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mets

Welcome Back, Carlos

The last time Carlos Beltran played a game that mattered — that is, a game with the Mets still ostensibly in a pennant race — was June 21, 2009, at Citi Field against the Tampa Bay Rays. In the lineup for the Mets that day: Alex Cora, Gary Sheffield, Daniel Murphy, Ryan Church, and Wilson Valdez. (Beltran went two-for-four with a walk in a 10–6 loss.) The Mets are a lot better now than they were then, and tonight, Beltran at last returns for the Mets against the San Francisco Giants. Beltran will bat cleanup and play center field. Carlos Beltran is actually in the lineup for the Mets tonight. Unless you could Luis Castillo — and you shouldn't — for the first time in memory, the Mets are, at last, whole. Now what happens?

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Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images