Inside Pitch Q&A: Carlos Beltran

PHILADELPHIA – The Mets are back on the road after cleaning up at Shea Stadium with a 5-1 homestand, and new centerfielder Carlos Beltran is still reveling in his new-found status as the toast of the town.<br> <br> Beltran joined <I>Inside Pitch</I> for an exclusive Q&A in which he described what it was like to play in front of excited, capacity crowds in Queens all week and more.

Carlos, you just finished up your first homestand as a Met, playing your first games in front of full crowds at Shea Stadium. Was it any different than what you expected or envisioned coming in?

I've just got to say, it was great to play good at home and give that to our home crowd. At the same time, it's great to feel the support from the fans. I've got to say, any time you come home and win ballgames, it's good.

You had a few sellout crowds on hand at Shea last week. When you're coming up the tunnel from the clubhouse, do you get a different feeling, knowing that there is a capacity audience on hand?

Yes, we feel the energy. I'll tell you this, those games, our fans were behind us. We can be behind in the game, but the fans still get excited and are in the game cheering. We win those ballgames. I'll tell you, it's great anytime you can play at home and have the support of the fans. They really want to win and we don't want to let our fans down.

Is there one lasting moment of the homestand that comes to your mind as you talk about it?

I think it was the game where [Ramon] Castro hit the ball to right field and tied the game, and then later in the game we wound up winning. Also, the game [on Saturday] where Castro had the game-winning hit. Those were great games and great experiences.

You guys started out the year 0-5, but there was always this very confident feeling in the clubhouse. Where did that come from?

I think it comes from spring training. We know from the games we played in spring training the way we can play over there. All of a sudden, we came out struggling and people realized that we need to find ways to win ballgames. We played like we played in spring training and all of a sudden, we found ways to turn things around and win six in a row. It's great.

Are you finding that baseball fans are recognizing you on the streets of New York after games?

Yes, I feel like I'm recognized in New York. It's great to see the fans anywhere I go. They're just letting me know that they're happy and they're hopeful we can win this year.

Did any of the fans say anything funny or memorable to you?

No, not really. They've been kind. So far. (Beltran grins)

There was a lot of talk before you signed as to how you would handle a major market like New York. Has it been easier or harder in any way for you?

It's been good. I'll tell you this, I knew coming in what I was coming to: a big market team with a lot media and a lot of people every day. With the contract and everything I get, it comes with responsibility. I knew where I was going coming in. I'm happy to be here and it's not even close to what I was expecting. It's a lot, but less than what expected.

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