As I pointed out in a previous post, it could have done the Mets a lot of good if they had continued to win in September. Perhaps it wasn’t meant to be as the Mets have now dropped five straight games and seven out of their last eight.
These next 12 games could prove to tedious given how the Mets have been playing, but there is one storyline which all Mets’ fans can get behind.
That is Jose Reyes’ quest to be the Mets’ first ever National League batting champion.
As of Thursday, Reyes had the slimmest of leads over Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. After Wednesday night, Reyes was batting .331, while Braun was batting .329.
While Reyes continues to hit, what he isn’t doing is what is causing some alarms to sound off.
Since Reyes returned from his second stint on the DL on August 29, Reyes only has one stolen base (back on August 30). Since August 30, Reyes has played in 15 games and has not even attempted one stolen base. What gives?
Is Reyes not running so he can finish the season fully healthy, thus, giving him more leverage going into the offseason? Fans won’t like this approach. Terry Collins insists Reyes is ‘fine’ but he is just being cautious.
Eventually, whatever team signs Reyes this offseason will want Reyes for not only his bat but his legs as well. He has to start running, or some red flags will be raised.
Reyes’ propensity for injuries combined with his current hesitancy to run could be costing him some dollars. Hopefully the Mets can offer Reyes a reasonable five-year deal in the $80-100 million range (which most pundits are predicting) that he can feel comfortable with.
In any event, Reyes is still a thrill to watch. His energy is contagious and his passion for the game goes unmatched by almost no one. Whether he is at the plate or on base, Reyes still elicits a palpable sense of awe.
Let’s relish the opportunity that Reyes has in front of him. John Olerud (among other withing ten points of the title) came real close to winning the NL batting title in 1998 with a .354 batting average, losing out to the Rockie’s Larry Walker who had a .363 batting average.
With a season now bordering on apathy, at least Mets’ fans can take some solace in Reyes race for history. It gives us fans something-anything-to get excited about.
If these are Reyes’ last days with the Mets, he certainly is going to make it memorable. Hopefully, these final weeks are not a swan song, but more of a medley of how he will continue to tee off against National League pitching in Flushing.