Conflict raged within David Wright's mind as he stood on second base Tuesday night. Although the Mets third baseman already knew that his right hamstring was compromised, he had just shooed away the trainer, as if by reflex.
"I'm OK,'' Wright mouthed to Ray Ramirez, shortly after he stole second base in the eighth inning of a 6-5 win over the Phillies. But it was soon clear that he wasn't.
As Kirk Nieuwenhuis ran the count full, between every pitch Wright weighed whether he should stay or go. Remarkably, it was still a debate, even though he couldn't be sure what his body could do if Nieuwenhuis put the ball in play.
"I'm glad I didn't find out,'' Wright said Wednesday, shortly after the Mets officially placed him on the 15-day disabled list.
Pain, at long last, has taught Wright an important lesson. In recent years, a period defined by these anguished situations, he wouldn't have bothered contemplating his next move. In 2013, he played through a similar hamstring injury for a few weeks, a severe miscalculation.
Wright wound up missing more than six weeks when it could have been three. But this time, sense got the better of him, although it still took two minutes and eight seconds of soul searching. He knew the Mets bench was short and they were out of third basemen. Still, Wright signaled to an umpire and walked off the field.
He received a cortisone shot Wednesday and will rest two days before beginning baseball activities. But hamstring injuries are notoriously fickle, and general manager Sandy Alderson said a three-week stint is "probably an expectation.''
The team is calling the injury a "mild'' strain, and manager Terry Collins said the diagnosis was better than had been expected. Wright already has circled the first day he's eligible to come off the DL.
But he will not push it.
"By no means am I going to jeopardize the rest of my season just to meet that goal that I have,'' he said.
The Mets recalled utilityman Eric Campbell from Triple-A Las Vegas. On Wednesday night, he started at third and batted sixth, going 1-for-5 and scoring a run. Despite a strong spring, Campbell was the casualty of the Mets' decision to carry an extra reliever. Now, he's back for two reasons.
One was within his control. In six games with Las Vegas, Campbell hit .550 with two homers, two doubles and a triple. But the other reason had everything to do with Wright. He listened to his body. He heeded the warning signs after his hamstring tugged just before his awkward slide Tuesday night.
No matter how hard Wright squeezed his batting gloves while taking his secondary leads, the tightness lingered. Every action looked strained, and he said the decision became "a no-brainer.''
"I guess I was kind of fortunate where [Nieuwenhuis] saw some pitches, had a long at-bat,'' Wright said. "Ultimately, I think I made the correct decision.''