Delgado and Dempster Do Cubbies In Again

Hard to say who has done the Mets more good in their matchups this season with the Cubs. On the one hand, Carlos Delgado has now had three late-inning, game-changing at-bats in 5 games against the Cubs, all three of which have resulted in victories and Ryan Dempster has given up 9 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Mets this season.

Either way, the Mets banged out 4 runs in an explosive 9th to humiliate the Cubbies pen yet again with a 6-2 victory.

From the onset, this game had all the markings of an exciting postseason game.

The NL's winningest pitcher in Carlos Zambrano against El Duque, who is 3-0 with 2.48 ERA since the All Star game. Eddie Vedder singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game for the 7th inning stretch. Wrigley Field, beautiful summer afternoon and both teams in first place for the first time EVER in a game played in August or later.

Other than the 9th inning, this was the highlight of the game although the wuthering arse kissing by Lem and Bob in the WGN booth when Eddie came down from the mountain to discuss baseball was a bit disheartening...

For a long time the Mets didn't look like they were capable of clutch hits, another crap performance with runners in scoring position looked like it was going to be their downfall.

Zambrano walked seven batters on his own through his 5 innings of work before Ramon Castro's silencing shot and "heat-related" cramping forced him from the game. Overall, by the 9th inning the Mets had gone 1 for 9 with RISP and had left 12 runners on base, 9 of whom made it on free passes. The victory couldn't have been more gift-wrapped.

Duque outdueled the NL's winningest pitcher but didn't get the victory...

In fact, the 10th walk of the game for the Cubs' staff turned out to be the winning run when Delgado doubled David Wright home in the 9th to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. Delgado had himself been walked his first four times to the plate.

Lingering Thoughts

David Newhan nearly causing another outfield gaffe

1. David Newhan - replacing Moises Alou in left field and batting second, Newhan had a wretched ballgame until his grab in the 8th prevented a certain extra base hit and probably prevented Guillermo Mota from coming apart at the seams. Still, that ugly run into the ivy wall on a ball that probably couldn't have been caught but still could have been dealt with a little more dexterity than a simple blind run into the wall, was a mark against Newhan in leftfield in lieu of Lastings. Worse still, when the Cubbies put Reyes on with an intentional walk in the 8th (which is in essence, an intentional two-base walk) to put men on second and third with the score tied, Newhan had his chance to shine. Instead he struck out, a meak whiff, another failed Met with RISP. The Cubs were proved right, gambling they'd rather put a second run in scoring position than have to pitch to Reyes when a Newhan was there waiting to be fooled.

2. Mota - I have to say, I thought for sure summoning Mota, (and Willie seems determined to keep going to Guillermo until it starts to pay off,) was simply trouble waiting to happen with the score tied. However, Mota had a respectable outing and kept trouble at bay. Is there a method to Willie's madness perhaps? Work Mota over and over until he gets it right and gets in the groove? Stayed tuned.

3. Ramon Castro - A solid replacement catcher and hell, his homer to give the Mets a 1-0 lead in the 6th was his 6th homer in his last 20 games, a pace for about 48 homers on the season but damn, he's also doing a helluva Mike Piazza impersonation out there; lame failures at throwing runners out. When Derek Lee stole 2nd in the 8th it meant that for the season Castro has only thrown out 2 runners out of 25 steal attempts. That's Piazza Country for defensive uselessness behind the plate.

4. It's a testament to the Mets bench, commentary on Newhan, Castro's and perhaps even Gotay's fielding aside, that with Moises Alou, Castillo, Lo Duca and Beltran out of the starting lineup, the replacement team of Newhan, Gotay, Castro and Marlon Anderson respectively, was more than inadequate if not impressive.

5. Lou Piniella, go on a diet you fat bastid. Watching him waddle out to the mound several times for conversations with his pitchers was positively excruciating. It's hard to believe this guy was ever an athlete watching him with those spindly arms, sumo gut and bird legs and hey, as a manager, your team was just dropped from first place again so...

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