- Last Updated: 9:19 AM, April 12, 2012
- Posted: 1:00 AM, April 12, 2012
No David Wright. No chance.
On the 50th anniversary of the Mets’ first game, the 2012 team played like the 1962 version yesterday in an ugly 4-0 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field. This was déjà boo all over again.
Those futile Mets from 50 years ago finished 40-120. These Mets are 4-2 after losing two straight, but both losses have come with third baseman David Wright sidelined with a fractured right pinky finger.
Terry Collins believes Wright will be back in the lineup tomorrow night in Philadelphia, but that may be wishful thinking on the manager’s part because he knows how inept his offense is without Wright (.583 batting average) hitting third.
Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg toyed with the Mets through six innings, allowing two hits and striking out nine. The Mets managed a season-low three hits on this cold day, were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. The three through nine hitters were 1-for-23. In 2011, the Mets produced only four games of three or fewer hits.
“As much as you want to say everybody picks each other up, David was a big part of what we were doing early on,’’ Jason Bay said. “You take David out of that equation and it’s going to hurt a little bit.’’
Added first baseman Ike Davis, “David is a great hitter. We get hits with him, and pitchers maybe get a little more tired because they have to concentrate really hard when David is hitting, and the more you can wear them out, hopefully they make more mistakes.’’
Davis finally picked up his first hit of the season, a single in the sixth, after starting 0-for-18.
Bay was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and was called out by home plate umpire Larry Vanover to end the sixth inning on a pitch that was clearly outside with runners on first and second and the Mets trailing, 1-0. That call prompted Collins to argue with Vanover, and the Mets’ manager was quickly ejected for the first time this season.
The Mets were off to a flying start before Wright was injured Monday night, but Collins hopes the franchise is not snake-bitten.
“Well, in the year and few days I’ve been here, obviously injuries have been a major part and I know they were the year before when I was the field coordinator,’’ Collins said. “They were a huge part of what went on here. I hope to think it is part of the way the game is played by these guys, that it’s maxed out.
“David Wright is the perfect example. These guys play hurt. And sometimes when they play hurt [injuries] get more aggravated, now they miss the majority of the time. The thing that has killed us is the severity of the injuries. It’s not a two-weeks, it’s a three- and four-month process, which is really a tough thing to replace.
“One thing we can’t do, and aren’t going to do, and that’s make an excuse,’’ Collins added. “We’ve got to go and play the game no matter who is in those spots.’’
Yes they do, but when the Mets muster only three hits — all singles — a decent but short effort from Johan Santana is not enough to cover them. Santana surrendered five hits, walked three and allowed one run over five innings. Mets pitchers walked 10 batters, the Mets’ first double-digit, nine-inning walk game since May 9, 2010.
“We didn’t pitch very good today, walked 10 guys, we’re lucky it was only 4-0,’’ Collins said.
That’s far too many walks and the manager said on offense the Mets are too timid.
“We’re taking pitches we can hit,’’ Collins said. “I love our philosophy that we are more patient at the plate, but once in a while you’ve got to hit some balls you can hit. The last two innings we took balls right down the middle. We cannot do that.’’Follow @NYPostsports