Jose Reyes' production may be picking up somewhat -- he's batting .281 in his past seven games -- but the first-year Marlin is not clicking on all cylinders just yet, Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said.
"He's swinging the bat a lot better the last week," Guillen said."He's seeing better pitches. He's making good contact. I'm not going to make any excuse for him: He's been hitting some balls hard, right at people. That comes with the game. He's not hitting .220 because of that, or .230. He had bad at-bats, too. He had a bad week. But he is swinging the bat a lot better, making more contact and he's getting on base a little more. That will help us."
Reyes went 1-for-12 during the first meeting, at Citi Field. He enters the weekend series with a .233 average and .321 on-base percentage.
Why did Reyes struggle at Citi Field?
"I think we have good pitching. I mean, I really do," Terry Collins opined. "Johan [Santana] is a real good pitcher. Nobody likes to face R.A. [Dickey], to the point Jose hit right-handed the first time up, because that's what other switch-hitters have done -- gone to their natural side. That's not easy. And Jon Niese knows how to pitch. We kind of like our pitching a little bit, too. And when you face good pitching, I had Tony Gwynn tell me a long time ago, 'I'm 0-for-4 against good pitching. What I do, when I get those average guys, I get four hits.' Jose is a very, very good hitter. And I just think our guys pitched very, very well against him."
Collins added that keeping the speedsters Reyes and Emilio Bonifacio off the bases will be critical. Bonifacio also was 1-for-12 in the first meeting.
"If you can do that, you've got a chance to keep them from getting big innings," Collins said.
• Guillen suggested Heath Bell would resume closing duties a week after being pulled from the role.