(BaseballSTL) -- Can’t get off to a start much worse than this: Carlos Beltran hurts his knee in his first at bat in Game 3 against San Francisco.
Beltran grounded into a double play in the first inning and strained his knee on the run to first. He was replaced in right field in the top of the second by Matt Carpenter.
A strong argument could be made that Beltran is the best postseason hitter in baseball history. He’s been one of the few hitters swinging the bat well during the Giants series. He had two doubles in game 2. Now he’s out, and who knows for how long? Carpenter is a decent hitter, but he’s no Carlos Beltran. The Cardinals are in real trouble if Beltran’s injury is serious and he’s forced to miss considerable time in the postseason.
If there is a positive, and this is a real stretch, a serious injury to Beltran could give the Cardinals flexibility with their pitching staff in the series. If Beltran has to go on the injured list the Cardinals could remove him from their NLCS roster and add another player. It seems likely they would add Jake Westbrook, who might come in handy if the series reaches seven games and the Cardinals find themselves short of starting pitchers. Not much consolation I know, but at least it’s something.
Beltran has is batting .429 in the NLC with a home run, two doubles and two RBIs. In the regular season Beltran batted .333 against Giants' pitcher Matt Cain, including one home run.
Stay with BaseballStL for the very latest on this developing situation.