Swellicious / Hell Yeah Bitches!
There is one team that has not lost in October. Care to take a guess who it is? The Mets are now 6-0 in October if you include the last two regular season games and this team can do no harm. Glavine was absolutely sparkling again and has yet to give up one run between his two playoff starts. I'm not ready to say I have a man-crush on him, but it's getting close. Dangerously close. As for Beltran?
What Michael Jordan was to the Cleveland Cavaliers ...
What Troy Aikman was to the Buffalo Bills ...
What Tiger Woods was, and is, to the golf-course architects of the entire universe ...
That's what Carlos Beltran is to the St. Louis Cardinals.
They can't stop him. They can't even hope to contain him. Not this time of year, anyway.
Thursday night, in Game 1 of the second National League Championship Series of Carlos Beltran's life, he did what he does every time he sees some Cardinals pitcher firing a pitch in his direction in a month we often refer to as "October."
He launched a baseball that needed its own air-traffic controller.
He launched a baseball that didn't come down until it had nearly wiped Tom Glavine's number off the scoreboard (which happened to be minding its own business, 430 feet away, at the time).
He launched a baseball that turned a 0-0 pitcher's duel into a 2-0 victory for his latest employer, the New York Mets.
And let's just say this is getting to be a more familiar story line than the one about the CSI crew unraveling another crime-caper mystery.
This was Beltran's eighth career postseason game against the Cardinals. They have now served up five home runs to him in those eight games, in just 28 at-bats. He now owns as many October homers against them as singles.
El Tigre Del Noche's shot was a no doubter and Encarnacion and Edmonds barely even moved after it was hit. I'm not going to start calling him the new Mr. October just yet, but that blast was unreal. If you missed it, you have to check it out on Mets.com and revel in it's glory.
But the real swellicious thing that has been going on for me, wasn't pitching and it was not offense. You can hear something about ballplayers around the league, but you really do not get the full effect until you watch them. When I have checked out the Oakland Athletics play this post season, Eric Chavez's defense was jaw dropping. The guy looks as good as anyone I have seen at third base and this guy can play shortstop in the Majors and probably be one of the better ones too.
As impressed with Chavez as I have been, I have been equally impressed with David Wright. I've been to two post season games so far and I've seen both of Tom Glavine's starts. In each start, David Wright made plays that made me want the punch the kid in front of me in the back of the head because I was so pumped. He made two gems last night and one that probably preserved the victory in catching a screaming line drive and doubling the runner up at second.
He had some hiccups earlier in the year in regards to throwing the baseball across the diamond late in games, but the kid is a tireless worker. Simply amazing how good he is and defensively, the Mets left side of the infield is as good as I've seen and there is still tons of upside. You can say what you want about the Mets starting pitching and I know I've been redundant these days, but I cannot help it. This team does everything so well from defense to relief pitching to base running to offense....they have what it takes to overcome a weak rotation. They have been coming up with the big hits when the need them, the big plays in the field when they need them, and the big pitch when they need it.
Cardinals fans like to believe the pressure is on the Mets because they are the favorites, but the pressure is now squarely on the Cardinals. Their ace is going tonight and if he does not win tonight, the Cardinals will have to find a way to dig themselves out with Suppan, Reyes, and Weaver. Yesterday was a must win game for the Mets and today is a must win for the Cardinals. The Mets rose up to the occasion and now we'll see what the Cardinals are made of. Something tells me they are not made of much though.
Carlos Beltran's home run in the Mets' 2-0 victory was his fifth against the Cardinals in postseason play. That broke a tie with Lou Gehrig, Al Simmons, Jeffrey Leonard and Lance Berkman for the second-most postseason homers vs. St. Louis. Only Babe Ruth hit more (seven).
Asked about the effectiveness of Mets starter Tom Glavine, Pujols, who lined out twice, said, "He wasn't good. I thought we hit the ball hard but we didn't get any breaks."
He made you look stupid in that first inning strikeout.
"I say he wasn't good at all. We just didn't get some opportunities and that's it. . . . (Glavine did the) same thing that he always does. Throw a changeup, fastball and that was it. I just think we should've done a better job than we did."
Lo Duca extended the sixth inning with a two-out single, setting the stage for Carlos Beltran's two-run homer, which proved the difference in the Mets' 2-0 win over St. Louis in Game 1 of the NLCS in front of 56,311 at Shea Stadium.
"It's all about placement, that's what I was telling everybody," Lo Duca said. "I just found the hole. [St. Louis starter Jeff Weaver] was tough tonight. He was throwing his sinker, and I just happened to find a hole and get on base, and Carlos put a good swing on a pitch and that was the difference in the game."
It does not surprise me that it was Lo-Duca who set the stage for the big hit. He might be a Met for only two seasons and then done with the organization, but he will be up there on a lot of people's all-time favorite Met list.