LOS ANGELES -- The last time David Wright visited Dodger Stadium, he basically served as a cheerleader. Wright was stuck in Los Angeles this summer rehabbing the spinal stenosis in his lower back. So when his New York Mets teammates came for a three-game series in early July, Wright donned a uniform and spent time with them.
Back then, Wright still was uncertain about how his back injury would resolve itself.
On Friday, Wright played a central role in the Mets' 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS.
After Clayton Kershaw departed with the bases loaded and two outs and the Amazins clinging to a one-run lead in the seventh, Wright contributed a two-run single with the count full against reliever Pedro Baez.
"You rewind a couple of months and, obviously, I was a spectator out here and wasn't able to participate and join in all the fun," said Wright, the lone remaining player from the organization's last postseason appearance in 2006. "So being able to kind of come full circle and be able to enjoy it as a baseball player now, that meant a lot. There were times where you go out there and you feel the energy and the electricity of this building and you kind of think of the path, the road that I've been on this year. And you're grateful, and you try to soak it in as much as you can."
Asked if he thought he was getting a reprieve when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly removed Kershaw and inserted Baez, Wright said, "I think normally you'd be pleased because you get Kershaw out of the game. Then you look up and you have a guy coming in throwing 100 [mph], so then you're not too pleased."
Manager Terry Collins noted Wright has produced several inspiring moments since returning on Aug. 24 after a four-month absence while dealing with a significant back injury.
"His first at-bat coming back after being out four and a half months, he hits a homer. It's just a telltale sign that he's back,” Collins said, referring to Wright's long ball against Philadelphia's Adam Morgan. "The three-run homer the day we clinched. And tonight he's up there in a big spot against a guy throwing 99 mph, and gets a base hit up the middle and drives in two big runs. That's just who he is. I have no other way to describe it. He's a big-time player, and when you need him, he seems to get the big hit."