Well, well, well. All of this talk about whether David Wright should go on the disabled list or not over the past week was finally put to rest. A couple of hours before the game, we found out that his name was in the lineup card, and in the top of the first, he quieted all his critics by crushing the first pitch he saw over the center field wall for a solo home run.Then, even though he was rocky at first, that home run was all the run support that Jonathon Niese needed en route to shutting out the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Once Kirk Nieuwenhuis bailed Niese out with a fantastic catch on a Brian Schneider fly ball, he was able to stay out of trouble for the remainder of his 6.2 innings pitched, giving up five hits, walking one, and striking out five. Bobby Parnell and Jon Rauch
combined to pitch the final 2.1 innings, giving up only one hit and walking none as New York shut out Philly. This marks the sixth time in eight games that the Phillies scored under two runs in a game, and their 20 runs scored is the second-lowest total in the MLB. The Mets left eight men on base, but went 3-11 with runners in scoring position, whereas Philadelphia left five on base and went 0-2 with runners in scoring position.
Vance Worley started for the home team and went six innings, but the Met offense touched him up for four runs, eight hits (two home runs), and four walks. Other than Wright’s 3-5 game, Lucas Duda broke out of his slump and slugged a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning. Ruben Tejada continued his hot hitting at the top of the lineup with two more hits and an RBI, which rose his average to .333.
The biggest story of the afternoon wasn’t just Wright coming back and playing with his fractured pinkie, but being able to make a significant and immediate impact in the game in the very first inning. The team already received a boost when they saw his name on the lineup card, but watching him hit out the first pitch he saw made a difference for this team. Not only did it help the Mets, but it helped Wright gain confidence that he could perform at a high level, even with his injury. He might even feel that he is focusing more on the field with his ailment.
The presence of David Wright in the Mets lineup has been well documented over the last couple of years with him being injured for a majority of the time. Who benefited most from his return? Lucas Duda. Once Wright went down with the injury on Monday night, the young right fielder was 0-10, but when Wright is in the lineup, he’s 5-19 with three home runs and a double. Does he have a direct effect on Duda’s results? Probably not, but having him in the lineup makes it a lot more dynamic and allows the power hitters behind him to see different pitches. The pinkie should take about six weeks to fully heal, but everything looked normal yesterday afternoon. The one statistic that is directly related to his presence is the Mets record with him (5-0) and their record without him (1-2). Let’s hope the swelling and stiffness is minimized so Wright can continue to contribute and stay on the field.
Probable Pitchers today:
The Mets have already secured their first series win at Philadelphia since 2010, but Mike Pelfrey will be taking the mound today against Cole Hamels to try and sweep the Phillies in their own park for the first time since June 2006. Getting one more win before the leave town will not only boost the confidence of the team, but also for Big Pelf, as he tried to build on his first outing, which overall, was a productive one.