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Delgado's Torrid Stretch Is Winning Back Mets Fans

Friday, September 12, 2008

A few months ago, Mets 1B Carlos Delgado looked finished. Talk-show hosts and headline writers were ready to run him out of town, and Shea Stadium fans were chanting "Dump Delgado!" nearly every night.

But as Delgado, 36, bounced back with 24 homers and 69 RBI in his last 67 games, the chants have turned to "M-V-P! M-V-P!"

Delgado is batting .310 since the start of July, boosting his average to .264 with 35 homers and 104 RBI.

"It's pretty cool," he said. "It's a lot nicer than the boos, I'll tell you that much."

After struggling through the worst season of his prolific career in 2007, which ended when he broke his left hand on the final day of the season, he got off to a horrendous start this year. Dropped as low as seventh in the order, Delgado was batting .228 on June 30 and it appeared he'd never again be the fearsome slugger who carried offenses in Toronto -- or anything even close.

Delgado, a left-handed hitter, homered twice in consecutive games this week to give him four multihomer games in a span of 13. His seven multihomer games this season match Dave Kingman's club record set in 1976.

· OLD MAN RIVER: Phillies LHP Jamie Moyer can rest his arm when he retires. For now, the old man is doing whatever it takes to extend Philadelphia's season.

Moyer (14-7) won again yesterday, against the Brewers, to reach 244 career victories. No non-knuckleball pitcher 45 years or older has won more games in a season than Moyer, who is 7-1 in his last 13 starts and improved to 6-3 in 15 career starts on three days' rest.

"He's been consistent all year," Manager Charlie Manuel said of Moyer, the oldest player in the majors. "Goes to show you the old man can still pitch."

· CUBS-ASTROS PPD.: The first two games of this weekend's series between the Cubs and Astros in Houston have been postponed because of the potential impact of Hurricane Ike.

Baseball officials were anticipating that Sunday's series finale also might be postponed. One of the scenarios under consideration was to play a doubleheader Monday, and make up the third game on Sept. 29 if it's needed to decide a playoff berth. The Cubs and Astros have no common off days after Monday.

"It'll be a fluid situation in regard to how the storm moves and other issues that may or may not occur," Houston GM Ed Wade said.

Wade said other venues were considered, but he would not be specific.

· CREDE FRUSTRATED: Frustrated by his latest bout with a sore back that has left him sidelined during his team's push for the playoffs, White Sox 3B Joe Crede will seek a second opinion.

Crede, eligible to be a free agent after the season, had back surgery last year but rebounded to hit .252 with 16 homers and 49 RBI in the first half this season. However, his back flared up and he spent a month on the disabled list from July 25 to Aug. 24 and hasn't played since Sept. 2. Crede is batting .216 with one homer and six RBI in 11 games since the all-star break.

-- From News Services

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