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Post-season legend Carlos Beltran helps the Cardinals walk off victorious in the 13th

Oct 12, 2013, 1:38 AM EDT

NLCS - Los Angeles Dodgers v St Louis Cardinals - Game One Getty Images

In a battle of squandered opportunities, the Cardinals squandered one fewer. Between the fourth and the twelfth innings, the Cardinals and Dodgers traded zeroes — one part effective pitching, one part curious managerial decisions, one part offensive futility.

Beltran was the heart and soul of the Cardinals tonight. His two-run double in the third inning tied the game at two. His tenth inning throw home from right field to nail Mark Ellis at home preserved a 2-2 tie. And his 13th-inning line drive RBI single to right sent the Cardinals home with a 1-0 lead in the NLCS.

By Win Percent Added (WPA), a statistic that shows exactly how much a player contributed to his team’s chance of winning, Beltran’s two hits and his throw combined for .853 WPA:

  • 3rd inning two-run double: .235
  • 10th inning catch and assist: .318
  • 13th inning RBI single: .300

Mattingly’s decision to save Kenley Jansen for the very end is one that will be second-guessed for quite some time. There were plenty of opportunities earlier in the game for Jansen to come in, but Mattingly opted for inferior arms such as Ronald Belisario and J.P. Howell. And rather than let Jansen start an inning from the wind-up, Mattingly brought him in after Chris Withrow had put runners on first and second with one out. Jansen struggled out of the stretch against his first batter, Beltran, falling behind 3-1 before giving up the game-winning hit.

The Dodgers certainly had their opportunities. Michael Young came to the plate twice after replacing Adrian Gonzalez at first base and was responsible for four outs. He hit the fly ball to Beltran when he made the great throw home, and grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play in the 12th. That was a direct result of another questionable Mattingly decision. Carl Crawford led off with a single, and Mattingly had Mark Ellis bunt him to second. With first base subsequently open, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny had Lance Lynn intentionally walk Hanley Ramirez — a vastly superior hitter — to bring up Young, who has historically been very prone to grounding into double plays.

Game 1 was by no means a pristine game of well-played baseball. Rather, it was chock full of mistakes, but in the end, it was an entertaining, tense affair that sets up the NLCS well. If the rest of the games are as competitive as Game 1, we’re in for a treat.

  1. jhaegs - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Did he officially change his name to “Post Season Legend Carlos Beltran”? Who cares- CARDS WIN!!! Way to go Post, you were clutch tonight.

    • Bill Baer - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:47 AM

      Yes, that is his official legal name now. Not sure why TBS didn’t use it.

  2. duneroad - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:47 AM

    Ummmmm post season legend? Strike 3 called 2006

    • fearlessleader - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Oh yes—for Cardinal fans, that makes him even MORE of a PSL.

      • paul621 - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Wait, I’m confused. Did you just call him a pumpkin spice latte or a personal seat license?

    • 78mu - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:56 AM

      Gee, can’t the guy make an out once in a while?

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      Oh my god! He made an out one time! That totally overshadows his 1.200 post season OPS…which ranks 3rd all-time, slightly behind some dude named Ruth (1.211) and Gehrig (1.208).

      I find it hilarious that Beltran gets blamed for that loss. He hit 3 homers and posted a 1.054 OPS that series. Why not David Wright who hit .160? Why not Aaron Heilmann who gave up the game winning home run to .216 hitting Yadier Molina. Why not Paul LoDuca who hit .207. Why not Billy Wagner who gave up a game winning home run to So Taguchi? If any single on those guys did anything, Beltran isn’t even up in that situation. It’s absolutely ridiculous. He struck out against Adam Wainwright. He certainly wasn’t the first or last.

      • chumthumper - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Reminds me of the scene in Tommy Boy where the old woman is still bitchin’ about her husband’s visit to a whore house in France during WW2. She just can’t let it go.

      • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        I am late in getting on the talk, but I agree with you on this one. The thing to remember is that Beltran struck out against Wainwright! There is no chance of that happening in this series, right? I take my hat off to Carlos. Who knows what he will do from here on out. He won game one for the redbirds, along with the sterling relief pitching.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        Reminds me of the scene in Tommy Boy where the old woman is still bitchin’ about her husband’s visit to a whore house in France during WW2. She just can’t let it go.

