Today in Postseason History: Carlos Beltran begins his epic NLCS tear with a two-run homer
Postseason History: Beltran catches fire in 2004 NLCS
There are good postseasons, and there are great postseasons -- and then there's the postseason that Carlos Beltran put together for the Astros in 2004, which can be accurately summarized as "one continuous dinger party."
Beltran got things started in the NLDS against Atlanta, batting .455 and hitting four homers -- including two in Houston's decisive Game 5 victory at Turner Field. He then looked upon his work, shrugged, and decided to crank it up to 11. His first at-bat in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Cardinals went like this:
Beltran wouldn't look back from there: He went yard in each of the next three games as well, tying the record for most homers in a postseason (eight) and most consecutive postseason games with a long ball (five). Sadly for Beltran, though, Jim Edmonds hit a walk-off for the ages to force a Game 7 that the Cardinals would go on to win, denying us all the approximately 80 billion homers Beltran surely would've hit in the World Series that year. Speaking of World Series homers, Oct. 13 marks another anniversary you may have heard of ...
Bill Mazeroski hits the only Game 7 walk-off home run in World Series history
Baseball doesn't get any more dramatic than a tie score in Game 7 of the World Series -- it's the scenario every kid imagines when they run around in the backyard. But, there's only been one Game 7 walk-off homer in Series history, and it came from one of the most unlikely sources.
Prior to 1960, the Pirates hadn't won 90 games since 1944. The Yankees, meanwhile, were the Yankees -- winners of 10 of the last 12 AL pennants with a roster stocked with future Hall of Famers. But, Pittsburgh played New York to a draw, pushing the series to a seventh game. The teams found themselves tied at 9 heading to the bottom of the ninth, when a light-hitting defensive whiz named Bill Mazeroski hit one of the most improbable and iconic homers in postseason history:
In addition to providing one of the game's most iconic moments, Mazeroski's blast also gave us an all-time great Yogism, when a reporter asked Berra where exactly his team went wrong during the series: "We made too many wrong mistakes."