When a veteran slumps late in the season, it's easy to just assume the narrative is right. Carlos Beltran was hitting just .254/.361/.380 in September Saturday morning—and that was his best month since the All-Star Break. He's old, he's injury prone, he was over his head earlier, therefore he must be a mess. Sunday afternoon, with the St. Louis Cardinals looking to cut another game from their Wild Card magic number, Carlos Beltran went 3-4 with two home runs and five RBI.
It doesn't wipe out two-and-a-half months of struggling, exactly, but it shows just how thin the gap is between the middle of a slump and the end of one. If Beltran's two-homer day were the beginning of a big run down the stretch, I don't think anybody would be especially surprised—because slumps are bad, and they can feel endless, but once they end it's like they never happened at all.
Of course, like a bear market, it's hard to call the real ending until after it's over. Carlos Beltran looked terrible Saturday, and he looked great Sunday; here's hoping he looks pretty good on Monday.