Thursday, September 11, 2008

Maybe the Mets Don't Go As Reyes Goes?

The mantra for the past 3 seasons has been that when Reyes plays well, the Mets win. That's hard to argue with, but lately Reyes hasn't been playing well and the Mets are still winning.

Reyes is batting under .200 since the beginning of September and before the Nationals series he was batting .042 in his last 7 games. That's beyond atrocious, but in that same stretch the Mets had only lost 2 games.

Jose Reyes was supposed to be taking a new approach to his gameday rituals that was going to help him avoid the September slump that occurred a year ago. Maybe he should try something else.

I think the key to getting Reyes back on track is the forgotten art of the first inning bunt. When's the last time Reyes bunted in the first inning? It doesn't happen anymore. He fakes the bunt every once in a while, but why shouldn't Reyes get up there and lay one down every once in a while?

His swing has become much more of an uppercut and every ball he makes contact with ends up in the air. Even the most negligent Mets fan knows that Reyes needs to keep the ball on the ground to exploit his speed on the basepaths.

He's not taking as many pitches either. Reyes was stellar in July because he was walking a ton. A little more patience at the plate could help him turn things around.

Either way the Mets are winning in spite of Reyes' skid. That's a great sign, but don't be fooled into thinking the Mets don't need Reyes to be on fire. Winning games become a whole lot simpler when your leadoff man is getting on base and causing havoc.

Imagine this: Reyes, Wright, Delgado & Beltran all on the top of their game at the same time. Oooh baby.

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