MILWAUKEE -- Hot one day and cold for the next two isn't the way Jose Reyes is used to playing.
The Marlins' shortstop, a four-time All-Star when he was with the Mets, understands he has to step it up on a regular basis.
"I know I am better player than what I've shown so far," said Reyes, batting .268 with a .343 on-base percentage. "The key for me is to be consistent. In the first half, I'd get two hits in a row, and then I'd go 0-for-4 two days in a row. That's not me. I have to be at the same level every day to help this ballclub a lot."
It doesn't all fall on Reyes. But the facts remain: The Marlins as a team are in a crucial stretch before the All-Star break.
The most imminent goal is to get to .500, or very close to it, by the end of the road trip. Even though there is half a season of games to be played, there is a real danger of slipping too far off the pace.
On Monday night, the Marlins committed three errors that led to a three-run lead disappearing in a 6-5 loss at Milwaukee.
"We just are trying to take one game at a time, and finish strong," Reyes said. "Our goal in the first half is to play .500 ball or better. Less than that is not going to be acceptable."
Reyes has stayed healthy, and he feels good at the plate.
"The problem for me is, I wasn't consistent overall," he said, assessing his first half. "I have to be more consistent.
"If you see through the years for me, every first half, I hit .300," Reyes said.
A year ago, when he won the National League batting title, the shortstop hit .354
before the break. He actually is a .291 career hitter in the first half. He was at .294 before this year.
"This team is going to need me a lot in the second half to make things happen," Reyes said. "It's coming. There is still a lot of baseball left. But being consistent, that's what I need."