Scoring five runs isn’t a total most teams typically consider a breakout, but for the New York Mets and their injury-riddled offense, it was quite significant.
They’ve yet to prove they can make scoring runs a habit.
It’s been more than two weeks since the Mets looked comfortable at the plate in consecutive games, a trend they’ll hope to buck Thursday night as they play the decisive finale of their three-game set with the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
New York (40-43) has struggled offensively for much of the season, but that slump has been particularly pronounced over the past few weeks.
The Mets had averaged just 2.3 runs while dropping nine of 11 heading into Wednesday’s contest against the Dodgers (53-31), as it appeared injuries to Carlos Beltran(notes), Carlos Delgado(notes) and Jose Reyes were starting to catch up to them.
New York’s nine-hit performance in the series’ middle game was hardly dominant, but it came through when it counted. Daniel Murphy(notes) doubled twice and David Wright(notes) added two hits and an RBI to snap an 0-for-17 slump in the Mets’ 5-4 victory.
“It was a big win for us,” manager Jerry Manuel said. “We needed to win a game.”
While New York has occasionally put it together at the plate recently, it hasn’t scored more than three runs in consecutive games since June 21-22.
Perhaps the biggest reason for the Mets’ skid has been Wright’s struggles. New York’s third baseman will start his third All-Star game next week in St. Louis, but he hasn’t been approaching the midsummer classic on a positive note. Prior to a 2-for-4 performance Wednesday, Wright hit .116 (5 for 43) with 14 strikeouts in his previous 11 games.
All three of Wolf’s wins this season have come on the road, where he’s 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA. Wolf, though, hasn’t picked up a victory in seven starts dating to May 28, going 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA.
The left-hander gave up a run and four hits over six innings Saturday at San Diego, striking out eight, but left without a decision for the 12th time in Los Angeles’ 7-4 loss.
“I thought I threw the ball well,” Wolf told the Dodgers’ official Web site. “I gave up a leadoff double, but limited that inning to one run. I felt really good about the way I threw today.”
One of Wolf’s starts without a decision came May 18 against the Mets. He gave up two runs and six hits over 7 2-3 innings as Los Angeles won 3-2 in 11 innings.
Livan Hernandez(notes) (5-4, 4.56) will face the Dodgers for the second time as well, and he also engaged in a pitcher’s duel. Hernandez didn’t earn a decision May 20 in the Mets’ 2-1 loss in Los Angeles, but he gave up a run and seven hits over seven innings.
Hernandez, who’s 2-2 with a 3.43 ERA in six starts at Citi Field, didn’t fare nearly as well at Philadelphia on Friday. He gave up seven runs and a season-high 10 hits while lasting only three innings in a 7-2 loss, his third straight.
“We lost the game because I pitched bad,” Hernandez said. “I just have to come back and pitch better next time.”