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Carlos Beltran will finally get his chance to play for a championship

Oct 19, 2013, 12:20 AM EDT

Carlos Beltran Getty Getty Images

After 199 post-season plate appearances, he is finally there. Carlos Beltran will play in the World Series for the first time. The 36-year-old had been to the National League Championship Series three times before and three times played in a Game 7, only to go home unsatisfied. Had the Cardinals not finished the job tonight in Game 6 against the Dodgers, he might never have gotten the opportunity.

It’s a well-deserved opportunity for Beltran, whose post-season production is the stuff of legend. He entered tonight’s game hitting .327/.443/.717 in 194 trips to the dish in post-season play – numbers reminiscent of Barry Bonds. He went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI singles against the Dodgers tonight. He even added an inning-ending diving catch in the gap in right-center in the fifth to take a hit away from Juan Uribe, just for good measure.

Beltran is, in the eyes of many, already a Hall of Famer. He has accumulated over 67 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference, which puts him slightly below Reggie Jackson (74.0), as an example. Others believe him to be on the cusp, and some of them would have held his lack of World Series play against him. He will get the chance to pad his credentials next Wednesday, when the World Series starts in the city of the winner of the ALCS between the Red Sox and Tigers.

  1. jhaegs - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:02 AM

    Yay! Dude has been clutch so far

  2. peterjohnjoseph - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:40 AM

    As a Red Sox fan, if they can Sox finish out the ALCS on top, this is the man I fear most. For a team full of impossible and improbable postseason magic moments like the Red Sox have accumulated over the years, like Ortiz, Beltran can pull the same metaphorical rabbit out of his hat, and like the numbers show- more consistently. Add the fact that the former Triple Crown Winner is hunting for his first World Series ring, due to his 3 prior chances at glory culminating in game 7 ALCS defeats, he has elevated himself to a pre-2004 Red Sox level of let down, and I’ve seen what happens when Lady Luck finally decides to grace your presence. For a guy whose postseason history show that he doesn’t need any more help than he already has in himself, that brings Carlos to a scary level of chance for finding his history making moment(s), and my biggest fear is it will be at the expense of the ones those moments are usually reserved for. I may be bitter a few days if it were to unfold that way, but at least I’ll be alright in the long run knowing this guy finally got what he deserved all along.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:45 AM

      *As a Red Sox fan, if the Sox can finish….

      *A zillion other errors.

      Its late. Its hard enough to even read my monitor right now when everything is so fuzzy.

  3. dickclydesdale - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    Beltran World Series MVP 2013! Congratulations!

  4. jason9696 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    Mr. Over-rated.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:28 AM

      Actually, he’s been criminally underrated throughout his career. Considering that A). Center Fielders are often undervalued because they are compared to corner outfielders. There is far greater defensive importance in CF than LF. The defensive spectrum is C-SS-2B-CF-3B-LF-RF-1B B). Of any player with at least 100 stolen bases, Beltran has the greatest success rate of all time. The guy simply did not make outs while stealing bases

      • biasedhomer - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:56 AM

        Hes been far from “criminally underrated”. He won ROY. After that he struggled and bounced back on the Royals, during that time he was pretty under the radar.
        He became a free agent and signed a $100M+ contract with the Mets. How exactly can someone as underrated as you claim, get that kind of deal? Are you saying he was worth more than that much money?

        His time with the Mets was up and down, mainly because of injuries, missing around 240 games from 05-10. But during his time with them, he won multiple GG and SS, was on a few AS teams, and got MVP votes.

        It is a bit odd though, that Beltran’s postseason fame is occuring during this year, in which he’s batted .222 against the Pirates, and was struggling mightily against the Dodgers, batting only .176.

  5. DonRSD - Oct 19, 2013 at 2:28 AM

    Mets fan here….

    Only thing I ever see Beltran as is watching that curveball go for strike 3 in game 7 of the NLCS to end it.

    Keep your bat on your shoulder :(

    LETS GO METS!!!

    • jonts26 - Oct 19, 2013 at 3:07 AM

      Mets fan here: screw you.

