Beltran had two hits and drove in three runs in his best game of the young 2013 season. Prior to Saturday’s game and including the 2012 playoffs, Beltran had just nine hits in 37 at-bats facing his former team, to whom he was traded from the New York Mets halfway through the 2011 season.
Hobbled by an injured pinky toe, Beltran is off to a slow start with only three hits in 15 plate appearances, but it didn’t seem to be much of an issue at the plate or in the outfield today. Count me as one of the skeptics who wondered if the injury, which isn’t as simple as it sounds, would cause a serious problem, especially in the field.
In spite of his performance today, you have to wonder if it will continue to hobble his offense as he’s only managed a .220 wOBA and has more strikeouts than hits.
Either way, Beltran gave the Cardinals the shot of optimism they sorely needed. Getting the win today was important for a team that was dealing with two straight frustrating one-run losses.
Along with the charging offense that knocked Ryan Vogelsong out in the sixth, Shelby Miller‘s 2013 debut was impressive for a pitcher making just his second start of his Major League Baseball career. Miller kept the defending champions’ bats at bay while St. Louis tallied 11 hits with multiple hits from Matt Carpenter, Pete Kozma, and Beltran.
The Cardinals hope that this is a turning point for Beltran in 2013 that will allow him to return to the effective hitter he was for them last season.