We knew this wouldn’t last. I mean, he’s too good.
Carlos Beltran struggling and struggling and struggling? Nah. There’s too much talent in that 6’1”, 215 pound body to remain in a slump for months on end.
Sure, from June 26th until September 8th Beltran hit just .201 (ouch) with a .248 on-base percentage (double ouch). He also averaged a strikeout per start during that time frame.
It was ugly. The man who was hitting .313 with a .402 OBP and 20 home runs through June 25th was gone. He looked lost at the plate and suddenly very very old.
But, lately, the six-time All Star is picking things back up. In the last five games he’s eight for 18 with four walks and four runs scored. And this mini hot streak could not possibly be coming at a better time.
When the Cards were at their very best this season, it was when the offense was firing on all cylinders. That’s where the most talent on this roster resides. The starting rotation and bullpen have arms capable of dominating but hasn’t shown an ability this year to really overwhelm the competition on a consistent basis as a whole.
The offense, meanwhile, was the best in baseball for the season’s first couple months. Heck, even with their downturn since June the offense is still fifth in MLB with 703 runs scored, third in team batting average at .271 and its .336 team on-base percentage also ranks third overall.
If there’s a part of this team that’s capable of getting hot and flat-out taking over...it’s the bats. They did it in April and May. And they can do it in October, too.
But Carlos Beltran has got to be a part of that. When he’s on, he provides extra depth and pop to this lineup that isn’t there when he’s off. Jon Jay provides the spark at the top. Matt Holliday and Allen Craig drive in runs in the middle. Yadier Molina and David Freese offer exceptional depth. But Carlos Beltran makes this offense scary when he’s going right.
If the Cardinals are going to hang on to this final wild card spot, win the play-in game and make a run deep into the postseason...the offense needs to be clicking on all cylinders. Don’t forget. The Cards average about six and a half runs a game in their 80 wins. They average around two and a half in their 70 losses.
So, basically, they score...they win. They don’t...they lose. Simple.
Carlos Beltran plays a monstrous role in that.