Houston Astros at Dodgers: Why Carlos Beltran could be useful tonight

Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)
Carlos Beltran of the Houston Astros (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images) /

The Houston Astros fell to the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 in a game that didn’t seem to have many breaks for the team notwithstanding Alex Bregman’s homer but here’s why Carlos Beltran could be useful tonight.

The Houston Astros opportunity to participate in the World Series is underway and this team is doing everything they can to make the most of it, despite trying to get it done in a likely unprecedented heat wave that’s going on in Hollywood.

Dallas Keuchel pitched an extremely solid game last night but the Dodgers are so good that they were able to expose the few mistakes that he made.  The biggest one obviously was the Justin Turner two-run homer that he gave up at the bottom of the 6th.

It wasn’t necessarily a bad call but Keuchy just had the unfortunate luck of Turner being able to grab a hold of his cutter.  That’s just baseball and there’s no way to inference that other than strange things can happen in America’s pastime.

The bats were mighty silent last night outside of Alex Bregman‘s solo at the top of the 4th.  The team was a combined 3-for-30 against Clayton Kershaw who was dealing and continuing to strike out the side when he had the opportunity.  Bregman (1-for-4), Jose Altuve (1-for-4) and Josh Reddick (1-for-3) were the only guys enabled to get hits off of him.

But now that our anemic offense during Game 1 is yesterday’s news, let’s think about match ups for this game.

So here’s my stance…

The Houston Astros need to figure out how to give Carlos Beltran some at-bats tonight.  Why?  Because of his excellent batting history against Rich Hill.  I know, I know, this is a risky move considering Beltran’s age and that he’s not he hitter he once was but I think he’s good for a few

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more hurrahs before he hangs up his jersey for good.  Can you imagine if Beltran was able to be the unsung hero against the Dodgers, helping Justin Verlander propel us to a Game 2 win?  It’s not too far-fetched.  Quite frankly, the only way I see him get in there is late in the game in the pinch and Hill may be long gone by then.  You could put him in left field but the risks outweigh the benefits over not having Marwin Gonzalez out there.

Here’s how Beltran has done against Hill in the past:  In 11 at-bats, Beltran’s slash line is .273/.273/.545 with an OPS of .818.  He has amassed one homer, three hits, two ribbies and four strikeouts against him.  Yes, it’s a small sample size but I think it’s enough for him to get out there for some at-bats because these two have a history together.

But I’m willing to push a portion of my chips to the table on Beltran, just for the sheer fact that he too can be clutch when the moments precede him.

Next: Astros vs. Dodgers: THREE thoughts on this World Series

I know what I’ll likely see on the lineup card today but this is an interesting proposal that I’m making.  Nonetheless, with Verlander out there, he’s going to invigorate this team on both sides and hopefully can give us the opportunity to knot this series a one a piece before the series comes back home for three games.  There’s nothing to it but to do it!

Go Astros!