Updated: June 28, 2008, 3:18 PM ET

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AP Photo/Frank Franklin II

Carlos Delgado put on quite a show, with nine RBIs, in the first game of Friday's doubleheader.

You Delgado believe?!

It should have been the type of day that you look back on months from now and call "the turning point" for the Mets. All the signs seemed to indicate that everything had fallen into place for Jerry Manuel's team. They were playing at Yankee Stadium, in the first game of a split-stadium doubleheader against the squad that does double-duty as the Mets' unofficial barometer of success, and it looked as though a spark had finally been lit in the Mets' dugout.

Carlos Delgado emerged from an 0-for-14 funk with the most productive game in Mets history, hitting a two-run double in the fifth, a grand slam in the sixth and a three-run shot in the eighth for a total of nine RBIs. He broke Dave Kingman's team record eight RBIs, which had stood for 32 years, and in the process moved past Kingman into 34th place on the career home run list. But it wasn't just Delgado's performance that had Mets' fans thinking the team had turned a corner. Consider this:

David Wright was rested by Jerry Manuel on Tuesday, the first game he missed all season. After the 15-6 blowout of the Yankees in the first game Friday, Wright was 6-for-8 with six RBIs in his first two games after the unexpected day off.

• Last week, Luis Castillo had told the manager he was tired. So the new skipper started Damion Easley at second base not just once, but for several games, as a way to let Castillo know he needed to quit whining and step up the effort. Castillo responded by scoring a career-high five runs against the Yankees.

Carlos Beltran, perhaps motivated by his manager getting thrown out of a game in his defense when umpire Brian Runge confronted the pair, hit his 12th homer of the season and drove in three runs.

The team had once again reached the .500 mark, and in such a fashion that it seemed poised to turn a corner. But a funny thing happened on the way to Shea Stadium between games. Somehow, in their haste to get home for the second game of the doubleheader, the Mets forgot to bring that fire back to Flushing. Newly acquired Yankee pitcher Sidney Ponson loaded the bases in both the second and third innings against the Mets, yet there was no key hit, no momentum to build upon … no runs scored at all. Instead, Bobby Abreu did his best Carlos Delgado impression, going 4-for-4 with a walk, three RBIs and two stolen bases, and the Yankees extinguished the Mets, 9-0.

I guess that's what you can expect from the Mets from here on out. The occasional performance that makes you want to believe in the end is only a glitch in the matrix. This is an average team having an average season. Don't go expecting any miracles, and that magic you're expecting from their star players in the second half probably won't happen.

Past editions: 6/27: Garza-riffic | 6/26: Who is Eric Stults? | 6/25: Josh Hamilton's knee

Box Score Bits
The NL East has a pair of unexpected aces emerging. In Florida, Ricky Nolasco struck out nine Arizona batters and improved to 8-4 on the year, 7-1 in his last 10 starts. Meanwhile, Atlanta's Jair Jurrjens extended his scoreless innings streak to 21 2/3, allowing Toronto only three hits over eight innings and improving his record to 8-3, prompting manager Bobby Cox to say, "That's one of the best games I've seen pitched, ever." … Curtis Granderson went 4-for-5 with two triples for Detroit and increased his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. … Jimmy Barthmaier's major league debut for Pittsburgh wasn't exactly a thing of beauty. Evan Longoria and Eric Hinske both hit three-run homers off the rookie, giving Scott Kazmir enough run support to win his seventh game of the year. However, Kazmir managed to get through only five innings, marking the third straight start he hasn't gotten out of the sixth. … Chris Davis of the Rangers, another rookie, had a better start to his career. The 22-year-old infielder hit his first home run off Clay Condrey of the Phillies. With Hank Blalock suffering a setback Friday, feeling soreness in his surgically repaired wrist, Davis might be sticking around. … The White Sox put on an offensive show, tallying 14 hits against their cross-town rivals, the Cubs. Nick Swisher hit a grand slam, Jermaine Dye had three hits and three RBIs and Carlos Quentin went 4-for 5. … I bet Troy Tulowitzki would like to borrow one of those hits. He went 0-for-3 on Friday and is now hitless in his last 13 at-bats. … Daisuke Matsuzaka made the most of his strict pitch count, striking out the first three Astros he faced, and going on to pitch the required five innings to win his ninth game of the year. … Still in Cleveland, at least for now, C.C. Sabathia fanned 11 Reds, including Ken Griffey Jr. three times, and kept his trade value high. … Owned in only 63.7 percent of ESPN.com standard leagues, Kansas City's David DeJesus continues to convert non-believers. He had a two-run double on Friday, raising his average with runners in scoring position to .472 for the year. He also has a 12-game hitting streak and is batting .317 for the season. … Seattle stranded a club-record 18 runners, but you can't place any blame on Adrian Beltre. He had three RBIs on the night, and hey, the team still won, 5-2. Randy Wolf took the loss for San Diego, throwing 97 pitches in only 3 1/3 innings. … Kory Casto doubled home the winning run for Washington, and though his name might not leap off the page, he's now 3-for-6 with a double, home run and five RBIs as a pinch hitter. We're not saying to rush to your waiver wire anytime soon, but keep him in the back of your mind as a potential late-season pickup. Every hit counts.


