>David Wright Week: Ten Tremendous

>Before I get into David’s 2009 home runs, I have been promising blood all week, so here you go – from the Onion.

David Wright hit 10 home runs – 10 – in 2009. For one frame of reference, Carlos Zambrano has hit 20 in a similar number of at bats over his career. Ronnie Belliard, Ronny Cedeno, Randy Ruiz, Mark Ellis, and Howie Kendrick are some of the other notable names to hit 10 home runs in 2009. Gary Sheffield and Carlos Beltran hit 10 home runs for the 2009 Mets. Alex Cora once hit ten home runs in a season. Brian Schneider has too. Wally Backman hit 10 home runs over his entire career. Ten is not an impressive number of home runs.

But there is something to be said for the number ten. Our entire counting system is based on it – ten is ten ones, one hundred is ten tens, one thousand is ten hundreds, and so on. Ten fingers on your hands, ten toes on your feet. Judges in the Olympics give perfect performances a score of ten. The FBI has a top ten most wanted list – people like to make lists of ten. There are Ten Commandments, and there were ten plagues in Egypt. Bruce Springsteen was frozen out on Tenth Avenue. The Trojan war took ten years, and then it took Odysseus ten more years to make it back to Ithaca – although in his defense, upstate New York is quite distant from the Mediterranean, and there were no airplanes then. Every baseball inning begins with ten men on the field – nine defenders and one batter. We sort our years into groups of ten – decades – with the last one having just come to a close. In case you didn’t notice.

The number ten signifies something – in 2009 it signified that David Wright failed to hit for his usual power. However, it does provide the perfect opportunity to put those ten home runs into list form – because human beings just like to put things into lists of ten. I really have no choice in the matter. There are ten, and they must be put into list form.

So to close out David Wright Week, I present to you, ranked by WPA (Win Probability Added) to put into numbers how important each home run was, the Tremendous Ten:

10. June 25th, 10-3 W @ Houston, 0% WPA
Pitcher: Wesley Wright
Count: 1-1
Pitch: 4 Seam Fastball
Distance: 409 feet to left center.
ROB: None
Item from day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Gary Sheffield A.) leading the Mets in home runs and B.) getting put on the DL that June day.

Wright homers off Wright. This was David’s only truly meaningless home run of the year, hit in the top of the ninth inning with the Mets already ahead 9-1 on the strength of Jon Neise’s 7 one-run-innings and Frenchy’s 4 RBI night. Frankie Rodriguez earned $125,000 for allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

9. September 12th, 10-9 W @ Philadelphia, 6% WPA
Brett Myers
Count: 1-2
Pitch: Changeup
Distance: 410 feet to left center.
ROB: Fernando Tatis at second.
Item from day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Mike Pelfrey giving up 8 runs, all earned, in six innings of work.

This home run brought the Mets back to within two runs of the Phillies in the top of the eighth, and the first of four home runs on this list that David hit against the Phillies. This is was one of two home runs David hit off changeups in 2009. This was also David’s only multi homer game, so there will be more from this one later on.

8. June 6th, 6-5 W vs. Phillies, 11% WPA
J.A. Happ
Count: 1-2
Pitch: 4 Seam Fastball
Distance: 403 feet to left center
ROB: None
Item from day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Ryan Howard and Raul Ibanez had hit a combined 38 home runs by this date. The Mets entire team had hit 37.

The rare slugfest at Citi. Ryan Church and Carlos Beltran also homer in this game for the Mets, while Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Raul Ibanez all go deep for the Phillies off Johan Santana, who remained awesome nonetheless – this game also saw Johan repeatedly informing an approaching Jerry Manuel, “I’m a man” and ignoring a two strike bunt sign to butcher-boy an RBI double. Wright’s home run came in the bottom of the second, giving the Mets an early 1-0 lead.

7. May 7th, 7-5 W vs. Phillies, 13% WPA
Jamie Moyer
Count: 1-2
Pitch: 2 Seam “Fast”ball
Distance: 434 feet to center
ROB: Carlos Delgado on second
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Mike Pelfrey pitched seven innings and struck out no one. For the second straight start.

The Mets slowly bled away a 7-1 lead, forcing Rodriguez to come in and record his fourth consecutive save. Wright’s homer in the first was the second two run home run given up by Moyer in the inning – Beltran had homered two batters earlier. During the game, Shane Victorino managed to endear himself further to Met fans by elbowing Jose Reyes during an 8th inning rundown and earn himself an interference call for doing so.

