Jose Reyes Wins NL Batting Title

Jose Reyes’s .337 batting average was good enough to take home the 2011 National League batting title.  Few can deny Reyes was beyond impressive this season, but many take issue with the way the shortstop concluded his year.

After laying down what is being termed ‘the bunt heard round the world’ in the first inning of yesterday’s season finale, Reyes made his exit.  Before the game, Reyes told Mets manager Terry Collins that, if he was able to lead off the bottom of the first with a base hit, he wanted to be taken out.  Reyes’s reasoning for this was simple; he wanted to preserve his batting championship.

So, after a scoreless top of the first, Reyes laid down another bunt and reached on another infield base hit.  Per his request, Reyes was then lifted for pinch runner Justin Turner, making his exit with his batting average sitting at a lofty .337.

To the chagrin of many Mets fans, Reyes was done just as quickly as he started.  With his contract ending after this season, it could have been the final impression Reyes left on Mets fans.

Whatever the case, the base hit allowed Reyes to maintain his lead in the race for NL batting champ over Milwaukee Brewers outfield Ryan Braun.  To overtake Reyes, Braun had to go 3-4 last night.  Instead, Braun went 0-4, sealing Reyes’s batting title.

Along with maintaining the National League’s highest batting average, Reyes tied for the Major League lead in triples (16) and finished 4th in steals (39).  With free agency looming, Reyes picked the right year to post career highs in batting average, on base percentage and slugging percentage.

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