The New York Mets are in a tailspin. They’ve lost seven of their last 10 games, squelching any chance of competing for a Wild Card spot. They are 14-19 since the All-Star break, after they had won eight of their previous 10 games heading into the midsummer classic. Losing is always a team effort, but there are two players in their lineup that the Mets need to produce in order to win — Curtis Granderson and David Wright.
During the stretch of 10 games heading into the All-Star break, the Mets were playing their best baseball of the year. They were pitching well, but most surprisingly, they were hitting well. They seemed to have finally found their swings at the end of a difficult first half.
Granderson got off to a miserable start in April, batting .136/.252/.216 with one home run on the month. He worked his way out of his slump, however, and raked from May 1 on. During the 10 games before the All-Star break, Granderson had an .821 OPS with two home runs. Since then, he has a .530 OPS.
Wright also got off to a slow start, but caught fire during that same 10-game run. He hit .364/.447/.667 with two home runs in that span. Since then, he has a .510 OPS with only two extra base hits.
Wright’s performance is especially baffling because of his left shoulder injury. He missed about a week before he went on his hot streak, then he received a cortisone injection in the troubled shoulder during the All-Star break. He actually hit better before he got the treatment on his shoulder.
Cortisone shots are administered to reduce pain and inflammation in a certain part of your body. The shot has to be precisely targeted in order to work. Wright has been coy about whether or not the shoulder is bothering him. He doesn’t want the injury to be an excuse for his poor performance.
So what’s wrong with Wright? Is it health related? If you look on the Mayo clinic’s website, there are all kinds of potential side effects to cortisone. Also, Wright had the flu earlier in the year — could he still be weak from that malady? Is he washed up at age 31, following a .900 OPS year in 2013? As he has at times in his career, is he trying too hard? Or is it just one of those off years? Only Wright knows.
While Daniel Murphy is putting up Daniel Murphy numbers, Lucas Duda has emerged as a legitimate cleanup hitter, and Travis d’Arnaud is showing plenty of pop, the Mets still need production from Granderson and Wright in order to win ballgames. If they don’t, they’ll be lucky to win 70 games this year, and worst of all, they will cast serious doubt over the 2015 season.