NEW YORK -- Not unexpectedly, R.A. Dickey found the movie "Knuckleball" gripping.

"I have seen a rough cut, and it was pretty neat," Dickey said. "It kind of captures the essence of the men who threw it."

The film will have a free premiere Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival in advance of a national release this summer.

"They used [Tim Wakefield's] quest for 200 [wins] as kind of a story arc that they bounce on and off, exploring the men who threw the pitch -- Charlie [Hough], Phil [Niekro], [Tom] Candiotti, and [Jim] Bouton.

"The cinematography is fantastic. To capture what a knuckleball looks like in slow motion is pretty awesome. I think the movie does the pitch justice. A lot of time that pitch isn't given the proper respect."

Dickey appeared with Hough, his mentor, on the field before Friday opener against the Giants at Citi Field. The two were fixed up by Orel Hershiser and Buck Showalter while Dickey was making the conversion to full-time knuckleballer in 2005 with Texas.

"He watched me throw, changed my grip immediately, and that was one of the stepping stones to getting comfortable with it," Dickey said. "We have been connected ever since.

"He is on my speed dial whenever I start struggling. I can't turn to Mike Pelfrey for help with my knuckleball, I'll call [Hough] or [Wakefield] or Phil. I am the product of a lot of people who have poured into me in a way that has been very generous, and Charlie has been a big part of that."

Wright one RBI from carving out slice of history

NEW YORK -- Time may not fly any faster than a baseball coming off David Wright's bat this season. But the years move quickly, regardless.

Wright already has been the Mets' third baseman for nine seasons. And the next run he drives in, No. 734, will push him past Darryl Strawberry as the franchise's all-time leader.

"It's a big deal to be able to drive in runs, but I don't know about records and stuff," said Wright, who had three RBIs in Atlanta on Wednesday night to bring his total to eight in nine games this season. "Straw was one of my favorite players growing up [in Norfolk, Va., where the Mets had their Triple-A team], and it's well documented I tried to emulate his swing.

"Getting to know him as a person has been great for me, and to be classified kind of in that category is pretty special. But numbers and personal things are nice to enjoy when you are done playing. It so difficult to pat yourself on the back and at the same time get ready for today's game.

After Friday night's loss to the Giants, in which he went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to 10 games, Wright was leading the Majors with a .486 average.

"We're talking about 12 games into the season, a small sample size," he said. "The most important thing for me and the team is to gain some sort of consistency. We're a young team, we have to find a happy medium.

"The last couple games [losses in Atlanta], we played terrible. We have to find a way to stop that kind of bleeding before it gets out of hand. We haven't been able to do that in our losses.

"You are never as good as you are when you are going hot or a bad as when you are struggling. Have to find that happy medium and not ride that roller-coaster."

Hot, however, is hot. And a good start certainly beats the alternative. Indeed, according to manager Terry Collins, Wright will not concede that alternative.

"In 1994 [as Astros manager], what I saw from Jeff [Bagwell], it didn't matter what night it was, how many times he was up, every single at-bat meant something," recalled Collins. "Behind 5-0 or 10-0, he didn't just go up there to get the game over, and at the end of the year his numbers were enormous, even though that year was cut short.

"That's what I see of David. Every time he goes up, there he is, bound and determined to put a good swing on it."

Worth noting

• After a tough start to the season, Ike Davis came into Friday night's game against the Giants with three home runs and six RBIs in his last four games.

"The first five or six games, they really pitched him tough," manager Terry Collins said. "Fastballs off the plate called strikes, and a steady stream off offspeed stuff. If it's a mistake, you have to do something with it, and Ike is starting to do that. He is seeing the ball better."