06/19/06 7:30 PM ET
Infielders share Player of Week honors
Wright, Reyes anchored Mets' offensive attack in past week
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
For a New York team that seems to be able to do little wrong these days, it was the left side of the infield that provided the spark in a week where the team went 4-2.
On Monday, Bank of America honored Wright and Reyes with Player of the Week awards for their performances during the span from June 12-18. The two New York teammates follow another teammate, Carlos Beltran, who earned the same accolade a week earlier for his own offensive outburst.
But in a week where New York added an additional three-game cushion to stretch its lead in the N.L East to 9 1/2 games, Reyes and Wright proved to be the team's two leading catalysts.
In the six-game span, Reyes led the league with a .500 batting average and nine runs scored. Among the 13 hits he recorded, six were for extra bases. Reyes' hitting escapade increased his season average from .246 to .269, and the shortstop has now hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games.
"If I don't hit home runs, I have to walk and run," said Reyes, who has done plenty of that recently as well.
The leadoff hitter had three walks last week, and his three stolen bases moved his league-leading total to 30 so far this season. Though Reyes is not a likely threat to go deep, the pesky shortstop seemed to drive a Mets rally each time he landed on the basepaths.
"He's developed faster than most people would have thought," Mets manager Willie Randolph said of his 23-year-old shortstop.
Reyes' fruitful week also put to rest any concern that a banged up right wrist would stunt his hitting productivity. After sitting out June 6-7 to prevent any further injury, Reyes has batted .395 with seven doubles.
For his teammate Wright last week, the equation was simple: Four games. Four home runs. Four wins.
Wright led the league with those four home runs and 11 RBIs and posted a .333 batting average in addition to an imposing .833 slugging percentage.
"Good players do that, by stepping up at the right time and coming through with a big hit," said Randolph after Wright hit his third career grand slam to pace New York to a five-run win on Sunday.
But calling Wright a "good player" isn't giving him his due credit. The 23-year-old third baseman, who also earned Player of the Week accolades once in 2005, has now hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games, six of which were multi-hit games. And in games where Wright has gone deep this season, the Mets hold a 12-1 record.
"David's turned himself into one of the players we can lean on," said pitcher Tom Glavine. "He's developed into an intelligent hitter who makes adjustments."
Even though it was his home runs -- the fourth of which was Wright's third career grand slam -- that had the New York faithful enthusiastically chanting "MVP! MVP!," Wright's contributions weren't limited to just his bat.
It was a defensive play on Tuesday night that sealed the first game of what would become a three-game sweep over the second-place Phillies. With Philadelphia down by only two runs in its last at-bat, Wright snagged a line drive down the left-field line that appeared to be a headed to the outfield corner. Wright recovered in time to induce a 5-4-3 double play and single-handedly halted the Phillies' comeback attempt.
"The best play I've ever seen over there," Carlos Delgado said after the win. "And that it came in the ninth inning with a two-run lead made it even better."
Numerous other N.L. hitters were considered for Player of the Week honors, including Milwaukee's Carlos Lee (.333, 3 HR, 8 RBIs), St. Louis' Juan Encarnacion (.480, 2 HR, 8 RBIs) and Colorado's Todd Helton (.462, 1 HR, 6 RBIs).
N.L. pitchers Josh Johnson (2-0, 1.54 ERA, 12 K) from Florida and Chris Carpenter (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 17 K) from St. Louis were also strongly considered for the award.
Jenifer Langosch is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.