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Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Reyes hammy still whammy

By Adam Rubin

Jose Reyes said he continues to feel periodic left hamstring tightness since returning Aug. 29 from his second trip to the disabled list this season. As a result, Reyes said after Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals, he is hesitant to play at full throttle.

Reyes has only one stolen base attempt in 15 starts since returning.

“Earlier in the season it was healthy. It’s not the same now because I just come off of the disabled list,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to blow out my leg running like crazy out there. If I feel good, I’ll run like crazy. But right now my leg is not where it needs to be. ... It’s good enough to play, to be on the field. So I give you everything that I have.”

Reyes indicated there has not been a re-injury, necessarily.

“Five days ago it was very good,” Reyes said. “The other day I felt it a little bit when we played Chicago -- nothing crazy, but I feel some tightness in my leg. That’s why I backed off a little bit. ... Sometimes, when you’re at home plate, you think about it -- ‘Oh, man, if you hit a shot, how am I going to run to third base?’”

Still, when manager Terry Collins told Reyes he plans to give the shortstop Thursday’s matinee against the Nationals off before the Mets head to wild-card combatants Atlanta and St. Louis, Reyes objected to sitting.

“I love to play, man. I want to be on the field,” Reyes said. “So we’ll see what happens.”

Meanwhile, Reyes went 3-for-4 with a walk Tuesday to lift his batting average to .333.

Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun went 1-for-5 on Tuesday night, and his average slipped to .329.

“The batting title, I don’t think about that. Believe me,” Reyes said. “I just want to be on the field and continue to play. When I was playing healthy with no problem, it was kind of fun to be out there on the field. I missed that for a couple of weeks when I hurt my hamstring. So I just want to enjoy the game as much as I can and whatever happens after ... there’s still a lot of baseball left, you know? There’s still a lot of baseball left. Two weeks. Fifteen games. A lot of things can happen.”

Said Collins: "The other night he hit a ball that in May is a triple. He stopped at second base because he said, 'I can score from second as easily as I can score from third.' And I've emphasized it. I'll be the first one to stand up and say I emphasized the fact that he's got to stay healthy. It's so important for us and for him to keep him in the lineup."