With the Mets bullpen performing nightly acts of self-humiliation, someone was going to have to step up and take things out of their hands to salvage anything from this season.
Enter David Wright. On a day when it felt like a loss would lead to the total abandonment of the Mets bandwagon, the Mets' best player did everything in his power to make sure that the loss never came.
Wright homered in his first two at-bats (and homered in three straight going back to the futile ninth inning comeback on Wednesday) and drove in five runs as the Mets ended their six-game losing streak with a 9-5 win in Washington. It was as close to a must-win game as you can get at this point in the season and it is little surprise that Wright was the driving force behind it.
Despite the team's overall offensive success -- fourth in the National League in runs -- Wright has been the only consistently reliable and consistently dangerous part of the lineup. It's surprising that teams are still allowing themselves to be beaten by Wright, since pitching around him would put all of the pressure on players who haven't shown much of an ability to handle it this season.
The Mets will take the willful ignorance of their opposition every day of the week and twice on Sunday because even Thursday's victory came with giant honking reminders of how off the rails this thing still threatens to go. R.A. Dickey was better than he'd been in his last two starts, but the only reason his 7.1 inning/10 hit/four run outing isn't being used as a sign of continued slippage is because the offense scored nine runs.
It's Dickey winning a battle or throwing the right pitch at the right time or giving his team a chance to win, to use a trio of phrases popular among baseball folk who like to let the result dictate the way they read the performance. More truthfully, it is the latest sign that the otherworldly Dickey has given way to a more earthbound one.
That's fine and it's still better than the bullpen, which loaded the bases in the eighth and saw Bobby Parnell allow a run while flirting with outright disaster in the ninth before getting the last out. If ever you needed a reminder that one win doesn't change all that much, they were happy to provide it.
Wright didn't need much of one, saying after the game that it was still a brutal 1-5 road trip. It was, but it is now over and, thanks to Wright, there's still reason to care what happens next.
London 2012 is right around the corner. Get the top Olympic news, including what to watch, results and features on our local athletes here.