I wrote last week about how Carlos Beltran had the highest slugging percentage and the highest OPS in playoff history, and since then he’s actually managed to raise both numbers while also taking over the all-time playoff lead in batting average and on-base percentage too.
After going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk last night Beltran is now hitting .400 with a .500 on-base percentage and .897 slugging percentage in eight playoff games for the Cardinals this season.
And here are the updated all-time postseason leaders among players with at least 100 plate appearances:
OBP SLG OPS
CARLOS BELTRAN .489 CARLOS BELTRAN .838 CARLOS BELTRAN 1.327
Lou Gehrig .477 Babe Ruth .744 Babe Ruth 1.211
Babe Ruth .467 Lou Gehrig .731 Lou Gehrig 1.208
Beltran also owns the highest postseason batting average (.378), so he’s basically the all-time playoff leader in everything. And if you prorate his playoff numbers over a full 162-game schedule it works out to .378 with 76 homers, 49 doubles, 135 RBIs, 205 runs, 130 walks, and 49 steals without being caught.
The Yankees are facing a convoluted path to the postseason, and they didn’t do themselves any favors after Todd Frazier fell for Ryan Goins‘ hidden ball trick in the third inning of Friday’s series opener. With one out and Frazier on second base, Jacoby Ellsbury skied a deep fly ball to right field, where it was caught by Jose Bautista just shy of the warning track and tossed back to Goins at second. Goins faked the throw to Marco Estrada, then sneakily (or not so sneakily, depending on your vantage point) gloved the ball and caught Frazier off the bag for the third out.
Of course, it helped that Frazier’s back was turned during the throw, so Goins’ fake-out may not have been as obvious as it was when the Yankees reviewed the tape several minutes later.
Goins earned another spot on the highlight reel in the sixth inning, mashing his second grand slam of the season while Frazier — and the rest of the Yankees’ offense, sans one home-run-record-slaying Aaron Judge — scrambled to catch up. The Yankees currently trail the Blue Jays 8-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, and will need to pull off a comeback (and hope the Astros and Athletics clinch their respective games) before they can lay claim to a playoff spot.
The Blue Jays have shut down left fielder Steve Pearce for the remainder of the season following a lingering case of lower back stiffness. Pearce has not appeared in a game since September 8, when he was forced to exit in the first inning after experiencing back pain during his at-bat. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca, he’s scheduled to return to Florida next week, where he’ll receive epidural injections to address the pain.
Pearce, 34, impressed in his first season with Toronto. He battled through a calf injury during the first half of the season and finished the year with a modest .252/.319/.438 batting line, 13 home runs and a .757 OPS through 348 PA. By September, the Blue Jays started testing the waters with outfield prospect Teoscar Hernandez, who shouldered the bulk of the starts in left field after Pearce was sidelined with back issues.
With the Blue Jays all but eliminated from playoff contention, however, there’s no rush to get Pearce back to the outfield. He should be in fine shape to compete for another starting role in spring, and could face stiff competition from Hernandez if the rookie continues building on his .278 average and three home runs this month. The veteran outfielder is slated to receive the remaining $6.25 million on his contract in 2018 and will be eligible for free agency in 2019.