6. August 8th, 9-0 W vs. St. Louis, 17% WPA
Kyle Lohse
Count: 3-1
Pitch: 4 Seam Fastball
Distance: 400 feet to right center
ROB: Alex Cora at first.
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Jon Neise stretching his hamstring doing a split at first base, and then completely severing it from the bone throwing a warm up toss to make sure he was okay. I guess he wasn’t.

Nelson Figueroa first comes in to relieve Neise, and Bobby Parnell later earns his first major league “save” by pitching the final three innings, stretching himself out for the great rotation experiment. Angel Pagan goes 3-4, drives in 4 runs and scores 2. Wright homered in the first inning off Lohse, who didn’t make it out of the third inning. Rare blowout victory for the 2009 Mets.

5. June 30th, 6-3 L @ Milwaukee, 17% WPA
Mike Burns
Count: 2-0
Pitch: 4 Seam Fastball
Distance: 393 feet to left center
ROB: Alex Cora at first
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: The Mets did double duty in this game. I have to pick between Fernando Martinez’s face plant or this gem: “Braun doubles to LF. Burns Scores. Hart Scores. Hardy Scores. Braun scores. Throwing error Santana.” I think I’m going to have to go with the Ryan Braun little league grand slam for capturing team wide futility.

David Wright’s home run gave the Mets a first inning 2-0 lead. Fernando Martinez also hit his first home run with two outs in the ninth. In between was like one of the episodes of “Man vs. Wild” where Wild wins – Bear Grylls’ ladder made out of bamboo and vines collapses (surprise), he can’t light a fire because it’s too damp (in the rain forest), and he eats fish eyes for the VIT-amins. Disaster after disaster. Next.

4. July 31st, 3-2 L vs. Diamondbacks, 18% WPA
Pitcher: Doug Davis
Count: 3-2
Pitch: Slider
Distance: 396 feet to right
ROB: None
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Sean Green allowing the winning run to score on an eighth inning wild pitch.

Wright’s first home run since June 9th came in the sixth inning, tying the game at 2-2. The Mets only other run came on a Daniel Murphy solo home run. Livan Hernandez went six innings, surrendering just two runs. Somehow.

3. May 4th, 6-4 W @ Atlanta, 26% WPA
Javier Vazquez
Count: 1-1
Pitch: 4 Seam Fastball
Distance: 429 to center
ROB: Carlos Delgado at first
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: John Maine walks six in six innings of work – including three in the second,
contributing to three Brave runs.

Wright go ahead homer in the sixth was the second of the inning, following Beltran’s shot two batters earlier. Beltran and Wright homered in the same game four times – twice in the same innings – in 2009, despite hitting just 20 combined home runs for the year.

2. May 13th, 6-5 L vs. Padres, 33% WPA
Pitcher: Walter Silva
Count: 3-2
Pitch: Slider
Distance: 390 feet to right
ROB: Reyes at third, Murphy at first
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Three options for this game: Future-trivia-answer Jody Gerut opening up Citi Field with a home run, Mike Pelfrey falling down on the mound, or Pedro Feliciano balking in the winning run. The Jody Gerut home run did it for me.

Citi Field opener. David’s home run tied the game at 5-5 in the fifth. You unfortunately probably remember everything else. Next.

1. September 12, 10-9 W @ Philadelphia, 72% WPA
Ryan Madson
Count: 0-0
Pitch: Changeup
Distance: 361 feet to right – a Citizens Bank special
ROB: Fernando Tatis at first.
Item from the day to remind you how awful 2009 was: Covered back in #9

One inning before, with Fernando Tatis on base, Wright homers off a Brett Myers changeup. With two outs in the ninth, Ryan Madson decides that the pitch he most wants to throw to Wright with Tatis on base again, is another changeup. Good pitch selection. Two changeups, two home runs, Mets win in come from behind fashion. Wright drove a total of six runs in during the game, and Beltran also homered.

David Wright Week: Like Shark Week, only with a minimal amounts of comically stylized blood.


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2 responses to “>David Wright Week: Ten Tremendous

  1. Anonymous

    >According to Google maps, Ithaca is only three hours from Troy if you take I-88W. Wait, Odysseus wouldn't have had a car, so I'll set the directions to "walking"….2 days, 6 hours on US-20W. And that's not counting time lost when Circe turns you into a pig near Cooperstown.

  2. Patrick Flood

    >@ Anonymous:Just two days walking? Now the ten years it took him makes even less sense.

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