ST. LOUIS Mike Matheny and the Cardinals know first hand what a hot Carlos Beltran can mean to a team in the playoffs. And they hope to see it happen again.
Beltran continued a recent surge at the plate Sunday, launching two home runs and collecting five RBI to help the Cardinals knock off the Washington Nationals 9-4 at Busch Stadium.
The win dropped the Cardinals magic number to clinch the second wild card spot in the National League to 2. It also reinforced how dangerous and impactful a productive Beltran can be.
"Days like today remind us just how good is," Matheny said. "It's fun to watch when he gets everything going. Now is a perfect time."
A catcher on the Cardinals in 2004, Matheny watched from behind the plate as Beltran went 10-for-24, hit four home runs and scored 12 runs for the Houston Astros in the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals.
Two years later in 2006, the switch-hitting Beltran had eight hits, three home runs and scored eight runs...