It’s no secret that New York Mets third baseman David Wright is in the midst of a profound slump. The perennial All-Star and team captain has just two hits in his last 39 at-bats over a period of 12 games, during which the Mets have a record of 3-9. But while it’s easy to say that Wright is a part of the problem during the Mets’ steady string of losses over the past two weeks, the truth is that the rest of the Mets’ lineup is weighing down Wright, not the other way around.
As Matt Harvey has pointed out, opposing pitchers have not been shy about pitching inside against Wright, pushing him off the plate and taking him out of his comfort zone. Harvey also points out that the Mets aren’t doing anything to stop it. Obviously, Harvey means throwing inside to the opposing team’s top players; however, the other reason that opposing pitcher get away with throwing inside to Wright is because the Mets don’t have anybody else in their lineup who can do serious damage outside of Wright.
Daniel Murphy has been the Mets’ most consistent hitter this season, but he doesn’t hit a lot of home runs and is more of a table-setter than someone who’s going to drive in runs. Curtis Granderson has gone on a hot streak a couple of times this season, but he’s been too streaky and not reliable on a consistent basis.
Other players the Mets have put in the middle of the lineup include Lucas Duda, who still doesn’t hit for a high enough average; Chris Young, who has been atrocious, and Bobby Abreu, who has made a positive impact but can’t be relied upon to play every day throughout the summer at his age.
The lack of reliable options elsewhere in the lineup has put far too much pressure on Wright to come through, causing him to press too much while also allowing opposing pitchers to throw inside against him. Without enough steady contributors elsewhere in the lineup, the Mets have failed to pick up Wright during his slump, causing the losses to pile up and Wright’s slump to spiral out of control.
Eventually, Wright will find his way out of his current slump; he’s too good of a hitter not to. But until the other players in the heart of the Mets’ lineup start to produce and drive in runs on a more consistent basis, it will continue to weigh down Wright, which will continue to keep the team from winning games.