Beltran's October magic continues
October, 12, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Information | ESPN.com
Getty ImagesCarlos Beltran drove in all three runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in their win Friday.Carlos Beltran continued his postseason magic Friday, doing it all for the St. Louis Cardinals in their NLCS opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Beltran drove in all three Cardinals runs in the 3-2 win -- including the game-winner in the 13th inning -- and helped keep a potential go-ahead run off the board with his outfield assist to home plate in the 10th inning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Beltran is the first player in major-league postseason history to record both an outfield assist and a walk-off RBI in extra innings.
The walk-off hit was Beltran's first in the postseason, and first in any game since 2008 while still with the New York Mets. It was the fourth extra-inning walk-off hit in Cardinals postseason history, with the last being David Freese's magical home run in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series.
Beltran has 34 RBI in his postseason career, tying him with Fred McGriff for fifth-most in National League postseason history.
But Beltran's heroics may not have happened if not for his key defensive play in the 10th inning.
With runners at the corners, Beltran fielded Michael Young's flyout to right center field. Then he threw a one-hop strike to the plate allowing Yadier Molina to (controversially) tag out Mark Ellis and snuff out the potential go-ahead run.
According to Baseball Info Solutions, that was the first time Beltran threw out a runner at home after a catch in more than six years (Sept. 11, 2007). He also became the first outfielder with an assist to home in extra innings of a postseason game since Melvin Mora in Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS.
The 13-inning game was the third-longest in NLCS history, behind only Game 6 of the 1986 NLCS (16 innings) and Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS (15 innings).
Greinke's Outing Overshadowed
Beltran’s heroics overshadowed a solid outing from Zack Greinke, who struck out 10 in eight innings.
It was rare mastery of the Cardinals in the postseason. Greinke tied the mark for strikeouts by a pitcher against St. Louis in a postseason game, set originally by Jack Kramer and matched by his teammate Denny Galehouse for the 1944 St. Louis Browns.