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Jeff McNeil Claims the Second Batting Title in Mets History


Aaron Judge’s run at a triple crown ended when he sat out of Wednesday’s season finale against the Texas Rangers, but Latest York still managed to have a batting champion as Jeff McNeil, the second baseman of the Mets, survived a challenge from Freddie Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League crown.

McNeil, who is barely the second Met to win a batting title, entered Wednesday’s home game against Washington late as a defensive alternative and didn’t hit within the 9-2 win. He finished his season with the highest average within the majors at .326, which beat out Freeman, who went 3 for 4 on the ultimate day of the season to complete at .325. Judge, meanwhile, finished at .311, which was second within the American League to Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who went 1 for 1 to complete at .316.

Mets Manager Buck Showalter insisted it was his decision to maintain McNeil out of the lineup ahead of the beginning of the postseason Friday against the San Diego Padres. But McNeil will undoubtedly take some criticism for not starting on the ultimate day with the batting title on the road, just because the Mets’ José Reyes did in 2011 when he bunted for a single in his first at-bat of the last game of the season after which was removed, at his request, for a pinch-runner.

Even without McNeil taking an at-bat, the Mets secured their a hundred and first win of the season, the second most in franchise history behind the 108 that the team won in 1986 on the option to a World Series title.

As for Judge, his rest on Wednesday was not a surprise after he had began 55 consecutive games while he was in pursuit of the A.L.’s single-season home run record. He ended up falling wanting a triple crown, but in a season that’s more likely to earn him his first A.L. Most Beneficial Player Award, he did lead the majors in home runs (62), runs (133), on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686) and total bases (391). He tied Pete Alonso of the Mets for the key league lead with 131 R.B.I.

Judge ended up with 16 more home runs than the following closest batter, Kyle Schwarber of the Philadelphia Phillies, which is the most important gap in a season for the reason that Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx led the majors by 17 in 1932.

Judge’s primary competition for the M.V.P. Award, Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, led his league in just one category — strikeouts per nine innings — but he took his two-way stardom to the following level by being the primary player in major league history to qualify for the leaderboards as each a pitcher (one inning per team game) and a hitter (3.1 plate appearances per team game). Babe Ruth approached the feat just once, a minimum of by the trendy standard, qualifying as a batter but falling just over 20 innings wanting qualifying for the pitching leaders in 1919, his last yr with the Boston Red Sox.

Along with the hitting exploits of Latest York’s stars, Gerrit Cole, who broke Ron Guidry’s Yankees franchise record for strikeouts in a single season, led the majors in that category with 257. He’s the primary Yankee to guide the A.L. in strikeouts since Al Downing did it in 1964 and the primary Yankee to guide the majors since Vic Raschi tied two others for the highest spot in 1951.

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