he True Fans Bleed Blue and Orange: Moment Number Eight: Beltran's Walkoff Caps Great Comebackh

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Moment Number Eight: Beltran's Walkoff Caps Great Comeback

When the Cardinals came to Shea at the end of August there was buzz that the series could be a potential NLCS preview, little did we know that it actually was. The Mets had previously lost two out of three games to the Cardinals in mid-May, and the Mets were searching for revenge against the eventual champs. A game that included Carlos Delgado's 400th home run (grand slam), a six run comeback, and a showcase of the future second and fourth place MVP finishers. Albert Pujols schooled John Maine, destroying two pitches for home runs, one a grand slam, the other a three run home run. Pujols accounted for all seven runs of the Cardinals, putting him over the 100 rbi mark for the sixth time in his six seasons. Despite the fact that Pujols finished above Beltran in the MVP race, and had the overall better night the Mets centerfielder was one better on August 22nd.

Entering the bottom of the ninth former Met Jason Isringhausen entered the game to close out what the Cardinals thought would be a series opening victory. Isringhausen, a former Met part of Generation-K, was dealt years ago, only to burn the Mets and become one of the better closers in baseball. However, 2006 signified the beginning of a new Mets franchise, and what Beltran did clearly showed the Mets were no longer going to make mistakes. After LoDuca hit a single to lead off the ninth Carlos Beltran stepped to the plate. Beltran, who was crucified by Mets fans a season before, only to respond in 2006 by having one of the greatest season the Mets have ever seen, had yet to have a crowning moment as a Met. That would soon change. As Beltran rocked his bat back and forth in a 6-7 game Gary Cohen, the Mets SNY broadcaster, set the scene, and concluded by saying "one swing can win it for New York." Cohen could not of been more right, literally one pitch later Beltran told a Jason Isringhausen fastball to about-face, sending the ball into the Mets bullpen.

With Beltran skipping up the first base line pointing to the fans we all knew that Beltran has arrived. Beltran's 102nd and 103rd rbi's were his two most important of the season, because Beltran has become a Met, and has displayed his sixth tool. Beltran portrayed his ability as a "five tool talent" all season, but on August 22nd, as was so often all season, Beltran showed a very rare tool. Beltran was clutch.

Of course, the Cardinals would have the ultimate revenge, striking Beltran out in the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded and two outs in game seven of the NLCS. Sorry, had to stick that in there.


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