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'Los Cause

Scratching out two singles makes him just a bit less Wilson Delgado and a bit more Carlos Delgado for the day (though that fifth-inning cutoff clank which allowed Cano an extra base and eventually an extra run was worthy of Marvelous Marv Delgadoberry). Alas, if one can take a slight breather from mulling What's Wrong With Carlos Delgado?, one must now join in progress the vigil as regards What's Wrong With Carlos Beltran?

On an endless afternoon when everybody hit somebody sometime, Beltran didn't hit at all, didn't get on base, didn't show any signs that he is Carlos Beltran, millionaire, who owns a mansion and a yacht. 0 for 6. Oh for six. Six times up, no times on. There isn't a way to term it or type it that makes it any less unappetizing.

What's wrong here? The knee? Getting his timing after taking time to heal the knee? Retraining his eye? Not that the game wasn't lost many times [1] in many ways by many Mets between innings one and eight, but how on earth could a man who is so incredibly skilled at taking pitches (ahem) swing at the very first one thrown toward him by Mariano Rivera after the Greatest Blah Blah Blah Ever is obviously waaaaay the fuck off his stride? Rivera threw 32 pitches to 7 batters and allowed 5 hits in the ninth. He throws 1 pitch to Beltran and Beltran swings at it and Rivera slithers away essentially unmolested.

I can't imagine how one differentiates, from the batter's box, in nanoseconds, between a good pitch to swing at and a good pitch to take. But after a closer in a non-save situation — which always screws them up — has struggled to get three simple outs against one very simple team and has afforded said team a gaping if undeserved shot at redemption, I can differentiate between a good opportunity to take and a good opportunity to swing and pop up and call it a night.

Delgado wallowing in a slump I can live with somehow. I've seen it before and we persevered together, he and us. But Beltran, lordy, he's just too important to this team. When he sucks, we suck. I've given the matter a great deal of study and have reached the considered conclusion that he just can't be doing that.