David Wright Personifies Slumping Mets’ Offense

We’ve seen this before from David Wright, a hot start cools and descends into a frigid abyss where he’s consumed by mechanical flaws borne out of a major psychological problem – the need to carry the Mets on his shoulders.

We can’t blame it on the pressures of being captain, as he’s fallen into this trap before, notably last season said manager Terry Collins, whose lineup includes as many as six starters hitting below .240. Teams can’t win with such limited production, and Wright can’t catch the free-falling Mets, who come into Washington tonight ten games under .500 and 11 ½ games behind the first place Braves.

WRIGHT: Where did this swing go?

       WRIGHT: Where did this swing go?

“He did it in the second half of last year, too,’’ Collins told reporters after the Mets were crushed in a three-game series in Florida. “When things started to go bad last year, he took it upon himself to be the guy to get us out of it.’’

The slide begins with a gradual expansion of the strike zone; the balls Wright once resisted off the plate he’s now chasing. The walks decline; the strikeouts increase. His average plummets.

Instead of driving the ball to center and right field, Wright falls into the habit of trying to pull, with the results often pop-ups and weak ground balls. His swing is now long and slow instead of short and quick. The more he tries to break out of it the more suffocating becomes the slump. There is such a thing as pressing and that’s what’s happening to Wright the past two weeks with a .163 average, .241 on-base percentage with one homer and two RBI.

Wright alluded to his problems after the Yankees series when he said: “I’m maybe trying to do a little too much and trying to make things happen. … I can’t be going up there and getting myself out or swinging at pitcher’s pitches early in the count.’’

However, that’s what he’s doing and it defines the futility and anguish of a slump. Wright hasn’t yet reached Ike Davis proportions, but is headed in that direction.

On some teams, a slumping player can be camouflaged, or at least protected, if others in the lineup are hitting. However, Daniel Murphy is the only one and he doesn’t do it with power. Considering his track record, Davis’ homer Sunday must be looked at as an aberration and not a sign of a breakout. Lucas Duda has 10 homers, but only 20 RBI, which the more you think about it is hard to believe. It’s almost unfathomable.

Collectively, the Mets are averaging less than four runs a game and hold the major league’s worst team average at .227. Their hitters are averaging under ten strikeouts a game.

At one time, you might have been able to say, “where would they be without Wright?’’

Well, they have him and only three teams in the major leagues hold a worse record than the 22-32 Mets. There are a lot of numbers that define how poorly they are playing, but what I find most discouraging is the Marlins have won just 16 games this year, with six coming against the Mets.

You’re tempted to think it can’t get much worse than this, but you realize as a Met fan, it can.

ON DECK: Looking at Washington series.

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2 thoughts on “David Wright Personifies Slumping Mets’ Offense

  1. This is getting tougher each year to watch. And I feel for David Wright, but what do you expect, the Mets are not getting anyone to bat around him. He has no choice but to try to do everything. Who else is going to ? Ike Davis, forget it..send him down already !!! This is the third year, That’s right third year he has been slumping. As you know ALL of last year, 2/3 of the season before last, and the tail end of his first trip up. . John Buck started strong, but as does every New Mets player, the fire went out. I like getting Ankiel, but he was not doing much in Houston. Batting just .160 ?? He is another guy, came over got hot for a few games and then , took a shower with Davis and the rest of the Chill out boys. Now the half the team is in the same slump. I don’t have all the answers for the Mets , I will tell you this. Since Citi Field opened ticket prices in some seating area’s has gone up from a $65.00 seat to a $400.00 seat. The stadium is located in Queens New York, Not Beverly Hills . Mets fans are working people. We can afford to take our kids , hell less ourselves to the game and get a decent seat because we can’t afford it. $400.00 , that’s the car payment for the month for some of us. Its the food bill and the gas and electric bill for the month. I Really miss Shea Stadium let me tell you…I have been a Mets fan for since 1970 when they were worse than they are now !! I’m still waiting for a good tem to stick around for more than a season or two…..Let Go Mets !!! This is getting old, has been for way too long.