|N.Y. Mets (62-47) «||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||4||6||9||1|
|Chi. Cubs (57-51)||0||0||0||0||0||1||1||0||0||2||8||0|
But when it came time to swing the bats Friday, the Mets were ready in the ninth inning.
Delgado walked four times before hitting go-ahead double, the first of five hits in a four-run rally against Ryan Dempster that lifted New York over the Cubs 6-2 and extended the Mets' winning streak to three.
The loss, coupled with the Milwaukee Brewers' 2-1 win over Philadelphia, dropped the Cubs a game back in the NL Central.
"When we score runs, it is usually because we're patient and make the pitchers work," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We waited a while before we got some big hits. But in the ninth we got a bunch of clutch two-out hits. ... We had a chance to pour it on, and did."
New York walked 11 times, seven issued by Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano.
"He was a little bit more wild than usual," Delgado said.
Zambrano failed in his bid to become the major leagues' first 15 game-winner and was forced out in the sixth inning by heat-related cramps.
"He's a power throwing guy, and every once in a while things will get away from him," Randolph said. "You hope you catch guys on those days. To beat a good pitcher you have to get some help from him. He was just a little bit erratic."
So was Dempster, who earlier this season gave up five ninth-inning runs against the Mets at Shea Stadium.
"They're good hitters. If I didn't face the Mets this year, I'd have a heck of a year" Dempster said. "I can't give up four runs in one inning. I'm not that bad. I'm better than that."
Delgado's double off Dempster (2-4) followed a leadoff walk to David Wright as the Mets (62-47) moved 15 games over .500 for the first time since early June. Delgado scored on Shawn Green's two-out double inside the third-base line for a 4-2 lead.
Green came in on an RBI single by Ruben Gotay, pinch-hitter Moises Alou singled and Jose Reyes got the Mets' fifth hit of the inning, another run-scoring single that led to boos among the 41,512 fans at Wrigley Field.
Guillermo Mota (1-0) pitched out of an eighth-inning jam to gain his first major league win since serving a 50-game suspension for a positive steroid test.
Zambrano gave up two hits, including a homer to Ramon Castro, and tied a career high by walking seven in five-plus innings.
He said the heat that caused parts of his arms and a leg to cramp up had nothing to do with his wildness. He blamed his problem on dehydration.
"I don't like to drink too much water, and I have to start doing that," said Zambrano, who'd had a heat-related headache in a game against the Giants last month, when he lasted just five innings.
Mets starter Orlando Hernandez allowed two runs and five hits, including a sixth-inning homer by Derrek Lee. Jason Kendall hit a two-out RBI double off the ivy-covered wall in left to tie the game at 2-2 in the seventh, finishing El Duque, who struck out nine and walked one.
"It was hot. In the seventh inning, I felt a little tired, you know. I wanted to stay on the mound after the double, but I respect the decision of the manager," Hernandez said. "I wanted to try for one more out, you know."
Lee reached third in the bottom of the inning after a single, stolen base and throwing error on Castro before Aramis Ramirez flied out against Mota.
Wright singled for the Mets' first hit with two outs in the fifth and Delgado drew the Mets' seventh walk to load the bases. Zambrano got out of the jam by striking out Anderson, then pumped his fist wildly and made a spin move in front of the mound.
As Zambrano warmed up to start the sixth, manager Lou Piniella stood near the third base line and watched to see how the right-hander was feeling.
Zambrano gave up the homer to Castro and had a 1-1 count on Green when trainer Mark O'Neal and Piniella came to mound. After a brief chat, Piniella took the ball and called on Marmol.
Zambrano threw 93 pitches on a comfortable 77-degree day with the wind blowing in.
Lee's 12th homer was a two-out solo shot off Hernandez that tied the game in the sixth. Castro's ninth homer had put the Mets ahead in the top of the inning.
|David Wright scores on Carlos Delgado's double in the ninth for the Mets, who benefit from 11 walks. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|New York Mets|
|Jose Reyes, SS||5||0||1||1||1||0||0||.303|
|David Newhan, LF||4||1||0||0||2||2||4||.200|
|David Wright, 3B||3||1||1||0||2||1||1||.304|
|Carlos Delgado, 1B||1||1||1||1||4||0||0||.251|
|Marlon Anderson, CF||5||0||1||1||0||2||6||.246|
|Ramon Castro, C||5||1||1||1||0||2||4||.300|
|Shawn Green, RF||4||1||1||1||1||1||0||.270|
|Ruben Gotay, 2B||4||1||2||1||1||2||2||.352|
|Luis Castillo, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Orlando Hernandez, P||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.184|
|Pedro Feliciano, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Damion Easley, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.275|
|Guillermo Mota, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Moises Alou, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.311|
|Billy Wagner, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Feliciano in the 8th|
|b-singled for Mota in the 9th|
|2B - Carlos Delgado (25, Dempster), Shawn Green (24, Dempster), Ruben Gotay (8, Howry)|
|HR - Ramon Castro (9, Zambrano)|
|RBI - Jose Reyes (44), Carlos Delgado (60), Marlon Anderson (12), Ramon Castro (27), Shawn Green (31), Ruben Gotay (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Reyes (19), Marlon Anderson (9), Shawn Green (15), Ruben Gotay (9)|
|SB - Jose Reyes (52, 2nd base off Howry/Kendall), David Newhan (2, 2nd base off Marmol/Kendall)|
|Team LOB - 14|
|DP - Reyes-Delgado|
|E - Ramon Castro (2, Throwing)|
|New York Mets|
|Guillermo Mota (W,1-0)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.84|
|Pitches-Strikes - Orlando Hernandez 109-67, Pedro Feliciano 5-3, Guillermo Mota 16-9, Billy Wagner 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Orlando Hernandez 3-8, Billy Wagner 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Orlando Hernandez 26, Pedro Feliciano 1, Guillermo Mota 4, Billy Wagner 4|
|Alfonso Soriano, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.299|
|Ryan Theriot, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.281|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||4||1||2||1||0||1||0||.330|
|Aramis Ramirez, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.318|
|Cliff Floyd, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.294|
|Mark DeRosa, 2B||4||1||2||0||0||1||0||.290|
|Jacque Jones, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.245|
|Jason Kendall, C||3||0||1||1||1||1||2||.227|
|Carlos Zambrano, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||2||.281|
|Carlos Marmol, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Mike Fontenot, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.308|
|b- Matt Murton, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||.256|
|Bob Howry, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Dempster, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-announced for Marmol in the 7th|
|b-struck out for Fontenot in the 7th|
|2B - Aramis Ramirez (24, Hernandez), Jacque Jones (19, Hernandez), Jason Kendall (13, Hernandez)|
|HR - Derrek Lee (12, Hernandez)|
|RBI - Derrek Lee (58), Jason Kendall (26)|
|2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (18), Jason Kendall (12)|
|SB - Derrek Lee (5, 3rd base off Mota/Castro)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Ryan Dempster (L,2-4)||1||5||4||4||1||1||0||3.76|
|IBB - Delgado by Carlos Marmol, Reyes by Bob Howry|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 91-48, Carlos Marmol 37-21, Bob Howry 30-21, Ryan Dempster 26-17|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 7-3, Carlos Marmol 1-1, Bob Howry 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 24, Carlos Marmol 9, Bob Howry 5, Ryan Dempster 9|
|Attendance - 41512|
|Game Time - 3:08|
|Temperature - 77|
|Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Field Culbreth|