What began as one of the longest years of David Wright's baseball career when he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis and spent just over four months on the disabled list has turned into one of the happiest times of his Mets career.
It was encouraging that he homered in the first at-bat of his return Aug. 24 in Philadelphia, but the best part is that he has continued to produce at a steady pace for three weeks.
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The Mets' captain delivered in the clutch in classic fashion again Monday night at Citi Field when his ground-rule double with two outs in the seventh inning drove in the go-ahead run in a 4-3 victory over Miami. It capped a comeback from a two-run deficit, extended the Mets' winning streak to eight games and maintained their NL East lead over the Nationals at 9 1/2 games, the biggest margin of any division leader.
"It's good to be back and fun to win," Wright said. "It's nice to come through and feel a little more comfortable in the box and contribute. That's the biggest thing that everybody in here wants to do is be part of the fun and be part of this year. Just being able to contribute and be a part of this special thing is very cool and something that I really enjoy."
The Mets skipped a Matt Harvey start for the second time, and for the second time, they didn't skip a beat. Harvey's personal pitching caddie, Logan Verrett, pitched five innings of one-run ball. Yoenis Cespedes hit a solo homer in the third -- his 35th of the season and 17th as a Met -- but the Marlins tied it in the fifth and took a 3-1 lead in the sixth against Sean Gilmartin, who gave up consecutive run-scoring singles to Derek Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto.
But comebacks have become standard procedure for the Mets, who have done it 38 times this season, including a major league-best 16 times since Aug. 1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Juan Uribe laced a two-out double down the leftfield line and Travis d'Arnaud crushed a 1-and-1 fastball from Justin Nicolini over the centerfield fence to tie the score at 3.
"I've been on the other side of that, and that's a dagger," Wright said of the Mets' response. "If you give up a couple runs, just getting one of them back the next [at-bat] kind of gets the momentum back on your side . . . That's something we've been able to do a lot lately is answer right back."
The Mets mounted another threat in the seventh when Wilmer Flores drew a one-out walk and was replaced by Eric Young Jr., who stole second. Pinch hitter Curtis Granderson walked, but pinch hitter Michael Conforto popped up for the second out.
That brought Wright to the plate, and reliever Kyle Barraclough had to pitch to him with a base open because Cespedes was on deck.
Wright drove a ball over the head of centerfielder Christian Yelich and actually got unlucky when it bounced over the wall because a carom would have allowed Granderson to score as well.
"It feels good to produce right there, especially with two outs," Wright said. "Those two-out hits are golden. They're a big momentum shift when you get those two-out RBIs. You always want to be a guy that your teammates want you up there in that type of situation."
Wright always has been that guy, and as he demonstrated Monday night, he still is.