Carlos Delgado is running the show out there. So says manager Jerry Manuel, a guy who, along with just about everyone else in the New York Mets’ organization, wasn’t terribly impressed with the way the first baseman was carrying himself earlier in the season.
Delgado helped power the Mets to their ninth win in their last 10 Thursday night when his ninth-inning single off the glove of Atlanta Braves left fielder Omar Infante scored David Wright with the winning run in their 5-4 victory. (The Mets added a 3-0 win over Houston on Friday.)
It was Delgado’s fifth hit of Thursday’s game, marking just the second time in his career that he has collected five hits. Delgado had three RBIs and has driven in 49 runs in his last 48 games.
But it is not just Delgado’s prowess at the plate that has made Manuel into a believer. It’s the way he’s interacting with his teammates.
“I think what he has done is really invested in the team,” Manuel said after the game, which increased the Mets’ lead over the Phillies to 2 1/2 games. “He’s the head guy, so the investment he has made in his teammates says a lot about the leadership.”
It was clear that Delgado felt nothing but confidence when he walked to the plate with one out and David Wright on second.
“I felt pretty good today,” Delgado said. “I felt good and I was seeing the ball good.”
Manuel said that he can see the change in his first baseman when his team is in the field.
“He’s the guy going to the mound, settling the pitcher, talking to the catcher,” Manuel said. “He’s really invested not only offensively, but in running things out there. You see David Wright out there doing the same thing. Hopefully, it’s contagious.”
Drew has herniated disk
Boston Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew has a herniated disk in his back, but is optimistic the pain will subside without a trip to the disabled list.
Drew left last Sunday’s game with tightness in his lower back and missed all three games of Boston’s recent series in Baltimore. He was expected to return to the lineup Friday but had to be scratched when the soreness returned.
Drew is batting .280 with 19 homers and 64 RBIs.
Wilkerson lands on DL
The Blue Jays placed outfielder Brad Wilkerson on the 15-day disabled list with lower back spasms and added utilityman Jose Bautista to the 25-man roster.
Bautista, acquired from Pittsburgh on Thursday for a player to be named, was not in the lineup Friday. He will start at third base today when the Blue Jays face Boston left-hander Jon Lester, manager Cito Gaston said.
Clearing the bases
The Texas Rangers activated infielder Hank Blalock from the 15-day disabled list and optioned former Spokane Indian Travis Metcalf to Triple-A Oklahoma. Blalock first went on the DL after tearing his left hamstring on April 25. He also had surgery to relieve carpal tunnel syndrome in his right hand. … Baseball owners and players were close to finalizing an agreement on instant replay, and an announcement on the start of the innovation likely will be announced next week. Management and the umpires’ union signed an agreement Wednesday, leaving a deal with players as the next step. … St. Louis right-hander Chris Carpenter increased the effort in his second bullpen session, but the 2005 N.L. Cy Young winner may not return before Sept. 1 when rosters can be expanded. Carpenter said he’ll probably need at least two more bullpen sessions before he will be cleared to return.
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