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Carlos Beltran Returns, Mets Still Terrible: Marlins 4, Mets 2

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Carlos Beltran is back, for better or worse. For the 2009 team I suppose it's clearly for better, as Beltran gives beleaguered fans another reason to tune in on a semi-daily basis. He went 1-for-4 in his return tonight with a double, a nice sliding catch in the eighth, and came a few feet shy of a momentum-shifting grand slam in the bottom of the seventh. Beltran claims to be at 100%; rusty, but pain-free. I used to think that if the medical staff cleared him to play then that was good enough for me, but that's a tough sell these days. A couple of months ago it looked like microfracture surgery on Beltran's knee might put him out of action for the rest of 2009 and much -- or all -- of 2010. A second opinion prescribed rest and now Beltran's playing big league baseball again. I have no idea if his playing these last few meaningless weeks could negatively affect his availability in 2010; I suppose something disastrous could happen on the field, but I suspect a bit of running, swinging, and other baseball activities probably won't cause any undue damage. I also suspect that he'll spend much of the offseason resting and conditioning so he can be ready to go for next year.

Tim Redding fell off the horse of a few straight decent starts and laid an egg, giving up four runs on five hits and four walks while striking out four. Bullpen MVP (?) Elmer Dessens pitched a scoreless inning of relief, while the Mets' seventh inning bullpen committee of Ken Takahashi and Sean Green managed to record three outs without allowing a single Marlin to score. Brian Stokes and Pedro Feliciano combined to pitch scoreless eighth and ninth frames.

Angel Pagan, shifted to left field to make room for Voltron, went 2-for-4. Jeff Francoeur went 1-for-3 with an RBI and his second unintentional walk in the last two games. David Wright went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, one with the bases loaded in the seventh. Josh Thole's two game hitting streak to begin his career is officially kaput, as the Mets' young catcher went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.

Pat Misch takes on Ricky Nolasco at 7:10pm on Wednesday.

Haiku by Howard Megdal

A Beltran return
Cannot best Marlins, team that
Homers at Citi

Swag Contest

Swag contest results can be found here and the next game's swag form already available. You can read more about the swag contest here.

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Fish Stripes Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: Luis Castillo, +18.3% WPA, Fernando Tatis, +10.4% WPA
Big losers: David Wright, -27.1% WPA, Tim Redding, -16.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ross GIDP in second, +10.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ramirez two-run homerun in third, -19.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -3.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -46.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Cameron Maybin

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by KeithsMoustache; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 KeithsMoustache 72
2 blueandorange4life 66
3 Syler 52
4 metsguy234 51
5 Jadden Hopkins 48
6 FatalFlaw 44
7 firejerrynow 41
8 firejerrymanuel 29
9 All Shook Down 20
10 MetsFan4Decades 15