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10/14/06 1:05 AM ET

Mets Short Hops: Game 2

Wagner falters in ninth after Delgado's big night

NEW YORK -- The Mets took the lead twice, but the Cardinals rallied to take Game 2 and return to St. Louis with a 1-1 series tie.

In < 25 words ...
Carlos Delgado homered twice and kept his torrid postseason pace alive, but the Mets lost in nightmarish fashion as Billy Wagner allowed three in the ninth.

Frozen moment
With a 6-4 lead, Guillermo Mota put two men on with two outs in the seventh inning. Mota got two quick strikes on Scott Spiezio and looked like he would escape any damage. But then, on an 0-2 count, he fired an inside fastball to Spiezio. The Cardinals third baseman, who was playing in place of Scott Rolen, lined it toward deep right. Shawn Green raced to the fence, leaped and nearly snared the fly ball. The ball bounced off Green's glove and back into play, and right-field umpire Tim Welke signaled that it was not a homer. Spiezaio had a two-run triple. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa came out to argue. All six umpires conferred and Welke's call stood, keeping the game tied at 6. Aaron Heilman entered the game and then forced Juan Encarnacion into an inning-ending groundout to second.

Big number
13 -- Friday the 13th produced both the good and the bad for the Mets. First, the bad happened. In the third inning, with the Mets leading 4-2, the Cardinals' 13th batter of the game, Jim Edmonds, stepped to the plate with Albert Pujols on base and ripped a one-out homer to center to tie the game. The good came when Green prevented the Cardinals from scoring the 13th run of the game, but it was short-lived as the number 13 came back to haunt the Mets when So Taguchi homered in the ninth off Wagner to give the Cardinals a 7-6 lead and an eventual win.

Game balls
4 Balls -- Delgado continues to impress in the playoffs, hitting two home runs, raising his postseason total to three. He has now hit safely in each playoff game and is batting .500 for the Division and Championship Series.

2 Balls -- Chad Bradford entered the game to start the fifth in relief of starter John Maine, who had allowed the Cardinals to score four runs and tie the game. The submariner retired five straight before allowing a two-out single to Yadier Molina in the sixth inning.

2 Balls -- Heilman prevented the Cardinals from taking the lead in the seventh and then, in the eighth, after putting a runner on with one out, got out of the inning with a strikeout and a groundout.

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Sense of October
Delgado has definitely embraced the month of October. His solo homer in the fifth off Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter broke a 4-4 game and awoke the LCS-record crowd of 56,349 at Shea Stadium. Delgado's three-run homer in the first, a 440-foot blast to left-center, gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. Delgado is the fourth Met to hit two homers in a postseason game. Rusty Staub (Game 3 vs. Cincinnati in 1973) is the only other Met to hit two LCS home runs in one game. Gary Carter hit two homers in Game 4 of the 1986 World Series at Boston. Edgardo Alfonzo was the last Met to hit two homers in a postseason game (1999 at Arizona in Game 1 of the NLDS). Delgado tied Staub's club mark with four RBIs in an LCS Game. Staub also had four RBIs in Game 3 of the NLCS in 1973, vs. Cincinnati.

Lines of the Game
Carlos Delgado
5 AB, 2 H, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs
Comment: Delgado has hit safely in nine straight games, including the last four regular-season contests.

Jose Reyes
4 AB, 2 R, 3 H, 1 2B, 1 BB
Comment: Reyes reached base four times on Friday night.

John Maine
4 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 H, 5 BB, 3 Ks
Comment: Maine was erratic to say the least, throwing 88 pitches in four innings, only 47 of which were strikes.

Chad Bradford
1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Comment: Bradford entered the game and held the Redbirds scoreless after Maine's outing.

Aaron Heilman
1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
Comment: Heilman stopped the damage in the seventh.

"He's been amazing. He got us started tonight, but we couldn't hold onto it for him. It's too bad."
-- Manager Willie Randolph, on Delgado

Next Step
Steve Trachsel makes his first LCS start and second career postseason appearance in Game 3 on Saturday, trying to help the Mets rebound from Friday's devastating loss in Game 2.

Chris Girandola is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.