The Mets' David Wright connects for a two-run homer in...

The Mets' David Wright connects for a two-run homer in the first inning against the Marlins' Josh Johnson. (Apr. 5, 2010) Credit: AP

David Wright tried to downplay that first-inning moment, two pitches into 2010, when he seemed to completely tear up the lousy memories of 2009. But it was hard to ignore the overjoyed reactions of his teammates after Wright's two-run homer off Josh Johnson in the first inning Monday.

"You can see the looks on their faces when you come into the dugout . . . I really appreciate that," Wright said after his tone-setting homer in the Mets' 7-1 win over the Marlins. "That's a special feeling."

And perhaps a giant weight off Wright's back. His 10-homer 2009 has been dissected in all corners of Mets country, particularly his five Citi Field homers. But he managed to quiet lots of doubters and get roars of approval from his teammates and fans when he drove a 1-and-0 fastball down the rightfield line and into the field-level seats in his first at-bat of the season.

"Obviously, it's huge for David after what happened last year," said Jason Bay, who wasn't even here last year.

"We were joking when he came in. He said, 'They want me to pull the ball and I go 'oppo,' " Jeff Francoeur said. "I was like, 'I don't give a crap, it counts the same to me.'

"We've all said that David's got to lead us. David's got to step up and make this his team."

Wright put in lots of offseason work with hitting coach Howard Johnson, and it paid immediate dividends. The biggest thing for Wright was not necessarily muscling up, just a simple message that Johnson and Jerry Manuel reinforced over the winter and into spring training.

"You get ahead in the count, you let it fly," Wright said. "If you miss, you miss. But I was ahead there and I got a pitch I thought I could handle."

Wright much preferred to talk about wins. He expects more than 10 home runs for himself, obviously, but he was quick to add, "I'm expecting to get more than 70-something wins, too.

"It's not about the home runs. I don't judge my success or lack of success on that. First and foremost, it's about wins; then it's about how many runs I drive in. Home runs are fun, they're a good momentum shift, but we're not going to live and die on how many home runs we hit."

Still, Wright will be judged in many places by whether he can put his 2009 season to bed. The wind was swirling Monday inside Citi Field, which yielded only Wright's home run and the usual array of well-hit balls and long outs. It still is a forbidding place for home run hitters.

But Wright wants to be sure everyone knows that's not how the Mets will win in 2010.

"Two runs," he said with a smile about that homer, even though everyone knows it meant much more than that.