Game 27: Beltre’s Blast Hamstrings Indians
By Jared Book
Usually we do a little something with the moments that mattered. In this game, the moment that mattered was that Manny Acta intentionally walked Mitch Moreland to pitch to Alberto Gonzalez who was promptly pinch hit for Adrian Beltre who promptly took a Joe Smith pitch over the center field fence for a three-run go-ahead and game winning homerun. The Rangers are now 2-5 in games that Beltre does not start which goes to show how important he is to the team’s success.
He took a ball to the warning track yesterday that would have put the game within one, and today he had a chance to win it and he didn’t miss. Brandon Snyder took over in the field in the 11th inning and Beltre is not expected to start in tomorrow’s game, but if all he does is hit homeruns, he could hit the ball over the fence and have someone else run around the bases for him. They have that in the Majors right?
Derek Holland was the hard luck starter tonight. He was finally back to his early season form, but got into trouble in the eighth and Mike Adams, who I am a fan of, couldn’t keep the door closed. Alexi Ogando was brilliant and Joe Nathan got the save.
But back to Beltre for a second. His hamstring injury is obviously nagging him and Ron Washington has said that he will DH more often when he comes back and is ready to run the bases (which is the only difference between him pinch hitting and him DHing.) There are two sides of this. The positive is that Beltre’s bat is so darn good and that alone is enough to get it in the lineup any way possible – especially if the alternative is some combination of Brandon Snyder or Alberto Gonzalez. However, it does take some of Beltre’s value away. He is one of the best defensive third basemen in baseball. Not having him in the field does make the team a little bit worse defensively.
His offensive value is far greater than his defensive value. Therefore I’m not saying that this is a bad move. A healthy Beltre only hitting is much better than no Beltre. I’m just saying that doing this and saying there is no effect is wrong and to keep it in mind if a ball goes just beyond the reach of Elvis Andrus or Beltre or a slow roller does not get picked up barehanded on the play to first.
But, hey. If Beltre keeps hitting big shots in extra innings, does it really matter?