BOSTON -- Until shortly before game time Thursday night, there was no guarantee Carlos Beltran would be in the Game 2 starting lineup for the Cardinals.
He'd left Game 1 -- the first World Series game of his 16-season career -- after the second inning with a right rib contusion after banging into the bullpen wall pulling in David Ortiz’s drive with a highlight-reel catch. Beltran’s catch reduced Ortiz’s blast from what would have been a grand slam to a sacrifice fly.
But Beltran was able to play Thursday and he went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the Cardinals' 4-2 victory.
"Tomorrow I know for sure I'm going to wake up feeling sore,” he said. "Basically they gave me an injection [of Toradol] to kind of block the pain for five hours or six hours. I know for sure tomorrow I'm going to feel sore. The good thing is tomorrow I have the day off, and I've got the opportunity to get treatment, and hopefully Saturday I feel better than what I feel today.”
After the injury in Game 1, he wasn’t sure he’d be playing again in the Series.
"[Wednesday] I left the ballpark wondering what was going to happen, because the pain that I was feeling was so bad that I couldn't be back in the game,” Beltran said. "So thank God the news that I received was encouraging because everything was negative. And all I had was a big bruise on my chest. I knew that I was going to be able to play, but I didn't know it was going to be that fast.”
Beltran was asked if he would have played had this been a regular-season game.
"Why do you guys always ask those questions?” he said, laughing. "Well, you know what, I would say that as a player, I'm always going to come to the ballpark to prepare myself to play the game. At the end of the day I believe that being in the regular season, that the manager is going to be more cautious and probably give me the day. But if he let me choose, I always would love to choose to play because that's what I love to do.”