I like Carlos Beltran. I like him a lot.
He's a good hitter, with one of the sweetest swings in the game. He's unbelieveable in the field, making tough plays look like cans of corn. I've had to defend him time and time again, and the main argument against him is that he isn't "clutch" enough.
Last night was something different.
Two outs, top of the ninth, his team down by one. Oh, and the bases are loaded. This is the kind of stuff you dream of in your backyard as a kid.
Beltran, who was in a similar situation in the 2006 NLCS, wrote a different ending last night. First pitch swinging, Beltran crushed a pitch from Kevin Gregg deep to right field. I was shocked.
I was anticipating a ground ball through the hole, if anything. Maybe even a bloop to center. Beltran proved even one of his biggest fans wrong, as that ball was smashed. Bat, meet ball. Goodbye ball!
He may not be the most "clutch" in the league, but he came through huge last night for the Mets. He accounted for all five RBI, and without him, the Mets would have gone quietly into that good night.
Stellar on the basepath, even better on the field. He may not hit for average, but last night shut up a lot of people, at least until tonight.