It is going to take more than a badly bruised set of right ribs to keep veteran Carlos Beltran out of his maiden World Series.
“Somebody would have to kill me in order for me to be out of the lineup,” said Beltran, who clubbed a two-out single to right field to lift the St Louis Cardinals to a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, which knotted the World Series at 1-1.
Beltran’s RBI single scored teammate Daniel Descalso, capping a key three-run rally for the Cardinals in game two of Major League Baseball’s championship series.
The series now switches to St Louis for three contests, beginning with Game 3 of the best-of-seven set yesterday.
Beltran’s game two heroics were a blessing for the Cardinals, who suffered an embarrassing 8-1 drubbing in Game 1, which had the Boston press calling them the St Louis Tomato Cans.
Beltran, a switch hitter, was not even supposed to be in the lineup on Thursday after injuring his rib cage in Game 1 at Fenway Park
However, the switch hitter had waited 16 years to reach his first World Series and nothing was going to stop him from playing in Game 2.
Beltran said doctors injected him with the drug Toradol to mask the pain so he could move around on the field.
“They gave me an injection to block the pain for five or six hours. I am going to be sore tomorrow,” said Beltran, who batted two-for-four with one RBI in the contest.
You have got to feel for Beltran. The right fielder finally gets to the World Series and lasts just two innings of his first game before getting hurt on a terrific running catch to steal a grand slam from Boston slugger David Ortiz.
“When I left the ballpark, I had very little hope that I was going to be in the lineup,” said Beltran, an all-star slugger of his own, who suffered the injury when he slammed into the low railing on the outfield wall at Fenway Park.
Beltran left the game at the end of the second and was taken to hospital where luckily the X-rays came back negative.
The team is officially calling it a “rib contusion.”
Although he is hitting about .250 in the playoffs, Beltran is arguably the best playoff hitter of his generation.
And he can inflict damage from either side of the plate. In 13 post-season games this year, he has 12 hits and a team leading 13 RBIs.