Jose Reyes admitted what we already knew.
As the final days of this disappointing season wind down, he can’t help but think of closing out the year on a positive note -- and as the NL batting league champ.
“I can’t lie to you,” said Reyes, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in Monday night’s 6-5 loss to the Reds. His sixth-inning single put him at .344, ahead of the Brewers’ Ryan Braun, who started the day at .333. “I see it on the scoreboard because people were cheering about it. But I’m going to continue to play my game. I don’t want to put anything in my head the last two games.”
But he admitted “there’s no doubt” it’s getting harder to ignore the numbers game. “I think about it a little bit now because it’s two games left. But like I said, I have to be clear in my mind and continue producing.”
The game might have been meaningless for the Mets, who dropped to 76-84, but the crowd showed its support for the shortstop during each one of his at-bats.
“It was good tonight,” he said of the atmosphere. “They’ve been supporting me so that’s good to see. But we lost the game. I don’t care about batting titles right now because we lost the game and I made a mistake running the bases. That cost us the game so that’s the thing that I’m worried about now.”
With the Mets down 6-4 in the eighth, Mike Baxter walked with one out and then scored on Reyes' double to rightfield. However, Reyes was thrown out after he overran the second base bag.
“He got me,” said the shortstop, who added that he thought the cut-off man was going to throw home. “I should have just stayed there at second base because I was already in scoring position.”
Earlier this season that double would have been an easy triple, Reyes admitted. But the good news is, his legs have gotten stronger the last week and a half, he said.
Reyes vowed to remain focused over the final two games, but even he knows it won’t be easy. He’s well aware that these could be his final playing days in a Met uniform.
“Tomorrow and the next day it’s going to be tougher for me,” he said. “I’m going to have a lot of stuff going through my head. But like I said, I’m going to stay focused like always. And to be honest with you I’m going to think about it. It’s no doubt, because I don’t know what’s going to happen for me in the future.”
Reyes’ health had been a concern of late, after he recently confessed his left hamstring – which twice put him on the disabled list this season – is still bothering him. But Terry Collins said the batting title chase will factor into whether the shortstop plays in Wednesday’s season finale. Though Reyes doesn’t want to discuss it, Collins said before the game that “It’s certainly something that I think would be great for this organization to have somebody win the batting title. So we’ll take a look at it.”
Asked if he could picture himself not playing in the Mets’ final game of the season, Reyes said with a smile: “For the moment, no. I’m going to play. We’ll see what happens.”
Braun did not start last night's game against Pittsburgh, he smacked a pinch-hit double in the sixth to raise tie raise at .344. He had a chance to take sole possession of first place in the eighth, but he was hit with a pitch from Jason Grilli.