A couple months ago, I wrote a post about what a great signing Carlos Beltran has been for the Cardinals, and how he has nicely replaced Albert Pujols’s offensive production in the lineup this year, for much less money. What I neglected to mention in it, though, was how in acquiring Beltran, the Cardinals were acquiring a player who turns it up to historic levels during the postseason.
With Beltran’s two home runs tonight in the Cardinals’ 12-4 win vs. the Washington Nationals, the switch-hitting right fielder became the first player to have multi-home run games for three different teams in the postseason (doing it previously for the Houston Astros and New York Mets). He also now has sole possession of first place for most home runs hit through one’s first 25 postseason games, with 13–overtaking Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers, who had 11.
The most impressive postseason record Beltran owns so far, however, doesn’t just relate to home runs, but rather overall hitting prowess. Beltran owns a career playoff OPS of 1.297, which is the best mark of all time for players with at least 100 plate appearances. That puts him ahead of Lou Gehrig (1.211) and Babe Ruth (1.208), who are second and third on the list–not too shabby of company.
Cardinals fans surely hope that Beltran continues to thrive when the lights shine the brightest, and that he can get something that he has yet to attain in a postseason–a World Series ring.