Cuddyer finishes Thursday as NL's top hitter
With 2-for-2 night, right fielder passes Braves' Johnson with .331 average
DENVER -- Two singles in Wednesday night's 7-5 win over the Dodgers was enough to give Michael Cuddyer the slightest edge in the National League batting race.
Cuddyer went 2-for-2 with a sacrifice fly in the first inning and an intentional walk in the seventh rounding out his night to finish hitting .331. That gave him a one-point lead over Braves third baseman Chris Johnson and a nine-point lead on Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.
The Rockies' right fielder doesn't exactly have his eyes glued to the leaderboard, but it's a testament to one of the best offensive seasons of his career.
"Every once in a while, you'll catch a glimpse of what somebody's hitting if you're watching the game on TV or something," said Cuddyer, who has never closed a season hitting above .284. "But no, I'm not live box score looking or anything like that."
Cuddyer, an All-Star for the second time this season, has floated above .300 for the entire year and hasn't dipped below .320 since May. After driving in two runs in Wednesday's win, he has 74 RBIs in addition to 18 homers.
"I think it's a matter of combining his wisdoms with the skills that are still intact at his age, Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's put together a [heck] of a year."
Always a player to redirect attention away from himself and back to the team, Cuddyer admitted it's exciting to be in the batting race with less than a month to play and a sign that he's injecting life into the offense.
But he also knows one late-season slump could end any hopes of winning the title.
"We still got 20-some games left to play, so a lot can happen with a hitter," Cuddyer said. "You can go cold really quick. So, I don't know what my reaction would be like if [I won the title]."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.