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Freeman channeling Chipper as Mets tormentor

NEW YORK -- Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman does not believe he has been around long enough to have earned the "Mets Killer" title that Chipper Jones gained during his long, storied career.

"I think it's a little too early to say that," Freeman said. "How many games have I even played against the Mets? Chipper can have that title. I'm still young. It's a little too early for that."

Freeman entered Sunday's finale batting .323 with 13 home runs and a .974 OPS through the 58 games he had played against the Mets. Jones batted .309 with 49 home runs and a .949 OPS in the 245 games he played against New York's National League affiliate. Through his first 58 games against the Mets, the former Braves third baseman hit .364 with 17 home runs and a 1.115 OPS in his first 58 contests against the Mets.

Jones' 58th game against the Mets came during a torrid late September stretch that earned him his only National League Most Valuable Player Award. It is also far too early to know whether Freeman will earn his first MVP Award this year. But he has thus far built a strong base for his candidacy.

Freeman entered Sunday leading the Majors with a 1.239 OPS. He was tied for second in the National League with five home runs and third with a .413 batting average. His hot start has provided every indication that he has not been burdened by the franchise record eight-year, $135 million contract he signed with the Braves in January.

"I'm just trying to be that consistent guy they can put in the lineup every single day and they don't have to worry about me. Just put my name in that lineup and I'll go play," Freeman said. "So far, so good. I feel healthy, and that is the key with everybody.

"I've been able to stay consistent and keep those 0-fers to one game and then get back on track as soon as possible. We're all going to have our ups and downs, but I just want to keep those downs as short as possible."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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