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Standing Out

PARK AVENUE
Chan Ho Park, Dodgers
Yup, that was Chan Ho Park who fired six shutout innings to beat the Angels on Friday. The same Chan Ho Park that has burned us so many times ... but he's now 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA and might just be turning into (gasp!) a fantasy option again.

NOT JUMPING FOR JOEL
Joel Pineiro, Cardinals
Start at Kansas City. Favorable, right? Wrong. Pineiro pitched 7 2/3 innings, but he allowed 10 hits and seven runs in the process. Pineiro looked promising for a spell, but his ERA is up to 4.33, and he has 36 K's in 70-plus innings.
News and Notes
After Micah Owings covered first base on a fourth-inning groundout, he was favoring his right leg, but appeared to walk it off. Nevertheless, he left an inning later and the team now says he is suffering from a lower back strain. It doesn't appear he'll miss his next start, though. … Alexei Ramirez of the White Sox missed Friday's game to be with his pregnant wife. The stork might dictate whether he's back on Saturday, or if Juan Uribe will get another start. … Chipper Jones missed his sixth straight start with his strained right quad. Equally missing in action were Yunel Escobar and Omar Infante, also resting injuries. The team is hopeful that none of the trio will have to go on the DL. … Oakland's Eric Chavez missed Friday's game because of a tender right shoulder, and teammate Ryan Sweeney's sprained ankle forced him to the bench as well. Both players will likely miss the rest of the weekend. … Take Coco Crisp out of your lineups, gang. The Red Sox outfielder's suspension for brawling has been reduced to five games, but the clock starts now. … Edwin Encarnacion is out until at least Sunday as back spasms continue to keep him in pain. … Eric Gagne will rejoin the Brewers on Saturday and throw a bullpen session. As to when the reliever will be activated, and in what role he'll return to? That has not yet been decided. … Las Vegas might not have a major league team, but you wouldn't know it from the lineup they'll be trotting out Monday. Rafael Furcal, Andruw Jones and Nomar Garciaparra will all begin rehab assignments for Triple-A Las Vegas next week. … The Angels' Chone Figgins sat out Friday's game with an infection in his right knee. It might be some time before he's up and running. Robb Quinlan should start until Figgins is ready to go, which likely will depend on the effectiveness of his antibiotics.
They Wrote It

"Where is the velocity? The Phillies need Brett Myers to be himself, which isn't a 3-9 guy with a 5-plus ERA and 23 homers allowed in 99 2/3 innings. They may not be able to trade for anyone as good as the old Brett Myers. "

-- Peter Gammons Full Story

Transactions

• The Yankees made some moves in between games of their Friday doubleheader. Ross Ohlendorf, who gave up six runs in 1 1/3 innings in the opener, was sent packing to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and Kei Igawa was recalled in time to pitch the ninth inning of the nightcap. In order to make room on the roster for second-game starter Sidney Ponson, the team placed outfielder Hideki Matsui on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore left knee.

• The Cardinals activated pitcher Mark Mulder from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Mike Parisi to Triple-A Memphis. Mulder, coming off two shoulder operations, will be used out of the bullpen for now.

Carlos Pena returned to the Rays' lineup, going 0-for-3 in his first game back from the disabled list. The team optioned Ben Zobrist back to Triple-A Durham to make room for the slugger's return.

• Toronto purchased the contract of left-hander John Parrish and sent right-hander Brian Wolfe to Triple-A Syracuse. With Shaun Marcum's right elbow likely keeping him out until the All-Star Break, if not longer, Parrish is expected to start in his stead Saturday.

On The Farm

Rocco Baldelli's rehab assignment in Class A Vero Beach isn't producing results. He went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts Friday and looks nowhere near ready to return to Tampa Bay next weekend when his 20-day maximum stint in the minors is set to end.

Ryan Church could be back this weekend for the Mets after showing no ill effects of his concussion, playing right field and going 0-for-3 for Class A Brooklyn.

Danny Richar is making a case for a trip to the Windy City. He went 4-for-5 with a home run and a double for the White Sox Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte on Friday. With Juan Uribe batting only .215, the second baseman could be a welcome addition to the Chicago bench.