Wright’s Big Night Gives Mets Much Needed Leverage

June 6, 2009

Heading into this weekend’s series, it was difficult to tell which team, the Mets or the Nationals, was looking forward to playing each other last night. In the case of the Mets, they had just lost three straight games to another of the National League’s enablers, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Prior to the start of the game, the Mets also got word that their catalyst, Jose Reyes, would most likely be unavailable for at least a month with a minor tear in his right hamstring. However, numbers don’t lie. Since May 4th, Washington has just eight wins to show for its last thirty completed games. I say completed because during that stretch the Nationals experienced a home game against the Houston Astros that was suspended due to rain in the eleventh inning with the score tied at ten. That game is scheduled to be completed at a later date.

Investigating further into the bulk of those games, the Nationals were swept by three different ball clubs, the Mets being one of them, on four separate occasions. Not to mention losing both games of a double-header twice to the Philadelphia Phillies and most recently, the San Francisco Giants. With all those circumstances against them, you could still make a good case for the majors’ worst team with an overall record of 14-39 in utilizing a weekend series against the injury-riddled Mets to help get them back on the right track.

Not only did the Mets lose an All-Star in Reyes but they will have to continue to move forward without their right-handed reliever, J.J. Putz. The former Mets set-up man was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday and will undergo surgery to remove a bone spur and fragments of bone from the back of his right elbow on Tuesday. Mets GM Omar Minaya said that Putz’ return could take anywhere from 10-12 weeks. Fortunately for the Nationals, this was music to their ears. Perhaps the Mets were on their way down. Maybe, just maybe but not just yet. Third baseman David Wright had something to say about it. He drove in the two go-ahead runs in the top of the tenth inning that broke the 1-1 tie. Wright’s second double of the night not only completed a 4 for 5-night but led to a Mets win.

The starting pitcher for the Mets, right-hander Tim Redding, commanded six solid innings but did not record the victory. He did however strike out two and give up just one earned run. Most importantly, in the home-half of the fifth inning, he was able to induce a bases-loaded double play that ended the inning, limiting the damage, and keeping the score knotted at one.

“It just feels good, period — it could have been against anybody,” Redding said.

Not just anybody, these are the Washington Nationals.

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