        Is this when the whores come in?

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

      Duude. time to move on. I think Wainwright’s 12-6 might have had a little something to do with that. He has fooled more than a couple hitters with that pitch over the years.

  3. cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:49 AM

    Extrapolated to 160 games, Carlos Beltran’s postseason pace is:

    168 runs
    212 Hits
    48 doubles
    64 home runs
    136 RBIs
    .345/.449/.750

    That’s getting close to early-oughts-Bonds ridiculous.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      BTW, his OPS actually dropped today.
      Whatta bum.

      • 78mu - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:02 AM

        Well, Donnie Baseball will let Matheny know what a bum Beltran is so he can give Robinson the start. 2 for 6 won’t drop Sugar Shane’s OPS.

  4. dickclydesdale - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:58 AM

    If Beltran reaches 400 Homeruns he joins Willie Mays & Andre Dawson with at least 400 hr’s & 300 stolen bases. His playoff stats push him into the hall of fame.
    I don’t count Barry Bonds because he’s never getting in.

  5. maddogg911 - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    Cardinals got lucky….. If Eithier catches that ball in the 3rd like he should have there is no extra innings,…. Have fun with Kershaw tomorrow

    • 78mu - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:05 AM

      Dodgers were lucky the umpire thought the plate was 6 inches wider when Grienke was on the mound.

      We can do this all night.

      • stevequinn - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:18 AM

        HP Umpire was terrible for both teams all night long. And the TBS broadcast team was just as bad. Cal Ripken is a HOF ballplayer but not a good “color” guy in the broadcast booth. But the Cardinals won again in spite of Mike Matheny.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      …and the Dodgers were lucky that Kelly booted that ball and didn’t turn the double play. What’s your point?

      And I will have fun with Kershaw tomorrow, because he’s amazing and it’s fun to see him pitch. The odds are certainly in his favor, but I do remember watching the Cardinals tag Randy Johnson for 6 runs. This was in Johnson’s hey-day, when his OPS+ was 195…1 above Kershaw’s for 2013. Again, odds are certainly in Kershaw’s favor, but it should be fun!

      • owentheblonde - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:53 AM

        Very excited about the pitching matchup today. Kershaw is awesome and should be dialed in but to add to your point,for whatever reason we have had decent success against him. This year he has a 4.50 ERA in two games against us, highest vs any team. .265 BA against him in those two games, second-highest of any team and way higher than the .195 overall league average. Last year’s regular season was the same thing. If any team seems to have a better chance against Kershaw (even though he’s a dreaded lefty) it seems to be the Cards. But, none of that really matters. I expect Kershaw to be scary good and we’ll have to scratch out a run or two and hope the Wacha doesn’t have a human game just yet. Should be great baseball! Go Cards!

    • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:50 AM

      That is just Sour Grapes. It can be said on either side of the game. Maybe the Cards got some bad calls against them too!

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Have fun with Michael Wacha. I’m sure the Dodgers aren’t exactly eager to step into the box against him, either.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:53 PM

      Hey Maddogg, we DID have fun with Kershaw. Turns out 1 runs was all it took. Boo-yah!

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      If your Aunt had balls she would be your uncle. Carlos hit a rope.
      And while Kershaw wasn’t “fun”…the good guys got the job done.

  6. jhaegs - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:06 AM

    “Cardinals got lucky”

    OK bud! The Dodgers are lucky they play in a pitiful division, and even made the playoffs. Both teams made mistakes and it was a hard fought game. The more crap you talk, the more crow you’re going to eat if/when the Cards take the series…

    • scruffmagee - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      The Dodgers are a 93 win team that actually had a losing record in their division. Not sure what part of that constitutes luck that they played in a weak division…

      – Cardinals fan

  7. Florio_Jr. - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:25 AM

    Cardinals got lucky….. If Eithier catches that ball in the 3rd like he should have there is no extra innings,…. Have fun with Kershaw tomorrow

    How about having a REAL CF out there. Say…Schumaker? Plus you need range as a CF, Ethier is hobbled right now. He made a perfect effort. “Lucky” ignorant. Don’t leave 10 on base and go 1-11 w/RISP.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:34 AM

      Again, I say: The Dodgers got lucky. If Kelly doesn’t boot that ball, there’s a double play and Uribe doesn’t come up with men on. Only, it wasn’t luck, because that’s just how baseball works.

      • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Exactly cohn, baseball is not a perfect science. Imperfect men play a boys game and they do imperfect things. The fun part is to see who can play a more perfect game than the other guy. Any complaints about this is just sour grapes as I said above!

    • sportsdrenched - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:58 AM

      If your Aunt had balls she’d be your Uncle. This is playoff baseball and often games are decided by 1 or 2 plays made, or not made. That’s why they play a 7 games series.

      Besides, in this type of series, lucky is much better than good.

  8. Fantasy Football Consultant - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:44 AM

    The only way the cardinals win the series is if the dodgers don’t show up.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:32 AM

      Yeah, I guess that would be considered a forfeit or something under the rules? It’d be a pretty douchey move by the Dodgers, to spend all that money and work hard all year and not show up to the games and all.

      I don’t agree with your assessment that is the only way the Cardinals could win, as it actually seems pretty unlikely.
      Other ways in which the Cardinals in the series:
      1. The Cardinals wins 4 games before the Dodgers win 4 games (the most likely scenario of a Cardinals victory)
      2. The Dodgers die in a plane crash (the most depressing scenario of a Cardinals victory)
      3. We give into the demands of nuclear armed despots/alients/underworld beings who threaten to destroy the world unless the Cardinals are declared NLCS champions (the least likely scenario of a Cardinals victory).

      Less you forgot, the Cardinals 5 more games and scored 134 more runs (while giving up just 14 fewer). Why is their winning only dependent on the failure of the Dodgers in your mind?

    • cohnjusack - Oct 12, 2013 at 3:46 AM

      My god, the excuse making! Look, the Dodgers lost. It was one game. Things didn’t go your way…that’s baseball.

      Remember when the Cardinals lost in 3 to the Dodgers in the LDS in 2009? You know why? Because the Dodgers played superior baseball in each of those three games. That’s it! Sure, I could go “Well, if Holliday had caught that ball and then Franklin not choked…” but it doesn’t matter, because Holliday did drop that ball and Franklin did choke. In other words, the Dodgers played superior baseball, and hence won the series. I don’t sit here talking about how “lucky’ the Giants got last year. Instead, I think about how the Giants beat the ever-loving piss out of the Cardinals those last three games and cry in the shower.

      So, instead of saying “well, if Ethier had caught that ball” and just accept the fact you lost, and that you are focusing on the bad breaks of one side in one game (and ignoring the breaks the Dodgers caught). Analysis and looking at what went wrong is interesting. Lamenting “bad luck” is not.

      • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        Yes, If’s and But’s do not count!

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

      Stick to Fantasy Football, schmuck.

  9. jhaegs - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:45 AM

    “Have fun with Kershaw tomorrow”

    I believe the other night Dodgers fans were darn near guaranteeing a victory with Greinke. We’ll just have to see how it plays out- even Waino has an off day…

    • jya87 - Oct 14, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      :) Ryu!

  10. jhaegs - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:02 AM

    Yeah guys, stop DODGING reality. That’s so LAme.

  11. skipcastaneda - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:07 AM

    WPA? Who makes up these stats? A throw to home was worth .318? How do they figure this stuff out? Good Lord, information overload!

    • paperlions - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      First, win percentage added is based on models that calculate the change in odds of winning or losing a game based on change in situation. For example, in the history of all baseball games, if a runner was thrown out at the plate to end the top of an inning in the 9th inning or later (i.e. the situation here), the change in the odds of winning for the team that saved the run .318 when compared to the alternative (that the runner scores).

      Second, really smart people that really like baseball and want to understand everything about it make up these stats.

      Third, yes, stopping the potential winning run from scoring in extra innings really does change a team’s odds of winning by .318 (i.e. 31.8%).

      Fourth, see item number one.

  12. bbk1000 - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    He should change his name to something more accurate…how about Carlos “Bat on Shoulder” Beltran….it has a nice ring to it…and it’s accurate as well….

    Carlos…he’s the BoS alright….

