Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Mets [Print without images]

Thursday, July 7, 2011
Beltran, Mets enjoying success

By Adam Rubin

The Mets have adopted “The Claw” after producing hits, the hand motion the Texas Rangers made famous last year during a World Series run.

After his first of two doubles Wednesday, Carlos Beltran initially forgot to take part.

“I’m having fun. These guys are making me do things in the field that I have never done in my past -- like going like that,” Beltran said at his locker postgame while making another claw motion. “My first double I didn’t do it. Three pitches after, I did it after that -- ‘Oh, man, I forgot about it.’ They all got on me and said I’ve got to do it.”

Why not have fun? The Mets have won four straight games and have moved three games over .500 for the first time since their trip to Dodger Stadium last July.

They’re having the success in the clutch, too. All five of the Mets’ runs Wednesday in a 5-3 victory against the Dodgers came with two out. The Mets now have 167 two-out runs this season, one shy of the Philadelphia Phillies’ NL-leading total.

“Is that right?” hitting coach Dave Hudgens asked about the two-out stat, having been unaware. “These guys realize what type of hitters they are and try to stay in the middle of the field and get a ball over the middle of the plate. They’ve done a great job. And balls have fallen in. I think we’re one of the top teams in base on balls, too.

"When you put that combination together where guys are getting good balls to hit and they’re patient, then I think that’s when you come through with big two-out hits. A lot of times when guys aren’t patient, they don’t come through in clutch situations because they’re swinging at everything. But these guys have been taking pitches they should take and swinging at pitches they should swing at.”