New York Mets All-Star Jeff McNeil continues to power through the “MLB The Show” players league. Is a World Series run in the cards?
New York Mets third baseman Jeff McNeil showed incredible improvement in day two of the “MLB The Show” players league. He kept his audience engaged and he made sure to drop in the funny anecdote from time to time.
I’m not the only one who thought he improved either. It was clear by his number of viewers which rarely dipped below 1,000 after dropping below 600 on Sunday.
He was entertaining in a way he wasn’t on Sunday, and the stronger competition he faced likely has something to do with that.
Entering Tuesday’s games, McNeil’s opponents owned a combined record of 11-5. He faced three players who entered the night 3-1. It was a tough slate of opponents for sure, but McNeil powered through. He went 3-1 again and now sits at 6-2. Only 21 more games left to go.
McNeil’s first game of the night came against Jon Duplantier and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Duplantier came into the night 3-1— same as McNeil.
Just one inning into the game and it was clear Duplantier wasn’t on McNeil’s level. Jeff jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead and never looked back. He added another run in the second inning and the game was over.
McNeil also revealed that he affectionately calls Amed Rosario “Rosie Reyes” during this game. Rosario was a key part of this win with strong defense and a run scored.
McNeil earned his first win by a score of 4-0. That marked his third-straight shutout in the players league.
Riding high after his win McNeil got set to play the Cincinnati Reds and Amir Garrett, who was a fearsome opponent. Garrett came into the game 4-1 and he won the initial “MLB The Show” players mini-tournament. He’s been one of the favorites to win the league since day one.
None of that mattered when he came up against McNeil. Garrett started off hot jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. That didn’t phase McNeil who answered back with three runs, including a two-run home run from Yoenis Cespedes.
He added another with a Jake Marisnick home run in the bottom of the second to stretch the lead. That was enough as McNeil held on to beat Garrett 4-1.
McNeil’s toughest matchup came against the Toronto Blue Jays and Bo Bichette in the third game of the night. They both came into the game with a 5-1 record. It was clear this was a heavyweight matchup.
Bichette jumped out to a 2-0 lead with a Cavan Biggio home run and never looked back. McNeil was completely dominated. Bichette would add another run in each of the second and third innings, while McNeil was held scoreless.
The 4-0 defeat was crushing as it dropped McNeil to 5-2. It was his worst game of the season and established Bichette as one of the best players in the league.
Jeff picked himself up and got ready for his last game of the night against Lance McCullers Jr. and the Houston Astros. McCullers came into the game with a 2-5 record. This should have been an easy win for McNeil, but things never work out that way.
Jeff scored early with a Michael Conforto home run, but McCullers answered back in the bottom of the first. Neither managed to score in the second, bringing this down to a final inning.
With the score knotted and one out in the top of the third, Pete Alonso stepped to the plate. McNeil pleaded “Please do something cool”, and video game Pete answered. Alonso crushed the ball out of Minute Maid Park to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. In response, McNeil exclaimed, “That’s something cool! Big Meat Pete!”, and so Big Meat Pete was born.
Jeff held onto the lead, winning the game 2-1, and he finished his second night with a 6-2 record.
McNeil and the New York Mets’ 6-2 record was good for the third-best in the league. He’s tied with Blake Snell and Amir Garrett, with Bo Bichette and Joey Gallo ahead of him. Bichette is 7-1 and Gallo is 8-0.
McNeil was at the top of the National League East with Rhys Hoskins and the Philadelphia Phillies nipping at his heels at 5-3.
There are still 21 games to be played, but as things stand, McNeil would be the top seed in the National League.
Jeff McNeil will return on Friday, April 17 at 9 p.m. ET. He is set to face Eduardo Rodriguez and the Boston Red Sox (1-7), Tommy Kahnle and the New York Yankees (0-4), Carl Edwards Jr. and the Seattle Mariners (3-5), and Niko Goodrum and the Detroit Tigers (3-1).