Seven weeks ago, David Wright came up lame running to first while trying to beat out an innocent groundball at Citi Field against the Kansas City Royals. From August 3rd through September 19th, the Mets went 19-27 without their captain and star third baseman, a stretch that saw little in the way of offensive output. With Wright making his way back to the lineup on Friday, the Mets hoped for a boost from their best player and they certainly got that boost right away. Wright's home run in the first inning off of Cole Hamels helped propel the Mets to a 6-4 victory over the Phillies in their series opener at Citizens Bank Park.
Leading off the game, Eric Young got the Mets going as he blooped a double down the right field line that John Mayberry was unable to corral. After he stole third, Daniel Murphy lined a single back up the middle to plate the first run against the lefty Hamels. That's when Wright would step up to the plate for his first at bat since the beginning of August and he wouldn't wait long to attack. On the second pitch he saw from Hamels, Wright connected and drove a long two-run home run over the high right-center field fence, giving the Mets a 3-0 first inning lead. For Wright, it was his 17th home run of the season and the 221st of his career, which put him one ahead of Mike Piazza for 2nd on the Mets' all-time home run list behind Darryl Strawberry.
With a three run lead in his pocket, Daisuke Matsuzaka went to work against the Phillies lineup and shut them down through the first three innings. The Mets would tack on runs in the third and fourth on Andrew Brown and Eric Young RBI singles, giving Matsuzaka a five run cushion. Things would get a bit dicey (pun absolutely intended) for Matsuzaka in the bottom of the fourth inning. After Chase Utley led off the inning with a single, and Carlos Ruiz and Domonic Brown worked walks to load the bases with no outs, Darin Ruf stepped to the plate and ripped a double down the left field line. Ruf's hit ultimately scored all three baserunners, as an error charged to Eric Young allowed the third run to cross the plate successfully. Having scored three, the Phillies would tack on one more on a Cole Hamels groundout that scored Ruf, cutting the Mets' lead to a single run at 5-4.
The score stayed the same into the seventh inning, when Josh Satin plated the Mets' sixth and final run on a fielder's choice that he just barely beat out running to first. If you've seen Josh Satin run the bases, you likely realize that's quite a feat. Nevertheless, the Mets had a two-run lead and they'd turn things over to the bullpen after Daisuke had allowed 4 runs on 4 hits over a serviceable six innings. A combination of Scott Atchison, Vic Black, Pedro Feliciano, and LaTroy Hawkins allowed just one Phillies hit over the final three innings, sealing up a win for the Mets in David Wright's return. We're glad to have you back, David.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: David Wright (17.1%), Eric Young Jr (+9.8%)
Big losers: Juan Lagares (-6.0%), Daisuke Matsuzaka at the plate (-4.6%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright's two-run home run in the first (+14.3%)
Teh sux0rest play: Darin Ruf's 3-run double in the 4th (-16.1%)
Total pitcher WPA: +25.1%
Total batter WPA: +24.9%
GWRBI!: Eric Young Jr.