Ted Williams famously opted against resting to preserve his .400 batting average on the final day of the 1941 season, instead going 6-for-8 in a doubleheader to finish at .406.
Jose Reyes took a different approach today, leading off the Mets’ season finale with a bunt single that raised his batting average to an NL-leading .337 … and then immediately exiting the game as fans in New York booed the decision.
They didn’t even wait for Reyes to run the bases or take his position defensively in the next half-inning. And that may end up being his final moment in a Mets uniform, which is a shame.
By adding a 1-for-1 to his season totals Reyes has made things very difficult on Ryan Braun, who now needs to collect at least three hits tonight to win the batting title.
Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.
Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.
Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.
Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.