PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - In the last two games, David Wright's spring training batting average jumped from .229 to .317 after he went 5-for-6 with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs. And there were no bloops or bleeders in the bunch.
"Hopefully . . . he's got about .315, 30 home runs, 115 ribbies and we'll go celebrate somewhere," Manuel said Saturday after the Mets lost to the Marlins, 7-5, in 10 innings. "This is one of the better times I've seen him swing the bat consistently this well. And I think he feels pretty good about it as well."
Wright's 2009 numbers were .307-10-72. More than most spring trainings, this one is important for him. He has four home runs and 11 RBIs in 41 at-bats.
"It's good to get the results, but at the same time, there's still some work to be done between now and Opening Day," Wright said. "It's about driving in runs, scoring runs, and if home runs come, great. If not, I'll be perfectly content if I can drive in runs and score runs and we win. I'll sign up for that."
Hisanori Takahashi allowed four runs in three innings in his first big-league exhibition-game start, but Manuel said the lefthander's spot in the bullpen is secure. "I see him definitely as a part [of the team] because he has the ability to throw strikes," Manuel said . . . Ryota Igarashi came in with the Mets ahead by a run in the eighth inning. That's the role the team would like to see him or someone (anyone?) capture. But Igarashi allowed a run and two hits and has a spring ERA of 5.40 . . . Kiko Calero gave up a two-run home run to Alberto Gonzalez in the 10th . . . Francisco Rodriguez pitched two scoreless innings, striking out three . . . Manuel said the centerfield battle between Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. could go down to the wire.