Fool him once, shame on him. Fool him twice, it’s unlikely to happen. We take a look at the very brief history of New York Mets utility man Jeff McNeil striking out more than once in a game.
In the young career of Jeff McNeil, which now includes 102 games played, the Flying Squirrel has shown us what a unique hitter he is. Putting the bat on the ball is what he does best. McNeil is not an easy man to strikeout with a total of only 40 so far in his career while with the New York Mets. Better yet, he does a great job at avoiding the Golden Sombrero.
When a player strikes out three times, they wear a fictitious Golden Sombrero. It’s like a hat trick only more like three kicks to the groin. McNeil has worn the headgear once, but striking him out multiple times per game is not easy. Since debuting in late July of 2018, the kid has only three games where he went down on strikes more than once.
The first occurred on August 19th of last year. This was the game played BB&T Park in Williamsport as part of the Little League World Series festivities. In his 2 for 5 performance, McNeil also struck out against Philadelphia Phillies pitchers Nick Pivetta and Yacksel Rios.
About a month later on September 20th in a road game against the Washington Nationals, McNeil put on the lone Golden Sombrero of his career. In another 2 for 5 performance which included a double and triple, McNeil struck out against Max Scherzer twice and Greg Holland in the tenth inning.
While I don’t want to make an excuse, in the game against the Phillies, he was playing in an odd atmosphere. In the game against the Nationals, it took extra innings to get him for a third time. The excuse I will give for striking out twice: Max freakin’ Scherzer!
In 2019, we’ve seen McNeil strike out twice only once. This occurred on May 4th against the Milwaukee Brewers. If you know your Mets season, you may think you have figured it out.
McNeil went 3 for 8 in his lone multi-strikeout game of 2019. The 18-inning affair versus the Brewers lasted two full games. McNeil’s strikeouts occurred in the third inning against Gio Gonzalez and, unfortunately, in inning number eight against Junior Guerra. Because it happened before overtime, it’s tough to excuse it.
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Nevertheless, McNeil is among the leaders in at-bats per strikeouts so far this season. In a time where everyone accepts strike three, he refuses with the best.