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Wright makes no excuses for struggles

8/3/2014

NEW YORK -- David Wright insists his left shoulder isn't the issue.

"I feel fine," Wright said Sunday, and whether you believe him or not, you have to admire his reluctance to take the easy out of blaming an injury for his lack of production.

The problem for the New York Mets is that Wright's recent numbers don't look fine. He is struggling, and the rest of the lineup is, too, and crediting the great pitching they're seeing is no more satisfying than blaming injuries.

The Mets had only two hits Sunday in a 9-0 loss to Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants, the second time in three days they were held to two hits and barely made a Giants starter work. In three games against San Francisco, the Mets have eight hits total (a .096 batting average).

"Obviously, we're not putting very good swings on balls we can handle," manager Terry Collins said. "There's a few guys we've got to get going."

You can put Wright at the top of that list, even if his broken-bat single in the seventh inning was one of the Mets' two hits. The captain has gone 18 games without a home run, and in those 18 games he's 13-for-66 (.197) with just six RBIs and 15 strikeouts.

Maybe it is the shoulder, which sidelined Wright for a week at the beginning of July. But as Wright would say himself, if he feels good enough to be in the lineup, he's got to be good enough to produce more than this.

"I've got to get it going," he said. "We've got some guys who've got to get it going. I feel fine. I'm just not getting the results I want. I just need to stop fouling off pitches I should be hitting, and not chasing so much."

The Mets have been inconsistent offensively all season. They're 21st in the major leagues in runs scored, but until this series they actually had been on a stretch of home games in which they were scoring runs (39 in the past six home games before the Giants came to town).

Then came this weekend. Ryan Vogelsong needed just 102 pitches in his first career nine-inning complete game Friday, and Bumgarner made it through nine innings with just 94 pitches Sunday.

It was only the third time in Mets history a team had two complete-game two-hitters or better against them in a series -- and the other two times it happened, Sandy Koufax was one of the pitchers.

Colon wants 200: While the Mets' hitters struggled Sunday, Bartolo Colon wasn't very good, either, in his first attempt at his 200th career win. Colon relies on command, and the swings the Giants took against him told you his command wasn't very good. Colon gave up two home runs and two doubles, allowed six runs and didn't make it out of the fifth inning.

"One thing about Bartolo, he's not going to strike a lot of guys out," Collins said. "If he's getting the ball in the middle of the plate, he's going to get hit hard."

Colon has 10 wins, but his ERA in his 12 other starts is 6.91.

Assuming he can get one more win, Colon will become just the third pitcher born in the Dominican Republic to get to 200. Juan Marichal won 243 games, and Pedro Martinez won 219.

"I want to be in the same club as Pedro," Colon said through an interpreter. "That's what means the most. I want to be there with those other two guys. That's what's important to me."