Wright ready to return with new helmet
New York (59-72) at Colorado (72-59), 8:40 p.m. ET
CHICAGO -- His first round of batting practice complete, David Wright was casually jogging from first to second base Sunday morning when he was struck in the left leg by a ball hit by Luis Castillo. No problem. He paused, continued running after another pitch, then headed to the clubhouse to get a helmet.
The freak accident had little to do with the additional gear Wright retrieved. In the wake of the concussion he suffered Aug. 15, he has been told by doctors to wear a helmet during batting practice. He had forgotten.
Assigned to the disabled list beginning the day after the injury, Wright expects to return to active duty Tuesday night when the Mets play the first of three games against the Rockies in Denver. When he plays -- and when he again takes batting practice -- he may be wearing a helmet of a different kind.
Rawlings is to ship some new-style helmets, ones that provide additional protection, to the Mets in the near future. And if they arrive in time, Wright will try one on and probably wear it in the game Tuesday. The new helmets are larger, have more padding on the inside and absorb more impact than the one Wright wore when he was struck in the head by a pitch thrown by Matt Cain of the Giants.
In the days before he was hit, Wright was asked about trying the new helmet, and though he didn't decline, he told Rawlings he was comfortable with what he had used.
"I had no issue with the new one," Wright said recently. "If it's safer and a better option, I'm all for it."
Ryan Dempster, the Cubs' starting pitcher Saturday, wore one of the models.
"You could tell it was a little bigger. And it was shaped a little different. But I knew he was wearing it," Wright said. "The biggest difference was the inside."
Wright, disabled for the first time in his career and embarrassed by the assignment, is eager to return. He anticipates no problems other than manager Jerry Manuel's plan to rest him every other game.
"I think it will take care of itself," Wright said. "I'm just going to make sure I walk before I run. I don't expect any trouble getting back in the box. I guess the ultimate test will be if I get another pitch up and in. But I'm not going to worry about it."
NYM: RHP Mike Pelfrey (9-9, 4.80 ERA)
After two successive quality starts, Pelfrey allowed five runs on 11 hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings in a loss to the Marlins in Miami on Wednesday, spoiling his bid to win consecutive decisions for the first time since May 1 and 7. Now he begins September on a mission to finish his season with a winning record for the second straight year. That task begins against an opponent he held scoreless for 6 1/3 innings at Citi Field on July 28. Pelfrey has a 3-1 record and 2.35 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies. Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Clint Barmes, Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs have combined for three hits in 27 at-bats against Pelfrey. Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki have seven hits in 11 at-bats against him.
COL: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (12-9, 4.72 ERA)
Despite losing the rubber match to the Dodgers on Thursday, De La Rosa remains one of the Rockies' hottest pitchers. He had a strong, quality outing, pitching seven innings and yielding three runs on eight hits and four walks and striking out seven. The loss was his second in 12 starts and third in 15. The team has won 13 of his 16 most recent starts, including one against the Mets at Citi Field on July 30. De La Rosa surrendered three hits, one a home run by Fernando Tatis, and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. The active players on the Mets' roster -- that will include Wright by Tuesday -- have combined for a .076 average in 39 at-bats against De La Rosa. The Mets have lost 13 of the 16 most recent games in which they have been opposed by a left-handed starter.
Jeff Francoeur, playing with a sore right quad as well as a torn ligament in his left thumb, now has as many RBIs, 29, in 176 at-bats with the Mets as he had in 304 at-bats with the Braves. And his average with the Mets is .307. ... Angel Pagan now has four games with at least three hits. ... Anderson Hernandez has a .407 average, four extra-base hits and four RBIs in his seven most recent games (27 at-bats). ... Seen at Wrigley: Three men wearing Darryl Strawberry, Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter Mets uniforms, and three others wearing Tom Seaver, Gooden and Johan Santana uniforms. The fella wearing No. 57 had traded in his No. 45 Martinez top.
Seaver shut out the Giants, 8-0, in the first game of a Mets doubleheader split in Candlestick Park, tying Jerry Koosman's franchise record of 19 victories on Aug. 31, 1969. ... The 127th single of the season for Felix Millan established a club record for singles in a season on this date in 1973. The hit was part of a three-run rally in the 10th inning, initiated after two outs, that carried the Mets to a 6-4 victory in St. Louis, and the victory the fifth in a 14-5 run that established them as contenders for the National League East championship.
The Mets moved into first place on an off-day on this date in 2000 when the Braves lost. Thus, they began September as the NL East leader. No team managed by Bobby Valentine had been in first place in September previously. The Mets promptly lost seven of the next eight games, nearly ending their chances for the postseason. After their loss on Sept. 9, their record under Valentine in September games, beginning in 1996, was 54-66. The September record for all teams managed by Valentine is 151-166. His teams have cumulative winning records in all other months.
On Aug. 31, 2001, the Mets overcame Pat Burrell's fifth home run of the season against them and defeated the Phillies, 6-2, at Shea behind the pitching of Steve Trachsel and the hitting of Tsuyoshi Shinjo, who hit a three-run home run and came within a double of a cycle. The Mets moved into third place, behind the Phillies and first-place Braves, and were closer to the Braves -- 9 1/2 games -- than they were to the Wild Card leaders.
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Wednesday: Mets (Tim Redding, 2-4, 5.94) at Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 12-8, 3.33), 8:40 p.m. ET
Thursday: Mets (Pat Misch, 0-1, 3.41) at Rockies (Jason Marquis, 14-9, 3.60), 3:10 p.m. ET
Friday: Cubs (Ryan Dempster (8-7, 4.15) at Mets (Bobby Parnell, 3-7, 5.80), 7:10 p.m. ET
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.