Welcome back, David Freese. The hometown hero might just be getting hot again, and this will be to his benefit if he wants to remain a Cardinal in the future–he will be a free agent at the end of the season. Oh, and the Cardinals will benefit from it as well because they are at their best when he is at third and Matt Carpenter is at second.
Just 7 days ago before the start of the Milwaukee series, Cardinals manager, Mike Matheny, said that Freese’s hitting situation was like “chasing a ghost.”
To the average fan, Matheny may have sounded harsh, but even Freese could not disagree with him. He could not hit for power, had just 4 RBI in his first 27 games, and looked completely lost in most at-bats. Where was the hitter that locked in to at-bats in the defining moments of Game 6 of 2011 World Series? Was his back injury affecting him more than we thought?
It took him until his 92nd at-bat of the season to get his first home run–a first inning grand slam against the Brewers on a belt-high, 86 MPH fastball over the heart of the plate. He had a few good games after that as well, but his hitting revival was halted by a laceration to his finger that kept him out of 3 games.
Last night, his first game back since the hand injury, he picked up right where he left off going 2 for 3 with a double, a moonshot home run, and 3 RBI. On the way his wing has been of late, Freese said, “It’s feeling good. I feel strong. The last few games it felt good. It’s nice to join the fun.”
He has 8 RBI in his last 4 games played, and he better keep it up if he wants to remain the 3rd baseman for his hometown team next season. The front office could look for a much cheaper option with Matt Carpenter at 3rd and Kolten Wong at 2nd next season.
I have faith that Freese will keep it up as long as he remains healthy for much of the rest of the season. After all, who can doubt a player who hit a game-tying triple with 2 outs and 2 strikes in the bottom of the 9th against a closer with electric stuff in an elimination game of the World Series? I cannot. Plus, he is having fun now, and sometimes that’s all a player as talented as he is needs to turn things around for the better.
Until next time…