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Carlos Beltran hits two home runs for St. Louis Cardinals Sunday, might be unslumped

Carlos Beltran demonstrates the mutability of slumps by hitting two home runs in the St. Louis Cardinals' win Sunday.

Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

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.