5 1/3 innings before leaving with a left forearm cramp. Wright drove home the Mets' only run off Elias, singling in Ruben Tejada in the third. Three innings later, after Elias left the game, Dustin Ackley skied over the left-field wall to take a home run away from Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
"I felt something, but I didn't know if it hit off my glove or went in the web," Ackley said. "But when I came down, that's when I knew I had it in my glove. I knew something was in there."
Mets manager Terry Collins called that a turning point of the game, squelching whatever momentum the Mets might have generated. But his club generated its share of other opportunities, recording a single hit in all nine innings.
"You need more," Collins said. "You need a bunch of them. Unless you're walking, those singles don't do much unless you bunch them together."
So it has gone this season for a Mets team now nestled back in fourth place, seven games under .500, at a loss for how to fix things. Earlier in the day, the Mets spoke warmly of all Wright has accomplished over his first decade in the big leagues. The Mets' all-time leader in most major offensive categories, Wright has established himself as the face of the franchise and the team's unquestioned leader.
But the anniversary also gave Wright opportunity to reflect on the lack of meaningful games on his ledger.
"Going into this, you knew patience was going to be a virtue," Wright said. "Going into this, I knew it was going to be a challenge for the organization. But I think that it's fair to say we have made strides in the right direction. We continue to make strides in the right direction with what we have here and what we have coming."