Bobby Cox heard the crack of the bat and figured Carlos Delgado had tied the game with a dramatic ninth-inning home run. "I didn't even watch,"...
NEW YORK — Bobby Cox heard the crack of the bat and figured Carlos Delgado had tied the game with a dramatic ninth-inning home run.
“I didn’t even watch,” the Atlanta Braves manager said. “I thought it was out easy when he hit it.”
Willie Harris ran down the drive and leaped at the left-field fence to rob Delgado of the homer and save the Braves’ 7-6 victory over the New York Mets Thursday.
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Harris didn’t think it was going to be that tough a play.
“I was deep,” he said. “We were playing no-doubles defense. You don’t want anything hit over your head. When he hit it, I thought it was a regular fly ball.”
Andruw Jones knew better.
Harris had gone to the wall in the first inning to rob Moises Alou of an extra-base hit. This time, he drifted back on Delgado’s ball. Then he heard his center fielder.
“I was running back and Andruw was yelling, ‘Get back! Get back!’ I don’t know why he was yelling,” Harris said. “I saw the ball. It just kept going and going like the Energizer Bunny. I felt I had a bead on it the whole time, but it kept going and going.”
At the wall, Harris jumped and caught the ball in the web of his glove.
“Once I jumped, I knew I had it,” he said.
Down 7-3, the Mets had rallied in the ninth against Tyler Yates, and David Wright’s homer with a man on narrowed Atlanta’s lead to one run. Oscar Villarreal relieved, and Delgado met him with the opposite-field drive. Delgado grimaced as he watched Harris run it down.
“I thought it was out,” Mets manager Willie Randolph said. “He got up there at the right time. It was a big play.”
Atlanta took two of three in the series and trail the NL East-leading Mets by 3 ½ games. The Braves have won all four series between the teams this year, going 8-4 overall.
“They have wiped us all over the field,” Wright said. “It’s tough to argue with the numbers. These guys have worn us out. We have to do a better job of beating the better teams in our division.”