Milwaukee – Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez used the second game of the three-game series to get Lyle Overbay his first start as a Brave and first baseman Freddie Freeman a day of rest.
“Just a day off,” Gonzalez said. “Plus I don’t think we could leave Milwaukee without putting Overbay or (Eric) Hinske in the game. They won’t let us take off.”
Overbay was the Brewers’ every day first baseman in 2004 and 2005. Hinske grew up in Menasha, WI, about 90 miles north of Milwaukee.
Freeman was out of the lineup for only the second time since June 18, when he was still nursing a sore left thumb. Otherwise the only game he missed was Aug. 29 in San Diego. Freeman is 2-for-26 in his past eight games.
Overbay might have planted a seed in Gonzalez’s mind with his pinch-hit single Monday in the seventh inning against the Brewers. It was his first hit in five pinch-hit at-bats since the Braves called up him at the start of September.
Overbay wasn’t as much pleased that it came against his former team so much as they he’d taken an aggressive swing at the ball on a 2-1 pitch. Overbay had struck out three times in his first four pinch-hit at-bats with Braves, all looking. The first one was on a pitch that was probably ball four from Jonathan Papelbon of the Phillies on Sept. 1, but the others bothered him.
“I was seeing the ball, but I wasn’t reacting to it,” Overbay said. “It was making me mad. Who cares if I swing and miss? Just swing and see what happens.”
The 35-year-old Overbay is relatively new to pinch-hitting with 96 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter (19-for-84, .226 batting average).
“Being a pinch hitter you’ve got to be aggressive and you’ve got to be ready for whatever,” Overbay said.
He made his first start since July 22 as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who designated him for assignment a little more than a week later. That his start Tuesday came against the Brewers was a bonus.
“These fans, the city, the organization, they all treated me real well,” Overbay said. “It’s always a pleasure to come back and enjoy seeing all the guys over there on the other side.”