Alright, I have only three minutes, so my first few thoughts—–
Delgado—-I told everybody so! I clamored for a year and a half back to the winter of ’04 that he was the most important player for the Mets to acquire. As a long time Blue Jay fan I’m a huge fan of his. Yesterday though he confirmed completely my confidence, not just in his physical abilities but in his baseball intelligence. Often during the year after his red hot bat propelled us into first place by an indomitable clip in April, he would spend much of his slumping periods seemingly refusing to adjust his swing for situations.
He seemed to consciously maintain the role of slugger and take some avoidable strike outs rather than give up the potential big impact extra base hits. This worked out fine as it always turned out because eventually sticking with the emphasis on power meant that when the laws of averages caught up, the runs not driven in with adjusted swing singles eventually were more than made up for with homerun tears later on. Over the course of the season, if you drive in the 114 runs, the team will win enough games over the long haul.
But yesterday, in must-win mode, Carlos didn’t worry about being a slugger but focused on the game at hand and getting the pivotal RBI singles when he needed them. He proved a smart enough player to adjust to the immediate necessities of the game. Only in his last at bat did he try to club one out after taking four straight pitches and got himself struck out. But that was the right time to do so. With a two run lead and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 8th, it was the time to just put the game away or be okay with the lead as was.
I’ve always said he belongs in the Hall of Fame some day. Day one of his first postseason he is already starting to make the extent of his power, his clutchness, and his intelligence as a hitter famous on the national stage that could go a long way to his getting the recognition he deserves.