NEW YORK — Jose Reyes was in reach of becoming the first Mets player to win a batting title, bunting for a hit in the first inning of his team’s finale before leaving what could be his final game for New York.
Reyes raised his average to .337057, 2 1/2 points higher than Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun going into the Brewers’ regular-season finale against Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Braun began the final day hitting .334525. Braun could win the NL batting title by going 3 for 4, which would raise his average to .337478.
Reyes said he told Mets manager Terry Collins “If I go 1-for-1, take me out of the game.”
It may have been Reyes’ final game for the Mets. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.
“A lot of people told me I shouldn’t play today. I said, ‘Oh, no. I want to play. I want to be there for the fans,’ ” Reyes said. “I don’t know if I’m going to be here next year.”
Braun said he respected “whatever decision he decided to make and ultimately he left the door open for me. It’s not impossible. I’ve gotten three hits in a game plenty of times. So, it’s still attainable, it’s still a possibility.”
Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera was pretty much assured of the AL batting crown, entering with a .343 average and a five-point lead over the Texas Rangers’ Michael Young.
Toronto’s Jose Bautista was leading for his second straight major league home run title with 43, while the Brewers’ Prince Fielder and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp were tied for the NL lead with 38.
After threatening to become the first Triple Crown winner since Boston’s Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, Kemp faded from the batting race and had a .324 average entering the final day.
Kemp led the NL with 124 RBI, and the Yankees’ Curtis Granderson topped the AL with 119, one more than teammate Robinson Cano and two in front of Boston’s Adrian Gonzalez.
Cincinnati’s Drew Stubbs struck out 205 times, ending Mark Reynolds three-year run as strikeout king.
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki had 184 hits, ending his record run of 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons.
While Starlin Castro (206) was assured of the NL hits title, Texas’ Michael Young (212), and Gonzalez and Red Sox teammate Jacoby Ellsbury (both 211) all had a chance in the NL.
Atlanta’s Michael Bourn had 59 steals and will lead the league for the third straight year, while Oakland’s Coco Crisp and the Yankees’ Brett Gardner shared the AL lead with 49.
Among pitchers, Detroit’s Justin Verlander at 24-5 had the most wins in the majors since Arizona’s Randy Johnson in 2002.
Verlander also won the AL ERA (2.40) and strikeouts (250) titles, becoming the first winner of a pitching triple crown since San Diego’s Jake Peavy in 2007.
Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers led the NL in ERA (2.28) and strikeouts (248) and tied Arizona’s Ian Kennedy for the lead in wins (21).
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