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Manuel gives Wright break vs. Nats

5/20/2010 - MLB David Wright New York Mets + more

New York Mets third baseman David Wright sat out Wednesday's game against the Nationals.

Manager Jerry Manuel says his struggling star needs a break.

"We have to make decisions at times to give people a break here or there. I just thought today would be a good time to give him a break. He's a guy that he loves to compete," Manuel said before the Mets opened a two-game series against the Nats.

Fernando Tatis took Wright's place in the lineup.

"You want to play, but I don't fill out the lineup card," Wright said. "It's Jerry's decision. He wants to get [Fernando] Tatis in there. I'll be out there on the bench supporting these guys. But the important thing is to go out there and win. If he feels Tatis gives us the best chance to do that tonight, I'm all for it."

Manuel is looking at the bigger picture, however, trying to get Wright mentally refreshed during a stretch in which he's shown frustration while striking out in a career-high 15 straight games.

As for whether he lobbied Manuel to stay in the lineup, Wright said: "I've never liked having off-days, and I don't enjoy having off-days. But sometimes the staff and the coaches think that's best for the players. Those guys make those decisions and we abide by them. He basically told me that he wanted me to take today [off]. Of course, I told him I'd rather play. Like I said, ultimately it's his decision."

Wright struck out in his final three at-bats and committed a game-ending throwing error in the ninth inning of the Mets' 3-2 loss to the Braves on Tuesday, forcing his manager's hand on the Wednesday move.

On the season, Wright is hitting .262 and has struck out an NL-leading 55 times.

Adam Rubin covers the Mets for ESPNNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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