Struggling David Wright volunteered to take a seat on the bench Sunday night before the Mets faced the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS, according to manager Terry Collins.
"Being the kind of guy he always is, he said, 'Look, I'm not swinging good. If you want play somebody else, look, I just want to win,' '' Collins said. "That's the mentality."
Collins told Wright to forget about it and started him against Jake Arrieta. And he was glad he did when Wright hit a booming RBI double to center to give the Mets a 1-0 lead two batters into the bottom of the first inning.
Wright, who had been 1-for-19 in the postseason, picked up his third RBI of the playoffs.
Daniel Murphy followed with a two-run home run to give the Mets a 3-0 lead.
Collins said his only concern with Wright is whether his back can hold up, especially now that the mercury has dipped in New York. Wright assured Collins that it is not an issue.
"I spent 20 minutes with him [Saturday] night when the game was over," Collins said before Game 2. "I said, 'How you doing?' He said, 'OK.' I said, 'Are you stiff?' He said, 'Terry, it was 35 out there. We're all stiff.' I said, 'No, how are you?' He said, 'I'm fine.' He said, 'Now I [stink] but I'm fine.' And that's him.
"So are they getting to him? No. He's a baseball player. He's been in this environment a long time. I just keep saying, 'Hey, look, keep putting those good at-bats on because it's going to happen.' He's just too good a player."
Collins admitted that he thought about moving Wright down in the batting order. But after surveying the options, he decided to not change a thing.
"Yeah, we tried to figure out where we could move him to," Collins said. "But there's not a lot of options because nobody's really killing the ball.''
(Except Murphy, Collins probably meant. Murphy has homered in four consecutive games.)
Wright, who missed most of the summer while undergoing treatment for a serious back condition, said he's trying to do other things to help the club while waiting for his bat to come around.
"I've been better," Wright said after Game 1. "But when you're not feeling great at the plate, you try to grind it out, try to work some walks, try to do other things in the game well so hopefully the hits come.
"Hopefully I can join in offensively, but until then, just trying to grind it out and get on base any way I can and defensively try to pick up there."
Another struggling Met, Lucas Duda, returned to the starting lineup after sitting in Game 1 against lefthander Jon Lester.
Duda, who was 2-for-18 with 11 strikeouts in the NLDS, continued to look lost in his first three at-bats Sunday night with two strikeouts and a pop-up to short.