Freeman homers twice (again) in Braves’ win over Mets

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – Tuesday morning behind the batting cage, first-year Braves hitting coach Greg Walker was asked what he thought about the opposite-field power of young first baseman Freddie Freeman, whose two homers Sunday  included one to center field and one to left.

“Oh, he’s good,” Walker said. “He hasn’t learned to pull the ball yet, but when he does, he’s got it there too, believe me. The mechanics of his swing should allow him to pull the ball, he just hasn’t figured out that he can do it yet. But right now we’ll take an oppo [opposite field] home run anytime. Center field, oppo … He’s a monster. He really is. He’s a mechanically correct big guy.”

Then Freeman went out and did it again. He hit two more  homers Tuesday — one to left field and the other to left-center — and also had two walks and a sacrifice fly in five plate appearances for a perfect day in the Braves’ 7-5 Grapefruit League road win against the Mets.

The back-to-back two-homer games – the Braves were off Monday – made it four homers in his past five official at-bats for Freeman, who hit .282 with 21 homers and 76 RBIs last season as a rookie.

“I felt pretty good the last week,” said Freeman, whose five homers have all come in his past 13 at-bats. “My swing’s back where I want it to be – back up the middle. I’ve been able to stay inside some balls and get some backspin on them. I feel good.”

He worked an 11-pitch walk with six foul balls in the first inning, drew another walk in the third and hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Then he opened it up, homering in the seventh inning off right-hander Jon Rauch and in the ninth off righty Ramon Ramirez.

“It’s been three or four games where you’re starting to see his at-bats get better and better,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Freeman, who missed the first three games of the spring recovering from a partially dislocated right kneecap.

He said it took him a while to regain his stroke, and didn’t have his first extra-base hit until Thursday in his 14th game.

Freeman is pulverizing pitches as the Braves enter the final week of spring training. He’s 8-for-15 with a double and four homers in his past five games, after going 8-for-46 (.174) with nothing but singles in his first 13 games.

“It’s spring training, so I don’t really worry too much,” he said. “But when you get closer to the start of the season, that’s when you want to hopefully get into the groove. The last week I’ve started to get balls up the middle and to left field.”

With four homers in two games, Freeman wouldn’t mind if the Braves could head north and start the season right away, instead of waiting until April 5.

““I wish,” he said. “But just got to keep swinging, and hopefully I can carry that into the season.”

52 comments Add your comment

Killin' it

March 27th, 2012
6:16 pm

Looks like the anemic offense is starting to come around a bit. Good news.

TheOnlyBravesFan

March 27th, 2012
6:18 pm

Great to hear guys

Steve

March 27th, 2012
6:27 pm

Negative comments from “fans” in 3, 2, 1…..

The Jerk

March 27th, 2012
6:31 pm

Hey Guys, Your favorite gal “Samantha” is posting with New Mexico Lee on blog titled McCanns first homer Braves lone hit. Check it out, its quite comical. Tell’em the jerk sent ya.

PiersonBrave

March 27th, 2012
6:37 pm

Watching MLB Network, the projections now have the Braves and Philies tied for first with like 89 wins followed by the Nationals.

IF, ( biggest two letter word in the English language) Hawkeye #10 can play 115 games with .275+ 14 – 20 hr the Philies will not be repeating this year!!!

Richmond Drew

March 27th, 2012
6:39 pm

Natural oppo-power for a left-handed bat is truly a blessing. Really hope Walker doesn’t try to change his swing to make him a “normal” lefty.

fordcobra

March 27th, 2012
6:59 pm

If he keeps it up the pitchers will do it for him. They will begin to pitch him down and in and he will have to pull it.

Freddie Freeman

March 27th, 2012
7:01 pm

Ready= Freddie.

Gil In Mechanicsville

March 27th, 2012
7:01 pm

Does anyone besides me remember when Freddie went into a hitting slump last season because as he himself said “he got pull happy”… Instead of trying to drive everything up the middle.

Pull happy hitters like Frenchy and Andruw failed miserably and now we have a hitting coach saying Freddie needs to learn how to pull the ball? No wonder Adam Dunn flopped in Chicago.

Hopefully Freeman will listen to Chipper and not Greg Walker.

Larry

March 27th, 2012
7:02 pm

Like every baseball team on the planet, we know that Braves are capable of having a home run barrage on any given night when their bats find the balls.

The real question is, can they manufacture a run or two when facing 3-4 dominant pitchers in the postseason, and can Fruiti refrain from trying to actually think during a game leading to snatching a win from the jaws of defeat?

Write it down, girls…the Braves finish 3rd or 4th in the division, just as many cold streaks as the hot streaks (nothing unusual for so many dead pull, free swingers) occur, Fruit will cost us 6-8 games from utter buffoonery and this time next year we are finally talking about a manager and his philosophy of true hitter that put the ball in play complimented by 2-3 solid, reliable home run guys.

Just look at the makeup of the Rangers, Phillies and Giants for evidence of a versatile ball club piloted by great in-game strategical managers.

