10/16/06 2:44 AM ET
Swagger returns with powerful display
Mets set or tie several offensive franchise records in rout
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Rain, which usually follows the brand of thunder and lightning produced by the Mets' offense, is forecast for Monday.Glavine, who will be working on short rest if the game goes on as scheduled, coolly noted that "an extra day of rest [with a postponement] is not going to hurt anybody" -- especially a pitcher at the finish of a long season. The Mets hitters probably would like to come back swinging after setting a collection of club postseason records -- for runs in a game (formerly 11, in the 1969 NLCS against Atlanta), extra-base hits (six), runs in an inning (six, tying a 1999 outburst against Atlanta in the NLCS). "We were aggressive, but patient and selective," said Jose Valentin, whose three-run double, his second hit of the night, was the final blow of the six-run sixth. "It's nice to see that offensive explosion. When you have a game like that, your confidence is a lot higher the next day." Perez -- who was 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA in seven starts after coming over from Pittsburgh, where he was 2-10 -- finally weakened in the sixth, departing after solo homers by Jim Edmonds and Yadier Molina. David Eckstein had gone deep in the fifth, the seven homers by the two clubs matching a postseason record accomplished twice previously. Delgado, whose nine RBIs in the series equal Gary Carter's club postseason record from the '86 World Series, delivered his game-turning three-run shot to left in the fifth against reliever Brad Thompson after an error by second baseman Ronnie Belliard on Paul Lo Duca's sharp grounder was followed by a Beltran single. "He's been, for a long time, one of the best hitters in the game," Mets manager Willie Randolph said of Delgado. "Part of the strength and beauty of what he does as a hitter is he's a power hitter who will go the other way and take what you give him. "Very, very rare, very unique, to see a hitter like [Delgado] who can turn on you and pull the ball and then can just stay out there and serve the ball the other way." Delgado, true to character, preferred to talk in team terms.
St. Louis Air Show
|The Mets and Cardinals combined for seven home runs in Game 4 of the NLCS on Sunday night at Busch Stadium. It was the third time in postseason history that seven homers have been hit in one game.|
1989 World Series
"We worked very hard all summer to be where we're at," Delgado said. "I'm enjoying these playoffs; it's a blast. But I guess it's going to be that much sweeter when you win it."Beltran got the home run party started for New York with one out in the third when he launched a Reyes changeup into the right-field seats, ending a stretch of 14 scoreless innings by the Mets. That homer evened the game at 1, after the Cards strung together three singles for a run in the second. After Delgado flied to left, Wright unleashed a 404-foot shot into the Mets' bullpen. The Cards got even in their half of the third on Juan Encarnacion's RBI triple. The two earned runs surrendered by Thompson in the fifth doubled the Cards' total for the bullpen in their first seven postseason games. They'd given up one earned run in 21 1/3 innings before Delgado unloaded. The Mets used another part of their versatile game in the sixth after Eckstein's homer made it 5-3. Jose Reyes singled leading off the sixth against Josh Hancock and was running on the pitch when Lo Duca bounced a single through the hole to left, advancing Reyes to third. After a walk to Beltran loaded the bases, Hancock, a right-hander, was allowed to continue against Delgado -- and the big man bounced one over the wall in left-center for a ground-rule double and two more runs. Lefty Tyler Johnson was summoned after another walk to Wright loaded the bases, and Shawn Green stroked an RBI single to left center. Valentin followed with a bases-clearing double down the left-field line, the inning finally ending with Edmonds running into the center-field wall to take extra bases away from Reyes, depriving the Mets shortstop of two hits in one inning. After Beltran homered in the seventh against Braden Looper, it was left to Chad Bradford, Pedro Feliciano and Mota to finish the job -- and for Mota to deliver a very important baseball to Perez.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.