NEW YORK -- It has been over a month since Ryan Howard edged David Wright to win the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game and longer since the two were linked among baseball's bright young stars.
While Howard is powering the Philadelphia Phillies' push for the NL wild card, Wright is struggling for the NL East-leading New York Mets. Howard leads the majors with 18 homers since the All-Star break and Wright is 5-for-35 in his past 10 games and batting .200 in August. He hasn't homered since July 28.
"His whole game, like defensively, he's ridiculous on defense," Howard said of the Mets' third baseman. "There's not going to be too much that can get by. He saved them a lot of games.
"He's just got all the promise in the world. We played against each other in the minor leagues, I mean you could just see it."
The Mets and Phillies were rained out Sunday at Shea Stadium, leaving Wright and Howard with another game Monday at 12:10 p.m. Sunday's starters, Philadelphia's Jamie Moyer and New York's John Maine, are slated to pitch Monday.
It's another chance for Wright to try to get going at the plate.
"You have to just relax and let the game come to you," Wright said. "I think when you struggle you start pressing a little bit. You try to go up there and if you don't get a hit your first at-bat, you start pressing, trying to go up there and do too much. I think that's what I've been doing a little lately."
Wright, who doesn't turn 24 until December, agreed to a $55 million, six-year contract extension with New York earlier this month but said the deal isn't affecting him at the plate.
Mets manager Willie Randolph said he isn't worried about Wright.
"It's not that easy, and it's not going to be easy for David because he's had success," Randolph said. "That's great but he's going to go through ups and downs, not just this year but even next year. I think we, in this town especially, start anointing people as being great before they become great.
"What he's going through is natural."
Wright is still batting .294 with 22 homers and he's tied for second on the team with 91 RBI.
Randolph and the Mets have gotten a close look at Howard's progress during the first two games of the three-game set against Philadelphia. Howard hit a two-run homer in Philadelphia's 4-3 victory Friday night and a grand slam in New York's 11-5 win Saturday night.
Howard leads the NL with 46 homers and 121 RBI.
"He's a good player," Wright said of the Phillies' first baseman. "He's got a lot of power. He hits to all fields with power. He's putting up some amazing numbers. For a young player to come up and do what he's done, it's very impressive."
Mets left-hander Tom Glavine, recovering from an angiogram, threw a bullpen session Saturday and Randolph said it went well. "He was able to cut loose on a few and said he felt great," Randolph said. Glavine hopes to start against the Houston Astros on Friday night. ... Mets right-hander Orlando Hernandez threw in the outfield Sunday. Hernandez was scheduled to start last Friday but was pushed back in the rotation as a precaution. Randolph said he isn't certain when Hernandez will start again. ... With Sunday's rainout, Philadelphia remains 17-5 on Sunday this season.