Billy

March 27th, 2012
7:06 pm

As of today Diaz, Hinski and Constanza are not hitting 200…what a joke.

Steve

March 27th, 2012
7:07 pm

Ah Larry, thanks for coming through as I predicted. What a moron.

Ten Bears

March 27th, 2012
7:13 pm

Yes Greg Walker, just what we need, another .230 all-or-nothing pull hitter. Please leave Freeman alone. Seen what you’ve done for Heyward. You’re a real jackpot!

Who me?

March 27th, 2012
7:24 pm

Can Freeman play 3rd Base??

Kevin chop

March 27th, 2012
7:49 pm

Big deal, we can beat the Astros and mets in spring training games. Boy aren’t we just a special team. I can see us sizing up our world series rings now. Freddie Freeman carry is going to win the MVP..lmao!

Tommy Boggs

March 27th, 2012
7:54 pm

I have been asking for a back up 3rd baseman for over year. Rockies just released Casey Blake, sign him up. Prado is making the adjustment from 2nd base to left field, leave him there. I always liked Matt Diaz, but he ain’t getting it. You can’t keep both Hinske and Diaz. Have to keep Sutton.

benchwarmer

March 27th, 2012
7:58 pm

The Braves are starting to hit and the world has become a better place.

Larry

March 27th, 2012
8:09 pm

Brilliant retort, Sweet Stevie.

JK

March 27th, 2012
8:09 pm

It’s all starting to come together. Now let’s get the pitching staff healthier and make a run.

GOP Cannon

March 27th, 2012
8:12 pm

Hey guys, lets open this up to some discussion: How would you set the line up for opening day? I would probably go:

Bourn
Prado (playing 3rd base)
Uggla
Freeman
McCann
Heyward
Diaz
Pastornicky/ Simmons
Pitcher

coach joe

March 27th, 2012
8:13 pm

enjoy the good game… wow.. too negative… nice win.. we got the pitching… we will be ok.

go braves…. thanks for the middle line backer… saints can use him

BrandonLee49

March 27th, 2012
8:22 pm

good to see see Freeman getting the hot-bat, maybe taking some pressure off Heyward.

BrandonLee49

March 27th, 2012
8:27 pm

If The Braves Coaches can help Delgado and Minor and Teheran to find their Groove… Pitching is Not Rocket Science, although one could argue there Is a science involved, but psyshologically and Physically, ask any Great Pitcher, Mickey Lolich, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, They will all say each individual Pitcher has to develope his own Groove, and when he Gets in that Groove, he is literally Un-hittable… So C’mon Coaches, Get the Lead Out !!! And Let these Young guys Fly!!

cmc

March 27th, 2012
8:33 pm

Hinski? If you are going to be critical, why don’t you learn how to spell the players’ names? “Hinski” has been with us for the past 2 years. Where have you been?

Larry

March 27th, 2012
8:46 pm

Will you guys please write this down and pass it on to our masterful manager.

Against a RH starter:

Bourne CF
Constanza LF
Prado 3B
Freeman1B
McCann C
Uggla 2B
Heyward RF
Pick’em SS

Against LH starter:

Bourne
Costanza
Prado
McCann
Uggla
Freeman
Heyward
SS

Tony La Russa

March 27th, 2012
8:49 pm

Lineup:
Bourn
Prado
McCann
Uggla
Freeman
Heyward
Hinske
Pitcher
Simmons

Great stuff from Freeman. The hitters are getting their timing down and looking monstrous. Braves could be pretty special this year if the pitchers pan out.

Reading between the lines, I hope Greg Walker doesn’t try to make Freeman pull the ball. Teaching him how to do it when they throw in on him would make him a more multi-dimensional hitter, but let’s be careful, eh? Adam Dunn anyone?

Ralph

March 27th, 2012
8:50 pm

Gil In Mechanicsville Pull happy hitters like Frenchy and Andruw failed miserably and now we have a hitting coach saying Freddie needs to learn how to pull the ball? No wonder Adam Dunn flopped in Chicago
March 27th, 2012
7:01 pm Gil,

I don’t know anything about you but I want you for Hitting Coach.

Ralph

March 27th, 2012
8:54 pm

So I guess Heyward has earned his spot on the roster with his .190 BA

TheOnlyBravesFan

March 27th, 2012
8:55 pm

Those quotes from Greg Walker scared me.

Ralph

March 27th, 2012
8:58 pm

Larry
March 27th, 2012
7:02 pm

Like every baseball team on the planet, we know that Braves are capable of having a home run barrage on any given night when their bats find the balls.

Yes we had a lot of those last year didn’t we, its only spring training Larry

panamajack

March 27th, 2012
9:24 pm

Since everybody is posting their opening day lineup, here’s mine:

l. Bourn CF
2. Prado LF
3. Freeman 1B
4. Uggla 2B
5. McCann C
6. Sutton 3B
7. Durango RF
8. Simmons SS
9. Hanson P

GOP Cannon

March 27th, 2012
9:31 pm

Larry, good post bud. I noticed that you put Constanza in the line up against both sides of the plate… Now that Chipper is out for the start of the season, I agree that it is more likely that Constanza will start as an outfield backup.

