Carlos Beltran drives in winning run during 13th inning as Cardinals outlast Dodgers Authentic Zdeno Chara Youth Jersey
ST. LOUIS When it was over, after 13 innings and nearly five hours of baseball, one central baseball truth stood as more evident than ever: Carlos Beltran is one of the premier players of our time, especially in the postseason.
The longtime Met, whose playoff numbers rank among the best in history, ended a lengthy National League Championship Series Game 1 on early Saturday morning, singling off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen to drive in Daniel Descalso, and defeat Los Angeles 3 2. In the 10th, Beltran had extended the game by throwing out Mark Ellis at the plate.
"One of the best postseason performers I have ever seen," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny of Beltran, a career .345/.449/.750 hitter in the playoffs.
David J. Phillip/AP
Yadier Molina shouts after tagging out Dodger Mark Ellis, who tried to come home from third base during the 10th inning.
"I'm aware of what I have done," Beltran said. "It's always great to be able to come through."
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Way back at the beginning of the evening, the Dodgers were the only team to apply offensive pressure. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly bent in the first inning, allowing a one out single to Mark Ellis and hitting Hanley Ramirez, but came out of the jam roaring, literally after striking out the side with mostly sliders outside of the zone, Kelly pumped his fist while leaving the field.
His experience two innings later was more deflating. Carl Crawford ignited the successful rally with a leadoff double; later, after Kelly walked two batters with pitches not even close to where they were supposed to be, Juan Uribe knocked in Authentic Johnny Boychuk Youth Jersey the first two runs of the game with a single.
Through the first third of the game, the Dodgers maintained a significant lead in time of possession, with Zack Greinke cruising through the early innings. Clayton Kershaw's co ace had a perfect game going with two outs in the third inning, when he encountered his first blip, and it was an odd one: A single by Kelly, the opposing pitcher.
That was egregious, as was Greinke's follow up, a walk to Matt Carpenter, who hit .053 in the division series. Beltran was next, and what else would you expect but a game tying double off the center field wall?
This one did come with a qualification. Andre Ethier, dealing with shin splints and starting for the first time since Sept. 13 and www.officialnhlhockey.com/ZDENO_CHARA_JERSEY_AUTHENTIC-c-1_13_15.html a corner outfielder by trade did not snag the ball, with a weirdly timed jump and awkward stab at it.
RELATED: FEINSAND: IT'S THE ALCS WE ALL WANTEDJuan Uribe hits a two RBI single in the third inning.
"He really basically had to be able to tell us that he felt like he was going www.officialnhlhockey.com/JOHNNY_BOYCHUK_JERSEY_AUTHENTIC-c-1_13_22.html to be able to go out there and make all the plays," manager Don Mattingly said before the game, of the decision to start Ethier. "That was the main thing."
Skip Schumaker had been subbing for Ethier in the division series, and it was reasonable to wonder if he would have made this particular play. Whatever the answer to that, the hit counted for two bases, and two runs, and it began the game anew.
It froze there for three innings, as Greinke and Kelly both settled into an almost dull dominance, stripping the game of action. Kelly left after six, having allowed just the two runs, and Greinke lasted eight. The Dodgers might have rallied in the eighth, after Adrian Gonzalez walked to begin the frame and Mattingly, oddly, removed his best home run threat for pinch runner Dee Gordon, who was quickly erased on a fielder's choice. Oops.
"It's one of those things that you've got to shoot your bullet when you get the chance," Mattingly said, defending his decision. came in the 10th, with Ellis on third and one out. Michael Young (in Gonzalez's spot) flied to right, and Beltran threw out Ellis trying to score. Yadier Molina raised his arms and pumped his fists, and the game continued.
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