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Friday, June 25, 2010
Ballot check: Wright worthy of Anaheim

By Adam Rubin
ESPNNewYork.com

NEW YORK -- David Wright wants to be selected to his fifth straight All-Star Game. And clearly, despite the hullabaloo over his early strikeout totals, he can buy a ticket to Anaheim for the July 13 game -- likely as the top National League vote-getter at third base.

Wright padded his league-leading RBI total on Friday night with a run-scoring double and homer as the Mets continued their solid showing against AL Central clubs with a 5-2 win against the Minnesota Twins.

"I'm in a good spot right now. I feel good," said Wright, who has 59 RBIs for the year.

Wright has driven in 25 runs in June. His career high for any month came in June 2006, when he drove in 29. And the Mets, who remained a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the division, still have five games remaining in the month.

David Wright
David Wright is batting .404 with 10 doubles and five homers since May 30.

Wright is hitting .404 with 10 doubles and five homers since May 30.

Asked if this was the best he had ever seen Wright, manager Jerry Manuel replied: "Close."

Manuel then recalled the Mets' mid-May trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles last season, which Wright opened with three straight three-hit games. He produced nine RBIs in three straight wins against the Giants.

"I thought that was probably the best," the manager said. "He pretty much carried us at that point. But he seems very comfortable at the plate at this point. That's a good sign for us. ... If it's a breaking pitch, he's been able to stay with it and pull it. If it's something away, he's strong enough to hit it out the other way. He's in a good spot right now."

Wright already has 13 homers this season -- three more than last year's total. Of course, only three have come at Citi Field.

Two of the three longballs have now been dropped into the short porch in the right-field corner.

Wright provided what turned out to be the final run Friday night when he led off the bottom of the sixth with an opposite-field shot into that corner off Twins starter Kevin Slowey. Wright had also placed the ball in that section against Florida Marlins ace Josh Johnson on April 5. His other homer at Citi Field came June 5 off Florida's Nate Robertson, on a ball pulled down the left-field line.

"It's a tough thing to do -- to hit a home run down the right-field line," Wright said. "That's an ideal situation. That would be nice. But, unfortunately, I'm not good enough to go out there and consistently try to hit home runs down the right-field line. If you're going to hit home runs here, you have to hit them down the line. All three of the ones that I've hit, as my teammates have let me know, have been right down the line."

The Mets improved to 27-11 at home this season, and clearly have adapted to the spacious ballpark. Still, there were reminders of how big the stadium can play. Second baseman Ruben Tejada crushed a ball that merely hit off the left-center wall. Left fielder Jason Bay had a double and a deep flyout to center that would have been a homer elsewhere.

"Obviously, as we saw today with Ruben and a couple of Jay Bay's balls, this is a big park," Wright said. "It plays big. It's tough to have a lot of success with fly balls in the gaps and in the alleys, so you're going to have to play small ball. You're going to have to run the bases well, and we've really done that at home this year."

As for his All-Star candidacy, Wright's fate -- at least as a starter -- is left to Internet balloting with in-stadium voting complete. It seems likely he will ultimately overtake Philadelphia's Placido Polanco and earn the starting nod. Either way, there's no doubt Wright is representing the Mets in Anaheim.

The Mets even resorted to small-market tactics with a promotion on Wednesday to ratchet support for Wright, trying to play off the recent Lady Gaga ballpark hysteria on the final day of in-stadium balloting. Internet voting ends Thursday.

"I don't know what the numbers are," Wright said about the voting. "It would be nice. There's no question that being in a big market, there's a lot of fan support. There are a lot of numbers to go out there and make that push for me. Hopefully it works."

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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