UPDATE: It’s over, folks. Sadly, Freeman is going to fall short of McNeil after going 3-for-4 (he needed to go 4-for-4 to force the issue) against the Rockies. McNeill received a “day of rest” in the Mets’ meaningless season finale against the Nationals. Freeman finishes the season at .325 and McNeill finishes at .326. Unbelievable.
In a fairly dramatic turn of events, Los Angeles Dodgers star Freddie Freeman has lost his convincing grip on the top spot in the NL batting title race. New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeill has come storming back over the last week.
Following an 0-for-4 evening against the Colorado Rockies on Monday, Freeman dropped to second place in the NL with a .325 average. McNeil, who got the night off because of a rainout, went 3-for-5 on Sunday Night Baseball against the Braves to raise his mark to .326.
McNeil and the Mets will have a doubleheader against the Nationals on Tuesday (weather pending), followed by the series finale on Wednesday. Freeman and the ice-cold Dodgers have two left against the Rockies, who have given LA trouble all year.
New York is in must-win mode (as long as the Braves keep losing), while the Dodgers are playing for nothing. Freeman will still likely play every day, but the stakes could be a bit different for both parties depending on how things unfold.
It’s important to note, however, that McNeill trailed Freeman by 12 batting average points on Sept. 20. He now leads him by one.
NL Batting Title Tracker: Can Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman regain lead?
Here’s where it all stands right now, and continue referring back here for the final few days of the season (we have an update after Tuesday’s action):
- Jeff McNeil – .326
- Freddie Freeman – .322
- Paul Goldschmidt – .317
An 0-for-4 night for Freeman on Tuesday kicked him down three points, sadly, while McNeill went 3-for-8 in the Mets’ doubleheader.
Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner is the next closest on this list at .296. Talk about a fall — the speedster was hitting .312 on Aug. 27.
As for the forthcoming pitching matchups for the Dodgers, Mets and Cardinals, here’s what we’ve got:
- Mets vs Erick Fedde (RHP)
- Dodgers vs Chad Kuhl (RHP)
- Cardinals vs Johan Oviedo (RHP)
It’s also crazy to note that McNeil trailed by seven points five days ago. Thanks to his performance since Sept. 23, during which he recorded SEVEN multi-hit games (17 for his last 35) out of the eight he played in, we’re now entrenched in a tight battle with two days remaining in the regular season.
We’ll have updates in real time as the race comes down to the wire.