The legend of Carlos Beltran is growing to epic proportions. The 36-year-old entered the 2013 post-season with a 1.154 OPS in 151 post-season plate appearances. He hit his 15th career playoff home run in Game 1 on Thursday, tying Babe Ruth for the eighth-most all-time.
Beltran passed the Bambino with his 16th career playoff home run with a solo shot to right-center off of Pirates reliever Mark Melancon to lead off the top of the eighth inning, tying the game at 3-3. Beltran took a cutter for a called strike before turning on a 93 MPH four-seamer.
Melancon has been the Pirates’ most reliable reliever all year, finishing up the regular season with a 1.39 ERA in 71 innings.
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”