St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran has made a name for himself in the postseason. He has a career 1199 OPS in 40 playoff games and has played in the League Championship Series four times. However, he has yet to make it to the World Series.
"It's all I want," Beltran, 36, told USA Today. "That's what every player wants. That's why I play this game, to get to the World Series, and win it. I'm running out of time."
He certainly played like he wanted to finally win a pennant on Friday, leading the Cardinals to a Game 1 victory over the Dodgers in extra innings. In the 10th inning, Dodgers second baseman hit a single that turned into a triple on a Jon Jay misplay. Two batters later, Michael Young hit a fly ball into right-center field that looked like it would be enough to score Ellis. Instead, Beltran caught it, fired home, and nailed Ellis at the plate to preserve the tie.
Later, in the 13th inning, Beltran hit a walk-off single to bring home Daniel Descalso for the winning run.
"To me, it was a pitch right down the middle. I don’t blame him because he’s trying to make a pitch," Beltran said of the Kenley Jansen offering that ended the game.
"The reason I signed here was because of the tradition this organization has and being able to consistently go to the playoffs," Beltran said. "It was fun last year. It's fun this year. There are so many players who haven't been to the playoffs, so I feel fortunate."
"I try not to keep up with the numbers because when you try to keep up with the numbers, you could get caught out there trying to do a lot of bad things and trying to look for homers," Beltran said. "I’m aware of what I have done. (God) has allowed me to put myself in this type of situation. It’s always great to come through as a ballplayer."
"I'm aware of what I have done," Beltran said, "but at the end of the day, understand this is not about me. This is about the team. I thank God that we were able to come out with the win."
Cards' infielder Daniel Descalso:
"The guy is amazing, unbelievable," Descalso said. "He just finds another gear in October. You watch him every day during the season, and the things he does, it's unbelievable. I don't know how to explain it. You've got to want to be in those big spots, with the game on the line, and you have to embrace it. He does a great job with that, and not let the situation overwhelm him."
"That’s the guy you want up in that spot. … Amazing. Unbelievable. Outstanding. The guy finds another gear in October."
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis
"He's basically built a résumé as probably the greatest postseason player of all time," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Then you compound that when you give him two 3-1 counts to hit in. He's a guy who knows what to do with pitches in the strike zone in those situations."
Cards' infielder Matt Carpenter
"It’s the playoffs and Carlos always finds a way to get it done," Carpenter said. "You have to put glass under his nose to see if he’s breathing because he’s so calm, cool, and relaxed. It’s like jazz music is playing in his head while he’s out there."