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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014

Got offense? Beltran the Beast

Posted Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 2:47 PM

Carlos Beltran is an absolute beast.

There are so many things that could have been the focus of my column this morning. A stellar outing by Lance Lynn. The return of the explosive offense we saw through most of April. I could talk about Matt Holliday having yet another good night as he steadily pulls his way out of an April funk.

Not today. Today we have to talk about Carlos Beltran.

Before Wednesday's game, Beltran told he reporters just didn't feel comfortable at the plate. He knew he was struggling, but couldn't put his finger on what was causing it.

Manager Mike Matheny, when asked about Beltran, said that he saw signs that made him think Beltran was soon to come out of his slump.

Beltran-0 Matheny-1

When Beltran stepped up to the plate for the first time of the night, with two on and no one out in the first inning, he drove the first pitch and there was never a doubt. Three run homerun.

When he returned in the second inning, he got another RBI hit.

In the third, though, that's when he blew it open. With a three-run homerun to left center that had to be discovered on instant replay, Beltran turned what could have been just another night in his slump into a career high RBI total night.

Before all was said and done, Beltran had gone 4 for 5 with a pair of three-run homers, seven RBIs and two runs scored.

The night added a whopping 32 points to his overall batting average bringing him back up to .279. Not too shabby considering the 3 for 32 slump prior to the game.

All in all, to be a guy whose abilities were doubted by some, now the naysayers are laying out the welcome mat as they slowly but surely get over last year's painful break-up.

As you'll recall, many said after that break-up that the Cardinals offense would take a huge hit. Those people are certainly eating their words right now.

Including Wednesday's game, the Cardinals lead all of MLB in team batting average (.290), Team on-base percentage (.358) and team on base percentage plus slugging (.821 OBP).

The Cardinals' offense leads the National League in runs (135), hits (243), RBIs (131), batting average (.290), OBP (.358), slugging (.462) and OPS (.821). Not too bad for a team whose offense is supposed to be flat in 2012.

The team is also third in stolen bases with 21. They've only been caught stealing five times. To put this in perspective, in 2011 the team stole 57 bases all year. They are on pace to steal 120 in 2012 if they keep it up. That is a huge difference in an area where the team really needed to pick up the slack.

All in all, fans have a lot to be excited about this season as the Cardinals budget for fireworks has just risen dramatically.

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To submit a question for the Balls & Strikes Mailbag, either e-mail cnoles@dailystatesman.com , call (573)624-4545 or fill out the form at dailystatesman.com/blogs/coreynoles/

Follow him on Twitter @coreynoles

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Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Corey,

Did you see the interview with Carlos Beltran on E60 the other night?

-- Posted by lastcall on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 11:14 AM

On a side note, what two great arms the Nationals have in the outfield in Harper and Ankiel. They are fun to watch!!

-- Posted by lastcall on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 11:19 AM

I am as excited about what guys like Beltran have done this year, and Berkman last year, in the short term. My only frustration with the Cardinals is, neither of these guys is a long term fix. In 3 years, we will have no clue where Lance Berkman and Carlos Beltran are, and at the moment we are counting on them to carry a huge load. Wish the Cardinals would pursue younger talent from now on as we are becoming a VERY old and injury prone team.

-- Posted by Rocky09 on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 12:13 PM

Rocky,

Berkman and Beltran are not under contract in 3 years.

-- Posted by lastcall on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 12:18 PM

Beltrans new nickname... Hot Carl

-- Posted by Hershisers and Old Fashioned's on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 12:23 PM

I'm not saying they are. Just saying we need to build for the future.

-- Posted by Rocky09 on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 1:25 PM

Outfield: Holliday, Jay, Craig

Third: Freese SS: Furcal for now Second: Wong First: M-Carp Catcher: Yadi.

We have future on the roster in most spots and seem to have found the inefficiency of old, supposedly washed-up borderline HOFers. I'm not concerned about our future.

-- Posted by sideline starter on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 2:02 PM

They are more than already building for the future. Holliday, Jay, Freese, Yadi, Craig, Matt Carpenter, Descalso, Wainwright, Garcia, Lynn, Motte, Salas, Schumaker, Greene, not counting the top 5-10 ranked minor league system in the majors, which doesn't mean much and is just a ranking, but Cards have promising prospects in Matt Adams in Triple A who plays 1st base, Oscar Taveras in Double A projected as a corner outfielder and destroying the ball so far this year, Kolten Wong who will be the starting second basemen possibly next season and 2 of the top 10 pitching prospects in Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez. That's not counting the free agents or trades they can try and make after Berkman, Beltran, Chris Carpenter, Westbrook, and Lohse all come off the books in the next year or 2. Plus they have 5 of the top 45-50 picks in this summers baseball draft.

You never know if any of the prospects will work out or who will get injured or what else will happen, but i would say there are very few teams in baseball with the foundation for future success set up like the Cardinals do.

-- Posted by Dr. Basketball on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 2:25 PM

I hope you guys are right. Just not as optimistic I suppose. As I said, Berkman, Beltran, and Furcal are old. Freese and Craig really can't be counted on until they prove they can stay healthy entire season, talent is not the issue there. Holliday was good at what he was brought to STL for: Protecting Albert as a respectable name. He's never seemed to really come through alot in big spots and be the man (see his .210 average with runners in scoring position this year, and the fact that with the game on the line, the cubs intentionally walked the 2 hitter just to face him recently. Or see his average in the world series last year) I know I am especially hard on Holliday now though after the WS. I would have to be in ICU to sit out game 7 of the WS, and our cleanup hitter sat with a sore finger. Really?

Also, not that its really relevant to this argument, but its a bit of a stretch to consider Beltran or Furcal a borderline hall of famer. Very good major league players, but if they make the HOF, the prestige of that has truly went down.

-- Posted by Rocky09 on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 7:42 PM

If Beltran has two seasons similar to what Berkman did last year with the Cards, he's probably going to be in the Hall. Look at his numbers. They are pretty good. You seem pretty pessimistic to me but it's an opinion so I respect it.

-- Posted by sideline starter on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 8:26 PM

If he hits 30 bombs this year, and next, he will only have 360-370. And a lifetime average of 283. Yes that's very good, but not Hall of Fame good. If you don't have 500 bombs or 3000 hits, or are a FANTASTIC fielder, (and I'm talking gold glove caliber over a decade) it's very hard to make it as a position player unless your a catcher. There have been MANY outfielders with just as good of numbers or better who aren't in the Hall.

-- Posted by Rocky09 on Thu, May 3, 2012, at 9:13 PM


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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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