There’s no doubt the 16-year veteran outfielder was the star of the Cardinals’ 3-2 extra-inning victory over the Dodgers in Friday’s NLCS opener in St. Louis.
Beltran not only hit the game-winning, walk-off RBI single in the 13th to beat LA, the St. Louis right fielder knocked in all three of the Cardinals’ runs — his two-run double off the center-field wall tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning.
But it was his throw home in the 10th that many may remember for years to come.
With Dodgers on first and third and one out, Michael Young lifted a flyball to right-center field. Beltran called center fielder Jon Jay off the ball, positioned himself to get momentum towards home plate, caught it and then fired a one-hopper to catcher Yadier Molina, who tagged out Mark Ellis for the double play — and preserved the 2-2 tie.
After 21 LCS games, Beltran has 14 RBI and is tied for fifth in homers with eight. Manny Ramirez’s 13 homers are the most in LCS play, followed by Albert Pujols (10), Bernie Williams (nine) and George Brett (nine). Beltran is tied with Steve Garvey and Nelson Cruz.
So move over Reggie (Jackson). There’s a new Mr. October on the way.
Here’s Beltran’s game-winning hit off of Dodgers closer Kenley Jensen.