As Carlos Beltran took his team to the brink of yet another World Series birth, many realized that he may be the greatest hitter in postseason history. However in New York, he is often vilified for watching an Adam Wainwright curve ball for strike three and ending the Mets season – the Mets haven’t made it to the playoff since. Based on those events in 2006, one couldn’t help but find sweet comedy with the baseball gods when Beltran was again the batter with two outs in the ninth and his team trailing. Although this plate appearance resulted in a walk and the Cardinals would lose the game 9-0, Beltran further cemented his playoff legacy.
In his seven playoff series (including this year’s one-game Wild Card) Beltran has a postseason career slash line of .363/.470/.782. He has 14 home runs, which equates to one home run roughly every nine at-bats. He has 45 hits in 35 career postseason games and has never been held hitless in any series. On top of that he has 11 stolen bases and hasn’t been caught. Beltran ranks at the top of career postseason batting average for players with a minimum of 100 plate appearances. He also ranks first in slugging and is second behind Lou Gehrig in on-base percentage.
Beltran is arguably the greatest all-around switch-hitter of all-time, but some cannot get past one strikeout six years ago (myself included) by possibly the single greatest curveball in postseason history. But for how great Beltran’s postseason career numbers are and the individual tear he went on during single postseasons, one fact remains the same: Beltran’s teams have made the playoff three times, have made then League Championship Series three times, have gone to Game 7 of the LCS three times, but have never made it to the Fall Classic.