MIAMI - Though David Wright might not be aware of what the numbers say at any given moment, he can always sense how he feels at the plate.
It had been a while since he had slipped into what he called a state of "relaxation," a place "where you know the mechanics are sound, and then it's just a matter of just reacting, kind of letting that muscle memory take over."
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Yet after Tuesday night's 8-6 win over the Marlins, there was no doubting that the Mets' struggling captain had recaptured that elusive feeling.
"It's nice to feel dangerous at the plate," said Wright, who had three hits and three RBIs.
In the second, Wright ripped a double to the gap in right-center, his first extra-base hit in an astounding 84 straight plate appearances. In the fourth, he hit another rocket to right, flashing the kind of power that has largely been missing in this injury-wrecked season.
Wright had not recorded a three-hit game since July 11. His only other three-RBI game came May 10. But in a 16-hit onslaught against the Marlins, Wright found himself in the middle of it all.
"This last week, I've felt better, and more comfortable at the plate than I have probably the last month or so," Wright said. "That's a good sign."
The offensive explosion helped to mask a rough performance by Jonathon Niese, who improved to 8-10 even though he allowed six runs and 10 hits. One of those was a mammoth two-run shot by Giancarlo Stanton, his NL-leading 35th homer of the year.
Yet Niese never surrendered an early lead.
Though their playoff hopes have been long extinguished, Collins' fate lies in whether the club avoids a tailspin to finish the season. On Monday, the Mets committed six errors in a 9-6 loss, the type of performance that could cost him his job.
But the Mets found a way to recover from that sour defeat.
Wright also had been searching for a sign of bouncing back.
"He's human too, even though he's who he is," Collins said. "He's got feelings and he knows he's got to contribute. And so when you have games like tonight, you've got to feel good about it."
Wright's shoulder injury earlier this season -- despite his insistence to the contrary -- appears to have sapped him of his typical power. Even after his outburst, he is hitting just .268 with a .369 slugging percentage, well below his career norms.
Perhaps the night proves to be just a break from what has been an awful second half, one that Wright said he has spent "searching and grinding" for an answer to his woes. Or it could be the beginning of a return to normal, a closing month that might ease any doubts about the Mets' captain.
Either way, Wright seemed less concerned about any long-term meaning, and more interested in living in the moment. For the first time in a long time, he didn't worry about his mechanics, which some believe have been compromised by his shoulder woes. Nor was he concerned about what pitches he would face.
He simply felt dangerous again. "To finally feel something kind of click a little bit and carry it over into the game," Wright said, "feels good and is a positive."