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Schwei: Jose Reyes Battling For Batting Title

Jose Reyes

The Mets’ Jose Reyes connects on third-inning single against the visiting Washington Nationals on Sept. 13, 2011. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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By John Schweibacher
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Jose Reyes begins the final series of 2011 with a chance to become the first Mets hitter to win the National League batting championship.

Even if the Mets shortstop falls short of the batting crown, he will still post one of best single-season batting averages in club history.

Here are the top 10 single-season batting averages in Mets history among players who would have qualified for the batting title:

•John Olerud .354 1998

•Cleon Jones .340 1969

•Lance Johnson .333 1996

•Jose Reyes   .331 2011 (through 9/25)

•Dave Magadan .328 1990

•David Wright .325 2007

•Mike Piazza .324 2000

•Edgardo Alfonzo .324 2000

•Cleon Jones .319 1971

•Paul Lo Duca .318 2006

The Mets rallied with six runs in the top of the 9th inning to defeat the Cardinals, 8-6, in St. Louis last Thursday.

The come-from-behind win was the 7th in Mets history in which they trailed by at least four runs in the 9th inning or later.

Here is a list of those seven Mets comeback wins:

•9/22/11 at St. Louis 8-6 (Down 6-2 heading to the top of the 9th; Willie Harris 2 rbi single caps six-run inning)

•5/17/07 vs. Chicago 6-5 (Trailing 5-1 in bottom of the 9th; Carlos Delgado 2 rbi single caps five-run rally)

•5/23/99 vs. Philadelphia 5-4 (Down 4-0 against Curt Schilling; Robin Ventura hits 2 run HR, Jermaine Allensworth rbi single and John Olerud 2 run single in five-run 9th)

•9/13/97 vs. Montreal 9-6 (11) (Trailing 6-0 and being one-hit by Dustin Hermanson through eight innings, Carl Everett grand slam ties game in 9th; Bernard Gilkey 3-run HR wins game in 11th)

•6/14/80 vs. San Francisco (Down 6-2 heading to bottom of 9th; with one on and two out, Lee Mazzilli and Claudell Washington rbi singles, Steve Henderson 3-run HR caps game-winning rally)

•7/17/73 at Atlanta 8-7 (Behind 7-1 going to 9th; Mets score seven times on pair of two-run homers by Staub and Milner, pinch-hit rbi single from Jim Beauchamp and pinch-hit two-run single by Willie Mays)

•4/23/65 at San Francisco 9-8 (11) (Mets trail 8-2 in 8th and 8-4 in 9th; score four times to tie game in 9th and Charlie Smith sac fly puts Mets ahead for good in 11th)

Mariano Rivera recently became the all-time saves leader in Major League Baseball history.

Five of the top 12 saves leaders (and nine of the current top 25) in history once pitched for the Mets: John Franco, Billy Wagner, Jeff Reardon, Randy Myers, Roberto Hernandez, Rick Aguilera, Jason Isringhausen, Francisco Rodriguez and Armando Benitez.

Two teams had four of the current top dozen at one point:

Yankees: Rivera, Lee Smith, Jeff Reardon and John Wetteland.

Cincinnati Reds: Franco, Myers, Reardon and Smith.

None of the current top 12 appeared for any of these three teams:

Arizona, Colorado and Seattle.

The Mets close out 2011 with three games against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. The Mets swept the four-game series with the Reds in Cincinnati back in July in the only other meeting this season between the two clubs.

This year’s regular season is scheduled to conclude on Wednesday. The last time the Mets completed the regular season on a day of the week other than Sunday was also against the Reds back in 1999 when the two clubs played a tie-breaker to determine the National League wild card.

In 1990, the MLB schedule concluded on a Wednesday after the lockout that Spring delayed the start of the regular season.

The last scheduled mid-week season enders were back in 1974, which concluded a stretch of five seasons out of six that ended on either a Wednesday or Thursday.

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: R.A. Dickey. Allowed just one run in no-decision vs. Phillies, giving knuckleballer a 1.51 ERA over his last six outings.

Hits: Pinch Homers. Val Pascucci’s pinch-hit home run vs. Philadelphia was the Mets 8th of 2011, matching 1991 for 3rd-best total in club history (11 in 1997 and 12 in 1983 rank 1-2).

Errors: Hit Parade. Mets pitchers allow season-worst 19 hits in 9-4 loss to Phils.