CARLOS BELTRAN:My first at-bat he was throwing me a lot of fastballs outside and inside and I was seeing the ball pretty good. I was about to tell Carlos, Carlos, I feel pretty good today at the plate. He said, "Just keep it simple, if you see the ball, hit the ball." My third at bat, I just went up there, and he threw me a pitch in the middle of the plate and I was able to hit it and as soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to be out of the ballpark and it was going to give us the lead and I was very happy about it, because Tommy was pitching a great ballgame.
Does this bring back any memories of two years ago in the playoffs?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Of course. Every time you do something in October, it means a lot.
Against St. Louis.
CARLOS BELTRAN:Yeah, in the postseason that I have with the Astros against St. Louis, that was a great postseason, and just hitting the home run today, of course brings memories. But I cannot be thinking about what I did in 2004. This is 2006, and I just need to continue to do it, you know, to do the right things for the team and try to help the team anyway I can offensively or defensively.
I think your numbers, I think you have nine home runs now in 16 post season games, which would work out to 90 for a full season; what is it about the post season that brings this out, a higher level of concentration or what?
CARLOS BELTRAN:Put it this way; I think my Lord let me come through in situations like this one. I mean, my first postseason, I just went out and tried to have fun, tried to enjoy the time, because as a player you never know when it's going to be your next opportunity to be in a situation like that one. I didn't try to do too much. I just let things happen and not try to make things happen. I'm approaching this one the same, I'm not trying to hit the home runs, hit the base hit and hit the double. I'm trying to help the team and keep it simple. Sometimes as a hitter you try to do so much and things don't go the way you want it. When you go into the batter's box and just see the ball and hit the ball, a lot of good things happen, and that's what I did today.
I'm curious, what if anything Glavine said to you after you gave him the lead.
CARLOS BELTRAN:No, he didn't say anything. He's a guy that goes about his business. He sits down on the bench and when he is done pitching an inning, he sits back and tries to go hitter by hitter; he's always thinking about what he's going to do the next time. He didn't say anything. He gave me five, but basically that's it.
Do you know much about Reggie Jackson's career, and do you feel like -- seems like you're kind of like the new Reggie Jackson as far as the postseason.
CARLOS BELTRAN:I'm Carlos Beltrán. (Laughter.) Reggie Jackson is Reggie Jackson. It's a great comparison. But in postseason, this is a blessing, for me it's a blessing. Every time you make it to the postseason, it means your team plays well and you contribute to help the team win. It makes me feel happy that, you know, I was able to come through today.
Is it safe to say that the fans are in your corner for good now?
CARLOS BELTRAN:They have been good. You know, they have been good. They have been supporting us big time this year. I think it's amazing, the atmosphere, when you are out there playing the game, the fans are really into the game from the first pitch to the last pitch. I'm just very happy that we won this one and are able to enjoy it and ourselves, also.
Your first hit in the postseason in Shea Stadium here, your feelings about that.
CARLOS BELTRAN:I feel good. As I say, I feel good. Every time you do something to help the team win, you have to feel good about yourself, and I just feel happy that I was able to come through in that particular at bat and we were able to take the first game of the series. I think it's always important when you win the first one because it develops confidence in the guys and the ballgame and we feel very happy, because the Cardinals they are a good team. As I say, this is only one game and we have more to go.
Jeff Weaver was pitching a good game, sixth inning had a one-hitter, you had a 2-2 pitch and what you hit and what it seemed like he threw you?
CARLOS BELTRAN:Well, Weaver is a guy that has a good sinker and also has a good cutter. Today he didn't use the cutter. We went out there thinking about that pitch, and he basically was getting outs with fastballs outside, inside. When I got to the 2-2 count, I was trying to see the ball, hit the ball. I mean, I wasn't looking for any pitch, and he threw me a fastball right in the middle of the plate. I think the catcher was sitting outside and he left it in the middle. When I hit it, I knew it was going to be out of the ballpark. So it was going to give us the lead. As I say, after that, Glavine was able to pitch a good game.
You talked about what you were like with the Astros. What's been your biggest change from the Astros to now, what's been your biggest change, your biggest significant change?
CARLOS BELTRAN:Well, when I went to play with the Astros, you know, basically we were eight games behind, wild card. I went out there just to try to fit there and try to do my job and try to do what I know I'm capable of doing. Coming to New York, it was different than Houston because the media, it was more media; the city was different. Getting used to the new environment, it was different, but it wasn't difficult. I think having my first year last year, my experience, I learned a lot of good things to play in this city. I'm just happy to be here and happy that we are in the post season, happy that we are winning ballgames, and like I said, this year has been a great year because for the most part I was able to stay healthy and help the team accomplish our goal, which is playing in October.
How is the leg, how close to 100% are you and is it affecting you in the outfield in any way?
CARLOS BELTRAN:The leg is about 80 percent. I don't feel 100% yet. But like I say, I can play like this and I'm going to continue to play like this. My abdomen is bothering me a little bit. It's more -- it's bothering me more than my leg. But like I say, I can play like this, I'll be fine. It only bothers me when I try to reach bad pitches out of the strike zone, so maybe it's a good thing, so I can look for good pitches and don't chase the bad ones.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less