Carlos Beltran wanted desperately to help the Giants return to the playoffs last fall during his short time with San Francisco.
The Giants missed out a year after winning the 2010 World Series.
Now, Beltran is in the other dugout with the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals, facing the Giants in the National League Championship Series.
“It was great,” Beltran said. “Being able to play for the Giants was a good thing for me. I was looking forward to trying to be in this position. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. But at the same time, just being able to play for these fans, they’re very loud, they’re good fans. They’re really supportive. I got the opportunity to meet a lot of new faces, new teammates, and it was a good time.”
Beltran, acquired by the Giants in a trade with the New York Mets in late July last year, batted .323 with seven home runs and 18 RBI in 44 games while also missing time with injuries.
While the Cardinals had their own remarkable rally from six runs down in Washington on Friday night — Beltran’s double started a four-run comeback in the ninth inning of Game 5 — he was proud to see his old team come back from a 2-0 deficit in the NL Division Series to win three straight games against the Reds on the road in Cincinnati.
“That shows right there what type of team they are,” Beltran said. “They’re a good team, they play together, they’ve got a good pitching staff, and they’ve also got a good manager in (Bruce) Bochy.”
NIX IS IN
When Jayson Nix signed a minor league contract with the New York Yankees in the offseason, starting at shortstop in place of Derek Jeter in the postseason was hardly in his mind.
Still, throughout the season he was always prepared for the moment he might have to replace big stars.
“These are the things I have to consider,” Nix said before Game 2 of the American Leauge Championship Series against Detroit. “A certain guy goes down, I’m up. If Robbie (Cano) goes down or Derek goes down or Alex (Rodriguez) goes down, I’ve got to play.”
And play he will, for as long as the Yankees remain in this postseason.
He said Jeter, who broke his left ankle in Game 1 and is now out for the postseason, texted him Sunday morning to wish him well.
“He just said good luck. He said he believes in me, and go get ’em,” Nix said.
The 30-year-old Nix hit .323 over 18 games in spring training but was sidelined for two weeks with a bruised left calf and started the season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But he was called up in May on the same day Mariano Rivera injured his knee shagging flyballs during batting practice and has stuck with the team.
“To be able to come here and fill a role for this team and be around this group of guys has been very special,” Nix said.
BASE COACH OUT
San Francisco Giants first base coach Roberto Kelly will miss at least the first two games of the NLCS with a concussion after being hit in the back of the head by a foul ball in batting practice.
Assistant batting coach Joe Lefebvre will take over Kelly’s duties for at least the first two games of the series.