Urban: Beltran doesn't change Giants formula

July 29, 2011, 2:21 am
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July 28, 2011


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Mychael Urban

PHILADELPHIA -- We're at three books and counting on the 2010 Giants, and if the 2011 Giants scale similar heights, expect to see five or six more.None of them will include a storybook first game for Carlos Beltran, but Beltran's first day in orange and black worked out quite well for all involved nonetheless.Beltran likely made a terrific first impression on Giants fan during his introductory press conference in the bowels of Citizens Bank Park, at one point trying to cease the incessant Phillies-related queries by admonishing in full smirk, "This is not about the Phillies." Later he joked that all he needed to know from Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who gave up uniform No. 15 for his new All-Star outfielder, was whether he wanted diamonds on his compensatory watch or not.

Bochy insisted he didn't want a watch, and that had to strike a solid chord with his club's fans, too.Watch? No, Bochy's body language suggested. Wrist bling's not my thing. Help me get another one of these rings, though, and we're square.RECAP: Lincecum shuts down Phillies; Giants take series
And it's in that vein that Beltran's 0-for-4 debut with the Giants can be considered a rousing success. Last year and this, the club has succeeded not because one particular player has carried a massive load but because everyone chips in here and there on the way to a win, and the win -- not individual glory or stats -- is all that ever matters.So something seemed fitting that despite Beltran's quiet night at the plate, he chipped in with a nice sliding catch in right field and the Giants picked up an awfully big win, 4-1, to secure the series victory in the finale of a three-game set against virtually everyone's "best team in the National League."Side note on that sliding catch: Think Giants GM Brian Sabean didn't swallow his tongue a tad when Beltran's right knee slammed hard into the turf, unearthing a pair of divots the size of Rhode Island? Even Tim Lincecum, who pitched a masterful six shutout innings, struck a pose of grave concern in the immediate aftermath, as if to say, "Dude, appreciate the effort, but go easy on those creaky things."Two days removed from a bout of food poisoning, Lincecum was anything but easy on the Phillies, battling through a muggy evening at less than full strength with six innings of frequent genius. In scattering three hits and four walks while striking out six, he picked up his ninth win and dropped his ERA to 2.78.And on the day the Giants welcomed the legitimate power threat they've lacked all season, Pablo Sandoval celebrated by becoming the first player who's been with the team all year to reach 10 homers.Does Beltran deserve any credit for that? Not really. But if you were down on the field during batting practice, you felt a palpable sense of excitement emanating from all Giants, and given that the Phillies wanted Beltran as much as the Giants, you're safe to assume the opposite effect was going down in the home dugout all night.The bottom line in this business is winning, and the Giants won again to take the series, two games to one.Beltran didn't have much to do with it, but isn't that almost a good sign?
His time will come soon enough. Book it.

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