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Got offense? Beltran the BeastPosted 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.
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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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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