Don't Mess With the Carlos Beltran

By Craig Phelps

Taking a cue from “Jesus” in the “Big Lebowski,” Carlos Beltran is informing opposing pitchers “Don’t mess (censored version) with the Beltran.”  The newest power hitting member of the Cardinals has proved to be just what the doctor ordered for St. Louisans to forget about a certain former first baseman that decided to venture westward.

Last night, May 8, 2012 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Carlos Beltran went off for two homeruns, one two-run homerun and one grand slam, in the Cardinals 6-1 victory in the desert.  These were Beltran’s ninth and tenth homeruns of the year respectively.

Centerfielder Jon Jay led off the game with a triple to deep left center off the arm of Ian Kennedy.  “The Train” stepped up to the plate and hit a bomb to deep left field on the second pitch he witnessed of the evening to give the visiting Red Birds an early 2-0 lead.

Fast forward to the top of the second inning with the bases loaded via a Skip Schumaker double, a Jake Westbrook drawn walk, and Jon Jay being the proud new owner of a bruise via a stray Desmond pitch; up steps the red hot Beltran who has already recorded two homers in as many days.  He is searching for the tenth grand slam of his career with the last one coming on June 28, 2011 when the Mets were taking on Detroit’s Daniel Schlereth.  There are two outs and it’s a 2-1 count when Beltran hits a no doubter into deep right center to give the Cardinals their final six run total.

Yesterday marked the 31st career multi-homerun game for Beltran and his fifth in just seven games.  Last night also became the second time he has hit long balls on consecutive nights this season; the last time was April 17th and 18th against Cincinnati.  Beltran now has 15 career homeruns against Arizona and 175 bombers away from his home turf.  His first homerun was the 67th time “The Train” went deep on the second pitch of an at bat while the “grand salami” was the 61st time he sent one soaring on the fourth pitch.  He now has 56 career dingers when batting second in the lineup; he has 173 when hitting third.  Beltran seems to favor the first inning as he has hit a career high 58 homeruns in the first, but he has also drilled a second career best 47 in the second.

Beltran is currently tied for third in homeruns in the MLB (10), fourth in RBI’s (as is David Freese with 26), and is also tied for sixth in runs (23).  He is currently second on the team with five homeruns trailing only Rafael Furcal and has drawn the most walks on the team at 17.

He provides flexibility in the line-up, hitting .333 with seven homeruns and 12 RBI’s in ten games when batting second and hitting .270 with three homeruns and 14 RBI’s when batting fourth.

In the 19 wins that the Cardinals currently possess, Beltran has hit .352 with all ten of his homers and all but two of his 26 RBI’s coming in St. Louis victories.  The Cardinals are also 5-0 when the speedy Beltran steals a base.

In conclusion, a simple word of advice for the opposition of Mr. Carlos at this point in the season;

Don’t mess with the Beltran.

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