    • tuberippin - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:07 AM

      Because if it wasn’t for Carlos Beltran looking at a called strike three in the NLCS in 2006, the Mets would have made the World Series.

      Oh wait. No they wouldn’t have, especially since it was Carlos Beltran’s post-season contributions that got them to that point in the first place.

      But yeah, let’s keep blaming the guy who had the large contract over the guys who actually fucked up in that game and then remained on the team for years after, continually losing games for the Mets (looking at you, Aaron Heilman). Heilman lost them that series, a series in which the Mets trotted out Steve Trachsel, for fuck’s sakes. A series where David Wright had an average under .200 and an OPS under .600, Paul Lo Duca had an average under .200 and an OPS under .500, and Endy Chavez got 27 ABs and had a .444 OPS.

      But yeah, it was Beltran and his 3 home runs and his OPS over 1.000 after a regular season where he had a .982 OPS. Got it.

    • cohnjusack - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:30 AM

      You failed to see those three home runs he hit?

      Also Mets fan, why blame Beltran, who had a great series. Why not David Wright who hit .160. Why not Billy Wagner who gave up a go-ahead home run to So Taguchi? Why not Aaron Heilmann who gave up the game winner to Yadier Molina (back in the days when Molina couldn’t hit to save his life)? It’s strange to me that so many Mets struggled badly, yet the scapegoat is the guy who hit 3 homers and posted a 1.067 OPS for the series.

    • ozzies85dinger - Oct 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM

      DonRSD have you ever hit a Wainwright curveball?

    • paperlions - Oct 19, 2013 at 10:53 AM

      You know that Zack Wheeler kid you get to root for now?

      Well, he is on the Mets because Beltran waive his no-trade rights to go to the Giants. Not only was Beltran a fantastic player for the Mets (injuries aside), he left you a great parting gift….and all you can do is bitch about the one thing he didn’t do for you?

    • fissels - Oct 19, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      Fortunately for Carlos he was able to get away from the Mets, Citi”Bad Luck ” Field ,and the dismal Mets fans

      • hustleandflomax - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Mets fans are a miserable lot, aren’t they? Jeez.

  6. papichulo55 - Oct 19, 2013 at 11:00 AM

    We want Beltran hungry when he comes back home to NY. To the Bronx. To The Grand Concourse. Rooting for the Red Sox to beat the Cardinals to help my Yankees. Strange, but true.

  7. forsch31 - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    In Derrick Goold’s recap of the game in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, there appeared this nugget:

    “Carlos Beltran is about to experience his first.

    The switch-hitting veteran’s wife Jessica remembers the time she woke up nervous Friday morning. She checked the clock. It read 4:10 a.m., and as she looked over to her husband she saw he was up, too. Beltran had his fists together as if holding a bat, grinding his fingers into the imaginary handle. He told her he was thinking about his swing.

    “He knew he was close,” Jessica said.”

    Yeah, he’s hungry for it. Practically starving.

  8. yousuxxors - Oct 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

    I still don’t understand why mets fans hate Beltran. he was great for us when not injured. he was the main reason the mets even got to the NLCS that year. one of the only big contracts the mets handed out that worked out recently. we also got Wheeler for him.

    • hustleandflomax - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Screw the whiny Mets fans. It’s easier for them to blame Beltran than it is to give Adam Wainwright’s filthy curveball ANY credit.

    • forsch31 - Oct 19, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      I don’t think most do. Just those who are still reliving the moment that Wainwright made Beltran’s knees buckle.

      For every “Swing the Bat, Carlos” comment or posting that pops up, you usually see a half dozen or so responses telling it off. What made that moment great was that Beltran was huge for the Mets and Astros, and he absolutely owned the Cardinals in both series. When Wainwright loaded the bases, for me it was like a Brooklyn Dodgers fan watching Babe Ruth coming up to the plate.

      So Beltran got beat by the Curveball from Hell. It’s painful for Mets fans, and some haven’t gotten over yet. But most did.

  9. eagles512 - Oct 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

    Just my opinion, but he doesn’t seem like a hall of gamer to me. I’ve never thought of him as more than an all star. Not a superstar.

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