Do you think that he will beat out Diaz in left field for both righties and lefties? I think FG will probably alternate Diaz/ Constanza against Right handed/ left handed pitching.

Skeeterleg

March 27th, 2012
10:40 pm

Why is everyone freaking out about the hitting coach wanting Freeman to pull the ball? He had a terrible time with inside pitches last year. All he wants is for Freeman to be a complete hitter and not a 250 lb. Juan Pierre. Nothing wrong with hitting to all fields…the best hitters usually do.

bruce

March 27th, 2012
11:02 pm

PULVERIZING.
great adjective for a hitter.

JNick

March 27th, 2012
11:29 pm

@Steve, you beat me too it..lol…I was scrolling down expecting to see the hater posts…where’s that SSI dude? :)

Blake

March 28th, 2012
12:50 am

Freeman may hit 30 to 40 this year….wouldn’t that be nice with Uggla also hitting 40…!

Longtimefan

March 28th, 2012
1:21 am

Braves win division-SP depth, excellent pen solid hitting which may surprise and turn into a strength. Phillies are old. Doubt SP can replicate last year. Howard is a real question and Achilles injury in a man of his size is a problem. Utley is not the player he was and his knees could severely limit him. Rollins is past his prime. They are a team in decline. Washington is unproven.

Runnin

March 28th, 2012
2:04 am

Pulling the ball is easy. It’s going up the middle and hitting a ball where it’s pitched and with power which is the hard part.

Tim

March 28th, 2012
3:17 am

I still can’t believe that idiot Busty Olney said Freeman doesn’t have power. Freeman isn’t a power hitter. Freeman is only projected to hit 20 homeruns this year according to many sources. It’s ludicrous. Freeman will hit 30 this season. Mark it down! Dan Uggla will hit 40 and I think he’ll give em a legit run at the MVP this season. If he can be as horrible as he was at times last season and still hit 36 bombs no reason to think he won’t hit at least 40 this season. McCann is good for 25 bombs. Question is what will Heyward do?

Bama Fan#2

March 28th, 2012
6:34 am

Freeman the NEW METS KILLER taken away from Chipper.

urban redneck

March 28th, 2012
8:31 am

love this kid. if jay can pick his game back up, we should be all right.

Nevada Roy

March 28th, 2012
9:18 am

How about this opening day lineup:

l. Bourn CF
2. Prado 3B
3. Freeman 1B
4. Uggla 2B
5. McCann C
6. Parraz LF
7. Durango RF
8. Simmons SS
9. Hanson P

X. Heyward RF (Gwinnet)

Ralph

March 28th, 2012
9:31 am

Nevada Roy
March 28th, 2012
9:18 am

I like it, especially the part about J-Hey.

Ralph

March 28th, 2012
9:31 am

Nevada Roy
March 28th, 2012
9:18 am

I like it, especially the part about J-Hey.

therut

March 28th, 2012
10:40 am

I don’t know why you all are getting on Larry’s case. He should be managing the braves.

Tim

March 28th, 2012
10:43 am

@Bama Fan#2

Freeman is a Rockies killer. 6 of his 21 homeruns last season came against the Rockies and 10 of his homeruns came against the NL West. Add in the 2 he hit against the Rangers and Mariners and 12 of his 21 homeruns last season came against the NL and AL West teams. He’s from Cali so I guess it makes sense.

Lemke’s Knuckler

March 28th, 2012
1:45 pm

I’m telling you guys, Heyward will figure it out soon enough, and when he does, this lineup will be DYNAMIC. It takes time to make adjustments to a swing. I’ve decided I’m giving him a grace period until May 1.

You guys do know was a grace period is, right? Ah, probably not.

gordonguy1969

March 28th, 2012
1:57 pm

Posting my lineup:
1. Larry CF
2. Kevin Chop 3b
3. Ralph 1b
4. Larry 2b
5. Kevin Chop C
6. Ralph RF
7. Larry LF
8. Kevin Chop SS
9. Ralph P

I think with the baseball smarts of these three, this should be a powerful opening day lineup.

TheOnlyBravesFan

March 28th, 2012
2:10 pm

Nice lineup gordon :D

Kendell Jones

March 28th, 2012
2:53 pm

All the lineups thagt I have seen have been made by those who think they are better than the man getting paid to do that job. You guys may have some baseball smarts, but that is all you have. If you are so good, why are you not playing? Or maybe managing?

[...] he’s good,” Braves hitting coach Greg Walker told the Atlanta Journal Constitution’s David O’Brien. “He hasn’t learned to pull the ball yet, but when he does, he’s got it there too, believe [...]

Fake Oakleys

September 24th, 2013
4:49 am

Freeman homers twice (again) in Braves’ win over Mets | Atlanta Braves
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