After 20 seasons and seven postseason trips, Carlos Beltran finally gets the ring he’s been looking for all these years.
While the Dodgers may have won game one and were viewed by many as the favorites, the Astros scored two runs in the first inning of game seven Wednesday night and held on to win 5-1.
Beltran didn’t get a chance to hit, but this was an emotional moment as this is his first taste of championship glory.
Beltran made it to the postseason with the Mets just one time before, in 2006. Every Met fan knows of how he struck out looking to end the NLCS that year, but his postseason journey reaches far beyond that one mistake.
Each trip to the playoffs always ended in heartbreak for Beltran. In many cases those trips ended in odd and ironic circumstances.
Now Beltran can be at ease, after playing in more than 60 postseason games, he’s finally getting his ring. When the time comes, he can now retire a happy man.
When it comes to the regular season, Beltran was nothing short of spectacular. He’s played in more than 2,500 games and racked up more than 2700 hits and 430 home runs. He played more games with the Mets than with any other team.
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Since the Mets traded him in 2011, Beltran spent the better part of 3 seasons with the Cardinals and Giants. Those two teams combined to win the World Series three of the six times between the trade and this season.
Unfortunately Beltran wasn’t a part of either of the championship teams. This only added to the irony surrounding his long and fairly dissappointing postseason journey.
The Unlucky Journey
On October 21st 2004, Beltran and the Astros lost game seven of the NLCS to the Cardinals. This was his first postseason appearance, one in which he posted an impressive 1.521 OPS, but it wasn’t enough for the team.
Two years later Beltran made it to the postseason again with the Mets only to face a very similar outcome. The Cardinals yet again managed to dash Beltran’s dreams in game seven of the NLCS.
Both times, Jeff Suppan started for the Cardinals. The Diamondbacks traded Suppan to the Royals a few days before Beltran made his debut in 1998. Both were teammates from then until the end of the 2002 season.
Once Beltran left the Mets, his postseason resume grew in the strangest ways possible. He was traded in 2011 to the Giants for Zack Wheeler. The Giants won the World Series the year before and Beltran was expected to help them win again. In the end, the Giants didn’t even make the playoffs and the cardinals won it all.
The following season Beltran signed with the Cardinals, but the script flipped again as they lost in the NLCS. For the third time in a row, his team lost in game seven of the NLCS. Who better to lose to than the Giants, who go on to win the World Series again.
In 2013 Beltran had some luck as the cardinals went on to beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers in game six of the NLCS. This marked his first World Series appearance, only to lose to the Red Sox.
Since then, his postseason luck only continued to get worse and worse. Beltran couldn’t even get win one series in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 with the Yankees, the Astros beat them in the Wild Card game and in 2016 with the Rangers, the Blue Jays beat them in the NLDS.
That’s what brought us into 2017. This season Beltran made it to the postseason with the same team he made his first appearance with. The Astros went on to beat the Red Sox and the Yankees and entered tonight’s game against the Dodgers hoping for a victory.
Christina Cola, Editor
Living in LA I’d been rooting for the Dodgers this entire series. I’m probably one of the few who never forgave Beltran for looking at strike three. But as the game progressed, I realized the Dodgers weren’t ever going to come back. I went through the five stages of grief in a matter of 20 minutes. And by the time the 8th inning arrived, I fully accepted the Astros winning it all.
I’m glad Beltran got his ring, I’m glad the city of Houston has something to cheer about, and I’m glad that I don’t have to look at Chase Utley for awhile.
Richard Heaton, Staff Writer
I was a big fan of Beltran while he was with the Mets and I could only grow to like him more and more with every team that he bounced to. (Except the Yankees)
You look at what Beltran did through his career, for so many different teams and you begin to question why this hasn’t happened sooner. Every year he would lead his team to where they needed to be, but couldn’t get past the final few hurdles, until now.
For most of the postseason, I’ve been rooting for the Dodgers, for guys like Bellinger and of course, Turner. In the back of my mind though, I also knew there was a shot at a real achievement here to close out a lifelong journey, similar to R.A. Dickey and his comeback leading up to his 2012 campaign