Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Wright place, right time
By Mark Simon
ANAHEIM -- A couple months ago, it didn't look like David Wright would be finding his way to Angels Stadium for the All-Star Game, but now that he's here, the National League should be glad to have him.
Performing in the All-Star Game has been a speciality for Wright, and he'll hope to carry along some of these notes and trends we uncovered (with help from resources such as STATS LLC, Baseball-Reference.com, and the Elias Sports Bureau) through the 2010 Midsummer Classic.
• David Wright has a four-game All-Star hitting streak. The last player with a streak of five or more games was ex-Red Sox third baseman Wade Boggs (1988-1992). The last with a 5-game streak, all in the National League was former Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey (1974-1978). Wright is also trying to become the first player since Garvey to get a hit in the first five All-Star Games in which he had an at-bat (or sacrifice fly).
• Wright is hitting an NL-best .425 against left-handed pitchers this season, so he's eager to face the likes of David Price and Cliff Lee from the American League. Wright holds the Mets single-season record for batting average vs left-handed pitchers, hitting .416 in 2009.
He's the only Met to hit better than .400 against left-handers in a full, non-strike season.
• Wright is currently tied with Darryl Strawberry and Carlos Beltran for most career All-Star hits as a Met with four. Wright and Lee Mazzilli are the only Mets to homer in an All-Star Game. One thing Wright can no longer achieve is the highest batting average ever for a Mets All-Star. Only two players have a perfect batting average as Mets in the All-Star Game -- Richie Ashburn (the first Mets All-Star in 1962) and Mazzilli (1-for-1 in 1979)
• If Wright can stay in the All-Star Game long enough, he'll have a chance to break the Mets mark for hits in one. The Mets record for hits in a single All-Star Game is three, shared by Lance Johnson (1996) and Jose Reyes (2007).
• Wright homered off Kenny Rogers in the All-Star Game (something that Mets fans surely enjoyed doubly, considering who it was against). He won't have a chance to homer off any former Mets this time unless Ty Wigginton comes in to pitch for the American League.
• Should Wright really excel, he might contend for MVP honors, and would be only the second Met to cop those. Jon Matlack was co-MVP of the 1975 All-Star Game, the only Met to win one, but he had to bail out a teammate to win it. After Tom Seaver allowed three runs, Matlack relieved for two scoreless innings and got the win, sharing honors with Cubs third baseman Bill Madlock, who got the game-winning hit.
•Regardless of how Wright does, he can take pride in being a better Met rep than Mike Piazza. The All-Star Game was not Piazza's forte during his time with the Mets. He went hitless in four of his six Mets All-Star Game efforts, and finished his time with the Mets just 2-for-13 in All-Star competition.