David Wright was in full salvage mode yesterday, both from a team and individual perspective, After a blazing first half in which he carried the Mets, he’s fallen off dramatically and with his fall so has his team.
There have been numerous times during the Mets’ dreadful second half when they could have turned things around, but failed.
Now mathematically eliminated and after being ripped publicly by their manager, the Mets now have one more opportunity to wash out the foul taste in their mouths created by going from eight games over .500 to 14 games below.
I’ve mentioned several times how the Mets have a chance to become next year’s Orioles, who won 11 of their last 16 games last season and rode that momentum into 2012.
Wright noticed, too.
“It’d be nice to finish on a strong note,’’ Wright said. “You look at, for example, what the Orioles did, they finished strong last year and it kind of carried over into this year. It’d be nice to do that. And I think there’s a lot of individuals that want to finish strong and we as a team and an organization would like to finish strong.’’
The Mets have four games left at home against free-falling Pittsburgh, once a feel-good story, but the Pirates have dropped 17 of their last 22 games to fall 6.5 games behind in the wild-card race. Even so, they have a chance to finish over .500 for the first time in 20 years.
After that they have three games in Atlanta and Miami. The Braves should need those games for their playoff positioning while the Marlins are in a position similar to the Mets, perhaps worse because there are rumblings of a house cleaning this winter.
Unlike the Mets, expectations of the Marlins were high entering the season. With a new stadium, new manager and new players, the Marlins were a sexy spring pick but have failed miserably.
Perhaps a strong finish will have a carry-over. If not as a team, then maybe individually, especially for Wright, who, after hitting around .350 for much of the first half is struggling to stay over .300.
He’ll break Ed Kranepool’s franchise hits record – he’s three away from tying – but it’s more than that for Wright.
“Obviously for me in the second half there’s been some ups and downs and I feel like recently I’ve had some good at-bats and nothing to show for it,’’ Wright said. “That’s kind of the way it happens, sometimes law of averages kicks in at some points. Three-fifty (batting average) is tough to keep the entire year.
“I’ve felt good where I’ve been as far as the at-bats I’ve been having, disappointed in the results lately, haven’t been seeing the results I’ve wanted to. I’m happy with the process and hopefully can finish strong.’’