Mets 1B Carlos Delgado continued his recent turn-back-the-clock routine Tuesday night, hitting an 8th inning, 2-run HR off the Marlins’ Renyel Pinto, a key blow in New York’s 4-1 victory. Since June 27, Delgado’s clobbered 13 home runs and accumulated 25 RBI’s. He’s also seen his batting average rise from .232 to .262, his OPS increasing by more than 100 points, a stunning turnaround that’s caused many observers to wonder how they should properly account for this career resurrection. Has Delgado finally recovered from his wrist and hip woes? Has Willie Randolph’s departure been something of a relief? Or could this be Carlos D’s personal crusade to make one Long Island-based columnist look silly? If you picked “C”, surely Newsday’s Ken Davidoff deserves consideration for a Mets playoff share by virtue of penning the following on June 28, the day after Delgado hit 3 HR’s at Yankee Stadium.
Game 1 will go down as a memorable aberration in this downward slope of Delgado’s career bell curve, rather than serving as a springboard for the 36-year-old’s revival; he went 0-for-2 with two walks in the Mets’ 9-0 Game 2 loss to Sidney Ponson, of all people.
Come season’s end, Delgado’s statistics might look decent, the product of a few more binges. But that he’ll leave the Mets, nonetheless, trailed by a cloud of disappointment.
Mets fans have taken on Delgado this year as much for his body language as his stats. The way he barely seems to move on balls hit in his vicinity. The way his shoulders slump after a strikeout. He seems to be a different guy from the freethinking, note-taking, ball-raking leader who first came here in 2006.
Wright, always the optimist, praised his teammate. Said Wright: “He’s a guy that, when he gets hot, he gets stupid hot. He can be one of the best run-producers in the league.”
Maybe. Probably not. But for one glorious afternoon in the Bronx, at least, Delgado entered his personal time tunnel, padded his impressive resume and won the Mets a ballgame.