Reyes is coming off this best game of the season last night, when he went 3-for-5 – including a triple – two stolen bases and three runs scored in the rout of the Phillies. One of those hits was off a bunt.
“I can’t wait to get on base two or three times a game,’’ Reyes said. “My legs feel so good now.’’
After undergoing surgery to replace a torn hamstring tendon, and missing most of spring training with a thyroid issue, Reyes as struggled for much of the season. His legs missed that strong push-off step and he looked lost batting third and developed a noticeable uppercut in his swing.
The result was a .275 on-base percentage.
However, relaxed back in the leadoff spot – he said it was like going home to see his family – Reyes has turned it on with multiple hits in three of his past four games. Not coincidentally, the Mets have won those games in which he had the hits.
When Reyes is on his game, runs seemingly scored effortlessly. Last night he led off with his 1,000th career hit, was sacrificed to second, stole third and scored on a Jason Bay’s ground out. It was the definition of a manufactured run.
“That’s a big part of my game – getting on base and running like crazy,’’ Reyes said.
Reyes moving back to the leadoff spot solidified the Mets batting order; it made things whole again, if not normal. It enabled manager Jerry Manuel to slot Bay third, move rookie left-handed hitter Ike Davis to clean-up and drop David Wright to fifth.
“It’s not just me, every leadoff guy from every team, if they get on base, something good is going to happen,’’ Reyes said. “That’s why we bat leadoff. The more we get on base, the more runs we’re going to score.’’
Manuel said the only thing that could change things would be the return of Carlos Beltran, but he’s on the 60-day DL and due back not until midseason.