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Notes: Reyes off to fast start in triples

Notes: Reyes off to fast start in triples

NEW YORK -- Two, four, six, eight, we can all extrapolate, though it is a dangerous exercise early in the season. One intriguing but foolish mathematical look forward involves Jose Reyes, the game's foremost triple threat. Reyes has five triples in the team's first 17 games. Extrapolating those figures in a 162-game season yields 47.65 triples. Not likely; the .65 triples may be more easily achieved than the 47.

But Reyes is off to a flying start -- almost literally. He had no triples in his first 37 games in the 2005 season, when he led the league for the first of two straight seasons -- 17 each year. Of course, he then tripled seven times in 10 games. His triples were more spread out last season.

His bases-loaded, go-ahead triple against the Braves on Sunday -- perhaps the Mets' most rousing play thus far this season -- put Reyes' career triples total at 45, as many as Buddy Harrelson had with the Mets and 17 fewer than Mookie Wilson's club record.

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If Reyes were to triple 17 more times this season, he wouldn't only equal Wilson's total, he also would exceed the club's single-season record, 21, set by Lance Johnson in 1996, and produce more triples than any player since 1949, when Indians outfielder Dale Mitchell produced 23 in spacious Municipal Stadium.

Since then, the only players with 20 or more triples in a season have been Willie Mays (20 in 1957), George Brett (20 in 1979), Willie Wilson (21 in 1985), Johnson in '86 and Cristian Guzman (20 in 2000). Brett, Wilson and Guzman played their home games on artificial surface. And Mays played his at the Polo Grounds, where center field never ended.

Sanchez pays a visit: Injured reliever Duaner Sanchez made a surprise appearance at Shea Stadium on Monday afternoon. Sanchez, who had right shoulder surgery earlier this month, is scheduled for a routine checkup at the end of this week.

The 27-year-old right-hander has yet to resume baseball activities and is instead limited to riding a stationary bike. Though he said he feels no pain in the shoulder, he won't begin a throwing program until the hairline fracture is completely healed. He did say that he expects to pitch this season.

"Right now, I'm not doing too much," Sanchez said. "I'm going to do my best in my rehab and take my time. This one I'm not going to rush, and just try and be 100 percent. When I'm 100 percent, I know I can help the team."

Sanchez had a 5-1 record and a 2.60 ERA in 49 relief appearances for the Mets last season.

Catching up: Clint Hurdle managed against the Mets on Monday night on the eve of the 22-year anniversary of his first game as a big-league catcher. Urged by Davey Johnson to learn a new position, Hurdle, a six-year big-league veteran, spent the entire 1984 season in the Minor Leagues.

And Johnson started him against the Cardinals -- Whitey's Rabbits, of all teams. Hurdle caught all eight innings in the Mets' 5-1 loss in St. Louis. No errors, four putouts (all on strikeouts) and three stolen bases against the Mets. But Dwight Gooden, notoriously slow to the plate, was the pitcher on the first two. And Vince Coleman stole the third, with Roger McDowell pitching and -- characteristically -- with the Cardinals comfortably ahead.

"I could throw, and I could call the game," Hurdle said Monday. "Blocking balls was something else. By no means was I Major League average." Johnson had Hurdle catch Gooden because Gooden seldom threw balls in the dirt.

Hurdle says his days as a catcher added an element to his managerial view of the games: "No question it helped me learn more about the game."

Humber honored by PCL: Mets prospect Philip Humber is already making a splash in Triple-A, winning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week honors after posting a 1-0 record and 1.38 ERA in two starts last week.

Humber struck out seven while allowing just two runs in 13 innings to earn the award. The Mets' top pick in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft is making his first stop at Triple-A, after vaulting all the way from Rookie ball to Double-A as a 23-year-old last season. He spent a portion of this spring with the Mets, but was sent down in mid-March with the rotation already set.

On the season, Humber is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans.

This date in Mets history -- April 24: Utilityman Danny Napoleon, used as a pinch-hitter only after Warren Spahn had filled the role three batters earlier, produced the only triple of his career and three of his seven career RBIs in the ninth inning on this date in 1965. The three runs, all unearned, were critical in the Mets' 7-6 victory against the Giants in San Francisco. ... Charlie Puleo, Pete Falcone and Neil Allen combined to shut out the Expos on four hits -- and 10 walks -- on this date in 1982. The Mets won, 1-0, at Olympic Stadium.

Four years later, the Mets took the first step toward a four-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 10-inning, 5-4 victory in St. Louis. Howard Johnson hit a two-run home run off Todd Worrell in the ninth to tie the score, and George Foster beat Worrell with a single in the 10th. The victory was the sixth in what became an 11-game streak. ... On this date in 2000, Matt Franco singled against Terry Adams with one out in the ninth inning to score Jon Nunnally and end the Mets' 1-0 victory against the Dodgers at Shea Stadium.

Coming up: Orlando Hernandez makes his fifth start for the Mets, opposite Aaron Cook of the Rockies, on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. The last time Cook faced the Mets, he allowed three home runs. Gone, gone, gone and so are the players responsible for them -- Cliff Floyd, Victor Diaz and Mike Jacobs. Cook produced a complete game in the Rockies' 11-3 victory in the final game of the 2005 season.

El Duque started three times against the Rockies last season, twice with the Diamondbacks, and won two of three decisions.

Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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