Skip to main content

Smoltz's Wright Hand Man

I'm glad that David Wright broke his career worst 0-for string on Saturday, because the matchup on Sunday, while fascinating, is a bit troubling.

John Smoltz pitches for the Braves on Sunday and he's essentially the kryptonite to David Wright's Superman status.

Smoltz has struck Wright out 19 times in 52 meetings (plate appearances) in holding him to a .233 batting average.

Why is that significant? Take a look at this list.

Most K By David Wright
vs Pitchers

John Smoltz 19
Brett Myers 7
Dontrelle Willis 7
Jason Bergmann 6
Randy Johnson 6
Mike Mussina 6 (in 8 plate appearances, 7 AB!)

Among active players, there's no one who Smoltz, who just passed 3,000 career strikeouts, has whiffed more than David Wright. That's particularly amazin' considering that Wright has only played the equivalent of 3.5 major league seasons.

Not only has Wright struck out 19 times. He's gone to a 2-strike count against Smoltz 34 times (well more than half their meetings), going 4-for-30 with 4 walks in those instances. In one span of 14 plate appearances last season, Smoltz got to 2 strikes on Wright 13 times! That's insane.

David Wright is a good 2-strike hitter, dare we say among the best 2-strike hitters in baseball, but not against Smoltz.

I remember watching the first Smoltz strikeout of Wright. It was a walk-off, a series-sweep-ender that basically ended the Mets season on August 1, 2004 (they fell 9 games back of the Braves). Wright, than a young pup, batting in the eighth hole, in his 11th major-league game, took to a 2-0 count, watched two called strikes, than battled through three foul balls. On the eighth pitch, Smoltz froze Wright (believe it was fastball, outside corner) to close things out.

That at-bat seemed to fuel Wright in their next few meetings, as he went 5 for his next 11 against Smoltz, but after that, Smoltz figured things out. He's held Wright to 4-for-29, with 15 strikeouts, starting with a pair of whiffs in late 2005.

I don't pretend to know what approach Wright takes against Smoltz, but whatever it is, he might want to adjust it slightly, because right now it's Smoltz who is walking off the mound from those confrontations as a major winner.

Those Mets fans in the Wright know...The pitcher whom David Wright has faced the most WITHOUT striking out is Brandon Webb. Wright is hitting .455 with no strikeouts and one walk in 16 career plate appearances (15 AB) against Webb.


Popular posts from this blog

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings

Minutiae Break: Worst Mets Relievers

It occurs to me after 79 straight walk-off related posts and some fatigue still remaining from Saturday's finish that I did promise to bring Metspective on other issues related to the Flushing 9, so I offer this posting up as a "Minutiae Break." This came about after several discussions related to the offhand Dick Tidrow/Danny Graves remark the other day , the conclusion of which indicated that it would be fun to create a list of the worst Mets relievers of all-time. I don't want to step on the territory of other bloggers, like " Faith and Fear in Flushing ," Mets Guy in Michigan " and " Metstradamus ," so I'll tread carefully here, aided by their influence. Should any friends, family members, or fans of these pitchers visit this site, I mean no harm. I'm just here to have a little fun with this topic. The ground rules are as follows: The pitcher must have had a Mets stint as long as Dick Tidrow's (11 games, 15 2/3 innings), for wh

The 'Duca of Earl (and walk-offs)

If I told you that the Mets had just obtained a guy who is a career .316 hitter with runners in scoring position? How about if I told you that the Mets just traded for a hitter who has consistently ranked among the toughest in baseball to strike out? Or if I mentioned that the Mets just dealt for a player who was selected to the NL All-Star team the last three seasons, with the last honor coming via a vote by his peers? So, although he's on the down side age wise, his throwing arm isn't as good as it used to be, and he doesn't provide much power, there are a lot of good things that Paul Lo Duca brings to the New York Mets. For example: He'll sacrifice his body for the good of the team The Dodgers and Braves squared off on August 23, 2002 and Lo Duca made an impact both on the start and finish of this game. Three pitches after being dusted by Greg Maddux, Lo Duca made him pay with a first-inning home run. The Braves rallied to tie the game, 3-3 in the ninth, but their bu