Boy, does Carlos Beltran dominate the postseason or what?
Not only did Beltran go 2-for-6 in last night's National League Championship Series Game 1, driving in two of the Cardinals' three runs in a 3-2 win, including the game-winning run in the 13th inning, but he also threw out a runner at the plate in the top of the 10th, keeping the game tied at that point. What a tremendous play that was, and what a tremendous game we got to see.
In his postseason career, spanning 40 games, Beltran is now batting .344/.449/.750.
For those who don't care to do the math, that's a 1.199 OPS, which is just insane.
Add in the fact that Beltran has put up those numbers in the postseason, with all the pressure that comes with these games, and he has to start being included at the top of the group of elite playoff performers.
That is, if he wasn't at the top of that group already. I looked up the all-time leaders in career postseason OPS, and perhaps not surprisingly, Beltran is near the top of that list.
He currently ranks sixth in major league history in postseason OPS among players with 40 or more plate appearances.
Decent, I guess.
Does this type of effort mean that Beltran is worthy of discussion for the Hall of Fame?
In his career, he's a .283/.359/.496 hitter in the regular season, with 358 homers. He was the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year. He's an eight-time All-Star. He's won two Gold Gloves and two Silver Sluggers.
All that said, Beltran has never finished higher than fourth in the MVP voting. Postseason performance plays a factor in the Hall of Fame conversation, but has Beltran done enough in the regular season to distinguish himself enough to the point that he's a legitimate candidate for Cooperstown?
It's a fair question.
This might be a random stat - actually, I can firmly acknowledge that it is a random stat - but while looking up postseason numbers, I also found that Jayson Werth's 2008 postseason performance ties him for the third-most doubles by any player in a single postseason.
Werth had seven doubles in the 2008 postseason, trailing just Albert Pujols (eight in 2011) and David Freese (eight in 2011) in that department.
The Cardinals just seem to churn out quality playoff performers, don't they? I don't know what it is about that organization, but they're always right there
Werth also is tied for the fourth-most homers in a single postseason with seven in 2009. That trails Barry Bonds (2002), Nelson Cruz (2011) and - not surprisingly - Beltran (2004), who all had eight homers in a single postseason.
There that guy is again.