Reyes bunted for a single against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of New York's 3-0 win and was immediately lifted for a pinch runner, leaving him with an average of .337. Braun went 0 for 4 in Milwaukee's game against Pittsburgh to finish at .332. He needed to go 3 for 4 to pass Reyes.
The two All-Stars entered the day separated by just one point.
A free agent after the World Series ends, Reyes was playing possibly his final game in New York. The move was booed when he left the game.
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Signed by the Mets as a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Reyes can become a free agent after the World Series. In a season interrupted by leg injuries that caused two stints on the disabled list, he scored 101 runs and led the majors with 16 triples.
Fans chanted "Please stay, Jose!" throughout the ninth inning, and he gave a salute to the crowd as he walked off the field. Chants of "Jose Reyes!" continued after he threw his hat into the stands as he disappeared into the home dugout at Citi Field for perhaps the last time.
"I always say, I want to stay here," Reyes said. "We're going to see what happens in a few weeks. I just need to sit down with my agent and make a plan."
Reyes planned to host 15 to 20 friends at his home to watch Braun's progress. If Reyes wins the title, friends in the Dominican Republic intended to hold a parade for him in his hometown.
"You never know what's going to happen," Reyes said.
Miguel Batista (5-2) pitched a two-hitter for his 11th complete game, his first since July 19, 2006, for Arizona against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He allowed a one-out single to Edgar Renteria in the first and leadoff double to Chris Heisey in the second.
"My goal was to stay out there as long as I could," Batista said.
"I thought I pitched a very good game," Volquez said. "I'm really happy I pitched deep into the game, threw a lot of strikes."
The Mets, beset with financial issues, traded Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez during the season, lost David Wright for several months with a back injury and finished their third straight losing season at 77-85, two more losses than last year.
Cincinnati also had a disappointing season, winding up at 79-83 after winning the NL Central last year with a 91-71 record.
"We're going to work on our areas of improvement. Getting our front-line guys back out there, stay healthy. That's what winters are for, to build and enhance," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Before the game Baker said the Reds were playing to "get off those nines," but Batista was able to keep Joey Votto and Jay Bruce from rounding out their numbers. Votto went 0 for 3 to end the season with 29 homers and Bruce failed to get the three RBI he needed for 100.
- The Mets honored groundskeeper Pete Flynn, who is retiring after 50 years with the organization.
- The Reds' Drew Stubbs ended Mark Reynolds' run of three straight years leading majors in strikeouts. Stubbs struck out 205 time and Reynolds had 195 heading into the Orioles' season finale Wednesday night.
- The Mets announced a crowd of 28,816, giving them a final attendance of 2,352,596, a drop of about 7 percent from last year and their lowest total since 2004, when they played at Shea Stadium.