Reaching the postseason may be a long shot for the surging New York Mets, but it just got tougher with the loss of David Wright for the rest of the season.
Facing one of the hottest pitchers in baseball isn't likely to help, either.The Mets attempt to win for the seventh time in eight tries by solving red-hot rookie Tyler Matzek and completing a sweep of the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.Winning six of seven games behind a .290 batting average -- 62 points above its season mark -- has kept New York (70-75) relevant in the race for the NL's second wild-card spot. The Mets are 5 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh for that position, with Milwaukee, Atlanta and Miami between them.Making up that ground got more difficult after Wright was ruled out for the rest of the season because of persistent inflammation in the rotator cuff of his left shoulder.The All-Star third baseman is expected to rest before starting a rehab program to strengthen the shoulder.The Mets are 4-7 without him despite his dip in production. He has a career-low eight homers while batting .269 with 63 RBIs.Wright had a double and a triple in Monday's 3-2 win over Colorado (59-86), but was scratched from the lineup Tuesday. New York, though, overcame his absence to win 2-0."Just a really good team win right there," said All-Star second baseman Daniel Murphy, who went 1 for 3 in his return from the disabled list. "A little bit of a sour taste in your mouth with what's going on with David."The Mets have not had a six-game home winning streak over the Rockies since 2008-09.Matzek (5-9, 4.32 ERA), Colorado's first-round pick in the 2009 draft, has won three straight starts behind a 0.78 ERA after compiling an 8.06 mark while losing each of his previous five.The left-hander also brings a Rockies rookie record 21-inning shutout streak into this game, which is also the longest on the staff this year."I feel like I was finding my groove in the last two or three games," Matzek said. "Definitely feeling good. Just everything's working: fastball location, slider, changeup, curveball. Everything feels right, right now."It certainly did Friday, when Matzek threw a three-hitter in a 3-0 win over San Diego. He became the fourth rookie in team history to record a shutout and the first to do it at hitter-friendly Coors Field.He's also 5-0 with a 0.97 ERA in as many starts when pitching at least seven innings."We're seeing a kid get better and better with just about every start," manager Walt Weiss said. "I've talked about his poise and maturity and he continues to show that. And he continues to show a very good slider. You saw left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters taking some funny swings at that thing."The Rockies have won five of their last 35 road games, and the last two have come with Matzek pitching.The Mets are countering with their own promising arm as Rafael Montero (0-3, 5.23) gets a spot start after being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday.The rookie right-hander is expected to move to the bullpen for the remainder of the season, and he went 6-4 with a 3.45 ERA in 18 starts in the minors this year.