Players Choice Award winners announced

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No surprise here: Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger have won the Players Choice Award for Outstanding Rookie in their respective leagues, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch and Ken Gurnick report.

Judge, 25, finished the regular season batting .284/.422/.627 with 52 home runs, 114 RBI, 128 runs, and 127 walks in 678 plate appearances. His runs, home runs, and walks totals led the American League. He also led all players in Wins Above Replacement (8.2), according to FanGraphs. Judge helped lead the Yankees from the AL Wild Card game into the ALCS, where they were ultimately stopped by the eventual world champion Astros.

Bellinger, 22, hit .267/.352/.581 with 39 home runs, 97 RBI, and 87 runs scored in 548 plate appearances. The Dodgers went on to win an MLB-best 104 games in the regular season and fell just short of winning the World Series.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America, will likely have similar results. Those will be announced on November 13.

Nationals starter Max Scherzer won the award for Outstanding Pitcher in the National League. The potential NL Cy Young Award winner went 16-6 with a 2.51 ERA and a 268/55 K/BB ratio over 200 2/3 innings. Scherzer helped the Nats win 97 games but they were once again stopped in the NLDS, this time by the Cubs.

Indians starter Corey Kluber won the Outstanding Pitcher award in the American League. He went 18-4 with a 2.25 ERA and a 265/36 K/BB ratio across 203 2/3 innings. His wins, ERA, complete games (five), and shutouts (three) totals were major league bests.

The Cy Young Award winners, voted on by the BBWAA, will be announced on November 15.

Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman won the Comeback Player of the Year Award in the National League. The 33-year-old posted a career-low .642 OPS in 2016, but bounced back with a .930 OPS in 2017. That included a .303/.358/.573 triple-slash line along with 36 home runs, 108 RBI, and 90 runs scored.

In the American League, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas won the Comeback Player of the Year Award. The 29-year-old free agent played in only 27 games in 2016 after undergoing ACL surgery. In 2017, he hit .272/.314/.521 with a career-high 38 home runs and 85 RBI in 598 PA.

Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton was named the National League’s Most Outstanding Player. He hit .281/.376/.631 with an MLB-best 59 home runs and 132 RBI along with 123 runs scored in 692 plate appearances.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve won the Outstanding Player Award in the AL. He won the batting title, hitting .346 with a .410 on-base percentage and a .547 slugging percentage. Along with that, he mashed 39 doubles and 24 homers while knocking in 81 runs, scoring 112 runs, and stealing 32 bases.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado won the Always Game Award. He hit .309/.373/.586 with 37 home runs, 130 RBI, and 100 runs scored in 680 plate appearances. He also led the NL with 43 doubles.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Rizzo also won the 2017 Roberto Clemente Award. He overcame limited stage classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2008. He has since established the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation, which raises money for cancer research and provides support to children and their families dealing with cancer.

Altuve won the Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).