2006_10_metswin.jpg

Given the pitching matchup entering Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Sunday's high-scoring affair should come as no surprise. With a slugfest win over the Cardinals, the Mets tied the series at two games apiece before Monday's Game 5. They can thank Carlos Delgado, who hit a three-run homer in the fifth to snap a 2-2 tie before adding two-run double during a six-run sixth inning.

The Mets' patience helped wear out Cardinals starter Anthony Reyes, who was fortunate to allow only two runs over his four innings. Mets starter Oliver Perez didn't do much better, but he had the good fortune of having Delgado on his team. Strange to think the Mets would be relying on a pitcher added as a throw-in to a deadline deal for Roberto Hernandez, a replacement for Duaner Sanchez, the reliever lost to a separated shoulder in a car accident.

As it turned out, Perez relied on the Mets' bats, not the other way around. Calros Beltran hit two solo shots and David Wright's first hit of the series was also a solo homer. They'll hope to carry the power over to Game 5, when Tom Glavine and Jeff Weaver will face off on three days' rest. There's no predicting who will be affected more by the change in routine, but since Glavine's the better pitcher, that game, and the series, could end up slanting the Mets' way.

Photograph of teammates Paul LoDuca, David Wright and Carlos Beltran celebrating Carlos Delgao's three-run home run during the fifth inning by Charles Krupa/AP