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Wright a little loopy as strikeout totals grow

MIAMI - The Mets are concerned enough about David Wright's flawed mechanics that manager Jerry Manuel spent most of Saturday afternoon watching videotape of his No. 3 hitter on a laptop at his desk. At one point, Manuel summoned batting coach Howard Johnson to discuss what he had viewed. Then he called in Wright, who looked over the manager's shoulder at some clips.

But Wright's frustration only grew during the Mets' 9-6 loss to the Marlins at Land Shark Stadium. His lack of hustle in the fifth inning cost the Mets a run when he failed to score from second on Jeff Francoeur's single to left-center. Wright went back toward second - with two outs - and then jogged across the plate, but not before Francoeur was thrown out at second, which negated the run. "It was just a mental mistake," Wright said, "and it won't happen again."

Manuel said Wright apologized to the team after the embarrassing incident and that it was addressed. The manager also acknowledged that Wright is having a tough time, so today's day off will be welcome.

"I mark that down as an aberration," Manuel said of Wright's blunder, "but something we had to talk about."

As for Wright's issues at the plate, Manuel and Johnson are taking a more hands-on approach these days. Wright has a career-high 137 strikeouts, and in looking ahead to next season, Manuel can't tolerate that from the No. 3 spot in the lineup.

Calling Wright a "gifted, unorthodox type of hitter," Manuel described a "loop" in his swing that has led to more strikeouts. It's what he and Johnson have targeted as the main problem.

"It's a little loop that will make him susceptible to balls up and in," Manuel said. "There seems to be a lot of pitches recently that have been right where he's looking and he's fouling them off."

Slow ball sinks Maine

John Maine had his worst outing since his Sept. 13 return from the disabled list, allowing seven hits and seven earned runs in 42/3 innings. Maine (6-6), whose velocity rarely touched 92 mph, also had a pair of wild pitches, drilled back-to-back Marlins and served up a three-run homer to Cameron Maybin during a seven-run fifth inning.


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