Originally posted on Next Impulse Sports  |  Last updated 10/12/13
The opening game of the National League Championship Series got off to a start that many predicted, with the St. Louis Cardinals defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 in 13 innings. We told you yesterday that it would be a low-scoring affair. We told you pitching would be a major factor. And we also told you that Don Mattingly would be an x-factor. All of those came true. And with a little help from a missed call at home plate, Carlos Beltran cemented his place in postseason history with yet another prolific performance. If you stayed awake until the wee hours of Saturday morning, you saw a great finish. And, as mentioned, you saw Carlos Beltran continue to mark his spot in postseason history. Beltran made the most of his 6 at-bats with two perfectly-timed hits, including the game-winner off the Dodgers’ stud closer Kensley Jansen. In total, he knocked in all three Cardinals runs and made one stellar play in the outfield, gunning down Mark Ellis in the top of the 10th on a play that didn’t look controversial at first. As the ball reached Yadier Molina at home, Ellis was 3 or 4 feet from home plate as Molina braced for the collision. When Ellis reached home, Molina turned just enough away from Ellis that he never actually tagged him with the ball or glove. On a bang-bang play, that would be hard to tell. In a world where the home audience has dozens of camera angles to choose from, it was clearly visible. Although Ellis claimed after that game that he even knew that he should have been out, that is not the point. It was a missed call, and unfortunately, could have swung the game’s outcome in their direction.  USA Today has a pretty good rundown of the entire series of events of that one play. What also could have assisted the Dodgers throughout the evening was Adrian Gonzalez, the Dodgers’ $22 million slugging first baseman. Replaced by Dee Gordon in the 8th inning at Mattingly’s behest, Gonzalez got to sit and watch Gordon promptly forced out due by a fielder’s choice. Strategy backfire. Two innings later, with men on 1st and 3rd, Gonzalez’s replacement, Michael Young, came up and hit the weak pop fly to right that resulted in the play at home detailed above. Two innings later, Young came up again with two men on and hit into another double play. Two at-bats and four outs. Don Mattingly’s strategery backfires definitely assisted in the Cardinals victory but the outcome wasn’t his fault entirely. The Dodgers missed a lot of opportunities to take Game 1. Zack Greinke’s stellar performance went to waste, and he no doubt will remember that the next time out – whether it’s a positive or a negative. The Dodgers left a lot of runners on the bases, with Yasiel Puig and Young coming up multiple times with runners and not getting the job done. And the bumbling by Mattingly in the 13th, bringing his closer in with two men aboard already – which is statistically the worst thing you can do with a closer – did not help. But it was Beltran who brought the most positive outcomes to the game. Beltran’s two clutch hits and thrown from right to gun down Ellis were the highlights. But, more over, Beltran further cemented his spots as one of the greatest – if not the greatest – postseason hitter of all-time.  In only 40 postseason games, Beltran has a .345 average, 16 HRs, 34 RBIs, 42 runs, 11 SBs, and is top five all-time in both OPS and Slugging. He has similar numbers to Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in as many at-bats and it’s time to acknowledge his badassery. With last night’s showcase, it looks like the world has. Game 2 is tonight. And word is Hanley Ramirez might miss it due to an injury he sustained during an at-bat in which he was hit by a pitch in the rib cage.  However, the Dodgers are countering with Clayton Kershaw to even the series and that is exactly what the Dodgers need to happen. [ESPN, USA Today, LA Times, Twitter] Article found on: Next Impulse Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jose Canseco to join NBC Sports California for A’s coverage

NFL owners to rake in absurd money in relocation fees

Report: Childs facing aggravated assault, pot possession charges

Report: Browns looking to ‘make another run’ at Garoppolo

NFL Annual Meeting primer: Raiders, rule proposals, etc.

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Why the Celtics have a chance against the Cavs in the playoffs

Luke Maye attends 8 a.m. class day after hitting game-winner

Bill O’Brien ducks Tony Romo question, praises Tom Savage

Trevone Boykin arrested after car crashes into Dallas bar

Bruce Allen says he and Cousins ‘laugh’ about trade rumors

Rob Gronkowski already itching to get back on field for Patriots

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Did Team USA's victory save the World Baseball Classic?

The Rewind: George Mason's improbable run to the Final Four

Breaking down the Naismith Award race

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker