ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Beltran may be an example that you can take a player off the Mets but you can't take the Mets out of the player. His year has been like theirs: great start, poor summer.

Beltran's season still is good, of course. He has 28 homers and 86 RBIs, which is outstanding, and his team is in the thick of the postseason race. But after June, he has batted only .205 with eight homers and 25 RBIs. Beltran, who did not play Monday because he injured his knee diving for a foul ball against the Nationals on Sunday, recently had a cortisone shot to relieve pain in his hands.

Last week, he told St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz on the latter's local radio show, "The hands aren't bothering me. The past two months really have been difficult for me. I'm a man of no excuses. I am working to solve this. I will continue to fight."

 

Numbers game

Matt Harvey, Tuesday night's starter for the Mets, has two or three starts left in his season, Terry Collins said. His shutdown will not be as controversial as that of Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg, who is likely to make his final start Sept. 12 at Citi Field. Given his choice, Collins would take the Nats' situation. "I wish we were five games up," he said.

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Buffalo reinforcements

With Buffalo's season ending Monday (with a rainout), the Mets said six players will join them Tuesday: pitchers Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia, Elvin Ramirez and Justin Hampson, outfielder Fred Lewis and Jordany Valdespin, whose position is not particularly clear.

 

McHugh review

Collin McHugh, after allowing four runs and six hits in four innings in his second start: "Against a team like that, where seven out of the nine guys are hitting .300, I've got to be smarter. Simple as that."