Pittsburgh – For those thinking a change might be coming at first base for the Braves, indications were on Wednesday, not so fast.
Manager Bobby Cox had Derrek Lee in the lineup as usual, not choosing to give Troy Glaus a try. And when asked if he planned to get rookie Freddie Freeman in some this weekend with four right-handers going for the Cardinals, Cox said: “I haven’t even thought about that.”
Lee has hit only .228 (13-for-57) without a home run in his first 17 games with the Braves, not exactly the punch they were hoping for when they traded for him three weeks ago. He had seven RBIs in his first 10 games with the Braves but none in the first seven games of September, entering Wednesday.
Lee grounded into a double play with the bases loaded to kill a key rally Tuesday night on an 0-for-4 night.
But Cox points to hard hit balls like one in the fifth caught by a diving left fielder Jose Tabata. Lee was actually 9-for-28 (.321) since Aug. 30 entering Wednesday’s series finale.
“Derek is starting to come on pretty good,” Cox said. “He’s swinging better. He had two bullets (Tuesday) night, just didn’t have any luck. And his back is starting to feel good.”
Lee confirmed as much Wednesday afternoon, saying “I think the (cortisone) shot helped me.” He’s also fighting a sore thumb but didn’t want to elaborate.
“I’m just trying to find my swing,” Lee said. “I’m not worried about numbers. I’m worried about helping this team win. I know if I can get my swing, I can really help this team. That’s my main concern.”