At least one part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ nightmare-factory Game 1 loss has been rolled back in time for Game 2 of the World Series: Carlos Beltran is back in the lineup just a day after bruised ribs forced him out of a weirdly sloppy blowout.
That is: Forced him out of a weirdly sloppy blowout as he did the only good thing they managed all night, robbing a David Ortiz grand slam that would have put things way out of reach five innings early.
The Cardinals need Beltran, even if he’s not 100 percent—the other option, given Allen Craig’s health, is probably Shane Robinson in right field (instead of center, where he’d at least upgrade the defense.) Whether he’s valuable as a whirling postseason dervish and World Series battle-standard or not, he’s just an excellent hitter on a team that did not hit at all Wednesday.
While they were at it, the Cardinals announced that Joe Kelly would start Game 3 of the series, with Adam Wainwright a backs-against-the-wall possibility for Game 4. This is not the place to write 1000 sad words about Shelby Miller, however, so I’ll let that pass without further comment.