08/03/12 11:36 PM ET
Reyes extends hit streak to career-high 22
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
The Marlins' shortstop bunted for a single in his first at-bat against the Nationals on Friday in Game 1 to extend his hit streak to a career-high 21 games, then repeated the feat in Game 2 to extend the streak to 22 games.
Reyes hit safely in 20 straight from July 17-Aug. 7, 2005, while with the Mets.
"I feel good at home plate," the four-time All-Star said before Friday's doubleheader. "I feel like every time I put a swing on the ball, it's a good swing. That's good. I've been consistent, that's something I missed in the first half of the season, to just be consistent on a daily basis."
Reyes' streak started on July 13, in Miami's first game after the All-Star break. After Friday's doubleheader at Washington, in which he went 5-for-10, Reyes is now hitting .360 (32-for-89) over his 22-game stretch.
Reyes is the sixth player to hit in at least 20 consecutive games this season, joining Robinson Cano (23), Michael Brantley (22), Pablo Sandoval (20), Angel Pagan (20) and Adam Jones (20).
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Reyes is the first reigning league batting champion with a hit in 20 straight games since Nomar Garciaparra in 2000.
In the last 25 seasons, only Garciaparra, Tony Gwynn (1997) and Larry Walker (1999) reached hitting streaks of at least 20 the season after winning a batting title.
Garciaparra and Gwynn reached exactly 20, while Walker had a string of 21 games.
Reyes is the seventh player in Marlins history to hit safely in at least 20 consecutive games. The franchise record is 35, set by Luis Castillo in 2002.
A year ago, Emilio Bonifacio hit safely in 26 straight. Kevin Millar reached 25 games in 2002. The others were Edgar Renteria (1996) and Castillo (1999), who each finished at 22 games. And, in 1996, Greg Colbrunn hit in 21 in a row.
Another side note, Reyes, Sandoval and Pagan mark the first trio of switch-hitters to each reach 20 games in the same season since 2005. That year, Jimmy Rollins had a string of 36 straight, while Brian Roberts and Reyes each hit in 20 straight.
Reyes went from hitting leadoff to third on July 27. In his first nine games in that spot in the order, he's batted .395 (15-for-38).
"I don't think that had nothing to do," Reyes said. "I'm looking for my pitch. When I get it, I'm going to hit the ball hard."
Cishek growing into role of closer
WASHINGTON -- All the qualities are there for Steve Cishek to emerge as a quality closer. It's just a matter of the 26-year-old gaining experience in the role.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is increasing Cishek's opportunities to close now that Heath Bell no longer holds the position.
Technically, the Marlins are using a closer by committee. Matchups may factor into Cishek not always getting the nod. But the way the bullpen is constructed now, it is likely that Cishek will get most of the chances.
The right-hander picked up his fifth save of the season on Wednesday, when Miami beat the Braves, 4-2, at Turner Field.
Asked if Cishek can be a quality closer in the big leagues, Guillen said: "Yes, he throws strikes."
A rangy 6-foot-5, 200-pounder, Cishek has a deceptive sidearm delivery. Unlike many who drop their arm angle, the Falmouth, Mass., native has pretty good velocity. He throws in the 92-93 mph range, which is plenty of velocity. Normally, right-handed sidearm pitchers don't touch as high as 90 mph.
Cishek has struck out 42 in 44 1/4 innings, while walking 20. So he's showing command and control.
He's been especially tough on right-handed hitters, who are batting .163 against him. Left-handed batters are more effective at .299.
With more chances, Guillen feels Cishek will improve against lefties.
"I think you will see overall that he will start throwing better against lefties," the manager said. "He's throwing a little better to righties than to lefties. The more maturity he gets, and his breaking ball is thrown for a strike. And he uses his changeup. I don't see why not."
Effective closers, Guillen said, have at least one strikeout pitch.
"It could be a changeup, slider or a fastball," the manager said. "If you've got one pitch to strike a guy out, and you have to throw strikes, you will be fine."
Justin Ruggiano, who has sat three straight days due to back spasms, hit off a tee on Friday before Game 1. He also did some throwing, and he feels he is ready to play.
• Giancarlo Stanton continues his rehab assignment at Class A Jupiter, and the plan remains for him to be reinstated off the disabled list on Tuesday, when the club is in New York to play the Mets. The All-Star right fielder had his right knee scoped on July 8 to remove to cartilage chips.
• Reliever Chris Hatcher was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on Friday, as lefty reliever Dan Jennings was optioned to New Orleans.