New York Mets News

What’s to make of the Mets refusing to defend David Wright?

By Danny Abriano

David Wright has been in a slump over the last few weeks, and his overall numbers in 2014 – especially his power numbers – are down dramatically. Some of it may have to do with bad luck, and some of it may have to do with Citi Field’s dimensions, but Mets pitcher Matt Harvey feels that something else is contributing to Wright’s poor production.

May 15, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets third baseman David Wright (5) reacts after making the final out of the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. The Yankees won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

As Harvey sees it, opposing pitchers have been brushing Wright off the plate pretty much every game, and Mets pitchers have done nothing in response. Said Harvey in the Daily News:

"It’s hard for me to watch David keep getting pushed back, I’m not happy about it. It’s not right how guys are being able to manipulate his entire at-bat by pitching him up and in.It’s tough for him. He’s had to adapt to a different style. And it’s frustrating to watch from the sidelines and not be able to do something about it.When it would happen once in a while last year, I’d be the first guy to throw one behind somebody’s ear. And I don’t forget. Once I’m back I’ll be excited about getting the chance to help the captain."

Harvey continued:

"It’s out there, everybody knows. If guys don’t know by now that something needs to be done, it’s going to continue to happen and that’s not acceptable."

This is a multi-pronged issue.

The fact that Wright is basically getting thrown at every game is unacceptable, and the fact that Matt Harvey – who likely won’t pitch a single inning this year – is the only pitcher who seems bothered by it is glaring.

This is not to say that the rest of the pitchers on the staff don’t have the gumption to take back the inner half of the plate in order to protect Wright. That may not be the case.

Instead, perhaps the Mets pitching staff (without a personality like Harvey currently active) is waiting for someone in charge to tell them to do something about the way Wright is being pitched.

If the pitching staff is waiting for Terry Collins to be the person who will mandate action, they’ll likely continue to wait.

While addressing the issue with reporters on Friday, Collins said the Mets “aren’t getting in a war” and that if Wright “falls on his butt” things will change.

That’s a problem.

Over the last seven seasons, the Mets have been labeled as a team that has very little fight.

That stuff is often overrated, and there’s no need to get into a brawl for the sake of it (the Mets haven’t had a true benches-clearing brawl since 2007).

Still, here is David Wright getting brushed back nearly every night. Here is Matt Harvey saying it’s unacceptable, and here is his manager basically saying that it is acceptable. Here is his manager saying that the Mets won’t do anything to change what’s been happening.

This is yet another frustrating moment in yet another frustrating season. With no one willing to take action, the Mets might actually have to wait until Matt Harvey returns to the mound for someone to properly stand up for their captain.