NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – Jose Reyes is in position to become the first player in Mets history to win a batting title.
He may end up doing so in his final game with the team.
Reyes and the Mets close the 2011 season against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday afternoon.
“I do believe it’s the end of an era,” said WFAN’s Craig Carton.
Reyes went 3 for 6 with two solo homers Tuesday in New York’s 5-4, 13-inning loss. That pushed the three-time All-Star shortstop’s average to an NL-best .336, one point ahead of Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun.
Cheered by fans who realized the All-Star shortstop might play his last game for New York today, Reyes came out for a curtain call after his fifth-inning long ball. The home runs gave him seven this season and were his first since Aug. 2. This was his first multihomer game since June 19, 2010.
Reyes said he appreciated the crowd support, especially because “I don’t know if I’m going to be in Citi Field next year.”
The speedy Reyes will be one of the best players available on the free agent market despite a history of leg injuries. A batting title will surely help drive up the price.
He’ll have a good chance against Cincinnati’s scheduled starter.
Reyes is 4 for 5 with a triple in his career off Edinson Volquez (5-6, 5.84 ERA).
“I’m going to play (Wednesday), for sure,” said Reyes, whose average is the highest by a Met since John Olerud hit .354 in 1998. Olerud finished nine points behind Colorado’s Larry Walker for the NL batting crown that year.
The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts since being recalled from the minors Sept. 3. He didn’t get a decision in Friday’s 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh after giving up three runs over five innings.
A 17-game winner in 2008 before undergoing Tommy John surgery, Volquez has been sent to Triple-A twice this year to address control issues. He leads the team with 64 walks issued – in only 101 2-3 innings over 19 games.
Volquez is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two career starts against New York (76-85), walking seven Mets over 9 1-3 innings.
Cincinnati (79-82) earned its third straight win Tuesday, getting home runs from Jay Bruce and Joey Votto before Drew Stubbs’ squeeze bunt in the 13th drove home the deciding run.
Bruce (32 homers) and Votto (29) are two big reasons why the Reds lead the NL with 183 home runs. Bruce went 3 for 5 with a homer, a double and two RBIs on Tuesday after going 2 for 14 in his previous five games at Citi Field. Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, is 8 for 29 with four homers and five RBIs in eight games at the Mets’ three-year-old ballpark.
They will face the Mets’ Miguel Batista (4-2, 4.24) in the season finale. The right-hander will make his first start since for New York since Sept. 11, when he allowed four runs in five innings of a 10-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Batista is 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in three relief appearances versus the Reds this season.
Cincinnati will fall far short of defending its 2010 NL Central title, instead finishing with its fourth losing record in five years under manager Dusty Baker.
Will Reyes be back in Flushing next season? Sound off in the comments below…
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