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Sunday, July 08, 2007

Carlos Beltran's Key Met Moments

Carlos Beltran had a miserable first season with the Mets, but since thing he's been a big part of the team. He doesn't like to be in the spotlight, or to be the star player, but he's had some big impact games and single-handedly won a couple of games for the Mets over the last couple of years. There are a couple that come to mind.

  1. On May 23rd 2006 against the Philadelphia Phillies at Shea, Carlos Beltran launched a long homer over the Mets bullpen in the 16th inning to send everyone home. No one else seemed to be getting to Ryan Madsen, who was in his 7th inning of relief at that point, and even earned a start for the Phillies off of that performance.

  1. Game 1 of the NLCS in 2006. A classic pitchers duel. The only two runs scored by the Mets off of a Carlos Beltran home run down the line.

  1. Sunday, April 29th, 2007. Carlos Beltran's home run is the only run scored in a terrifically pitched game. John Maine gets the win, but Beltran was just as important.

  1. Thursday, May 17th, 2007. Carlos Beltran has a pinch-hit walk as part of the Mets 5-run come from behind rally against the Cubs.

  1. Saturday, June 23rd, 2007. Lost among the Paul Lo Duca ejection was a key single to left field by Beltran that would've scored the only run of the game, had Ricky Ledee not gotten thrown out at the plate.

  1. Saturday, July 7th, 2007. Beltran smacks a single to right field to score Jose Reyes with the go-ahead run in the top of the 17th with the Mets quickly running out of pitchers. Beltran also made a terrific catch on the hill in center field in the bottom of 14th to rob Luke Scott of a walk-off hit.

His ability to come through when he's needed (game 7 aside, no one's perfect, even Babe Ruth has ended a post season with a caught stealing.) is going to play a huge role in where the Mets go this year. He's able to play great defense, and his playoff performance with the Astros can't be overlooked. He's a solid contributor to this team, and most of the difference in his numbers from last year are a result of the inconsistency of the rest of the lineup.

Reyes is going through one of his mini-slumps, but Wright's been hitting well. Carlos Delgado seems to be picking it up a little bit, but he's teased us with that before. The Mets outfield is beat up, but after the All-Star break I expect we'll get to see some of Lastings Milledge, which could add some excitement. The last I heard Moises Alou was on the road back, but I haven't heard much since then. I think these days off will really help Delgado, and he'll have his best half-season as a Met yet. Endy and Gomez will probably be lost until September, but they should be around for October, when they can both play key roles.

Hopefully the Mets can end this half with another win, and go to the All-Star break with the attitude that the worst is over. I look forward to seeing the Mets starting on Tuesday night, and after they scored and drove in the only runs last year, seeing if the rest of the league can help them out this year. The more World Series games at Shea, the better a chance I have at getting (more, I'm already guaranteed one game) tickets.

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