  13. jhaegs - Oct 12, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    I can’t wait to see Waino pitch Game 3. Do the Dodgers even have a home field advantage when they play in LA? Seems like half the fans are on team flat-bill or team tall-tee, and they only cheer in between beating the crap out of each other…

  14. redsoxchamp11 - Oct 12, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    pay no attention to Dodger fans. They have 20+ years of pent up frustration that makes them feel intitled to talk crap now that they have owners who blow their wad weekly into the payroll. when the lose to sound baseball not payroll baseball, it will be all the sweater.

    what’s sad is they have about $70m/yr in players from my sox and their best player is their rookie (outside of pitching). you one absolute stud pitcher in Kershaw. Greinke is hittable.

  15. pastabelly - Oct 12, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    If Ketshaw goes down (and he is human and the game is in St Louis), they would then face Wainright and very Lon odds.

  16. cjmar2k - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:10 AM

    Once again, a player traded by a Houston Sports Team has once again gone on to glory and high praise indeed for another Team. You cannot fix stupid

    • paperlions - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:44 AM

      Apparently, you can’t. Because, you know….Houston didn’t trade Beltran. KC traded him to Houston and then the Mets signed him as a FA.

  17. daniel10017 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:32 AM

    Post season legend my butt. Did people forget what happened in 2006. Never took the bat off his shoulder as a Met in Game 6 bottom of the 9th called third strike vs the Cards as the series close propelling the cards into the World Series and not the Mets, the team that payed him $$$$$

    • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      See comments above. Wainwright is not pitching to Beltran this year.

  18. daniel10017 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    It tells you that baseball players have great stats in their walk years, meaning they are seeking their next big contract. Wait till next year as Beltran shrinks to the play he showed as a Met (very subpar)

    • paperlions - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Okay, I’m just going to say this clearly. You are an idiot. Beltran was a fantastic player for the Mets. Feel free to provide evidence that a players who provided 28 WAR over 5.5 seasons was “sub-par”….and, in the 2006 post-season he was the Mets best player.

  19. grumpyoleman - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:51 AM

    Many stats don’t show exact anything. They lead you to an end based on the calculations. It’s a point of reference and can hardly be claimed to be exact

  20. daniel10017 - Oct 12, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Beltran dogged it in his last year and half with the Mets. The fighting with the Mets with his supposed knee problem was a joke. Again all he cared was about himself. Sorry I place Todd Hundley in the higher value chain as a Met than Beltran. You know the Yankees didn’t sign him, they probably thought he didn’t have the mental makeup and guess what..they were right!

    • cincinata - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      Are you the same moron who led the boo’s against Beltran in New York? No wonder he didn’t want to play there. It is like the idiots in Philly, who booed the best H-R hitter in Philly history (at the time), out of town. That happened to be Dell Ennis, in the 60’s.

  21. spudchukar - Oct 12, 2013 at 9:43 AM

    Post-season Baseball is terrific, unfortunately, it brings out folks who choose to ignore it the rest of the year, and become authorities once the play-offs begin. Post-season is taking on a second meaning and is not a positive referendum on the level of play.

    Anytime you blame your loss on “luck” you deny the realities of the game, and are prone to repeat those deficiencies. Correct your inadequacies, or they might just crop up again.

  22. first2bomb - Oct 12, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Beltran dogged it in his last year and half with the Mets. The fighting with the Mets with his supposed knee problem was a joke. Again all he cared was about himself. Sorry I place Todd Hundley in the higher value chain as a Met than Beltran. You know the Yankees didn’t sign him, they probably thought he didn’t have the mental makeup and guess what..they were right!

    Answer this question? Where are the Yankees this postseason???

  23. spudchukar - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Re-sign Beltran.

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      I agree, if he will take no more than a two year deal with a team option on that 2nd year.

  24. cabrera24 - Oct 12, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Terrible umpire ,terrible at calling strikes and balls and gave the game away . Mark Ellis was clearly safe at home .

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Ellis was out. Time to move on.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 14, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      You. Are. Making. Excuses.

  25. jimeejohnson - Oct 12, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Puig’s 0 for 6 with two strikeouts just doesn’t cut it. Either Puig starts hitting or the Dodgers start losing.

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