For Beltran, it's health and homers
June, 18, 2011
By Ian Begley | ESPNNewYork.com
Sure, the home run was fun to watch. It also broke the game open. But the fact that Beltran used his legs to help him get it over the wall was just as significant for the Mets.
After all, Beltran's legs have been the source of constant frustration for both the right fielder and the team in recent seasons. He played in just 81 games in 2009 due to a right knee injury. He appeared in 64 games in 2010 after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason. Many observers questioned how effective he'd be after he suffered through left knee tendinitis in spring training. There was a chance he could begin the season on the disabled list because of the ailment.
But his knees have held up well in 2011. He has played in all but two of the Mets' games so far, and played a productive role for Terry Collins' club.
On the season, Beltran is hitting .286 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs. He leads the National League with 21 doubles. The soon-to-be free agent right fielder is hitting .333 (13-for-39) with eight RBIs over his past 10 games.
His two-run shot in the fifth on Saturday off of Dan Haren gave the Mets a 6-0 lead.
Beltran didn't show up Haren after the prodigious blast. But he left his bat hanging after his follow-through just long enough to let you know he was enjoying it.
"As soon as I hit it I knew it was going to be gone," Beltran said.
But he put his head down and ran so he never saw it land over the Shea Bridge -- an estimated 460 feet from home plate, according to the Mets.
"I don't like to pimp homers -- maybe a little bit, but I didn't really look where it landed," Beltran said.
He didn't have to. The rest of his teammates filled him in when he got back to the dugout.