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The one guy that looms largest in this series is Beltran
In the history of Major League Baseball, going back to 1869, did you know that the player with the highest career slugging percentage in the postseason is Carlos Beltran (.817 overall)?
He has been in three postseasons (2004, 2006 and 2012) and made the most of them, establishing a reputation for rising up once the calendar changes to October.
Oh yeah, and Beltran played just last year with the San Francisco Giants. Seen as perhaps the missing piece to help San Francisco fend off Arizona and repeat, he hit .323 with seven home runs and 18 RBI in 44 games but was never really warmly received by Giants fans.
To be fair, that was because Beltran himself made it clear he wasn't exactly fond of AT&T Park and the often chilly Bay Area weather. However, Giant fans held Beltran to a higher standard than his new teammates, and it eventually led to the boo birds in full force last season.
Now, the 35-year-old slugger comes full circle and has a chance to prevent San Francisco from reaching its second World Series in three years. To do so, he has to beat the team that acquired him to be an offensive savior just a year ago. He is happy to be in Cardinal red and healthy; he has the chance to be an absolute difference-maker in this series.
If the Cardinals continue to get the best-slugging player in baseball history during this series, the scales tip in their favor. While the Giants have Posey and Sandoval, St. Louis has Freese, Craig and potentially Beltran. It would be the height of irony if Beltran proves to be exactly what San Francisco hoped he would be for them just one year ago.