Freeman's miscues especially costly vs. Phils
Braves first baseman's errors allow winning run to score in two games
PHILADELPHIA -- When the Braves began this nine-game road trip by taking two of three against the Blue Jays, it appeared Freddie Freeman had distanced himself from the offensive misfortune he had experienced during the regular season's first two weeks.
But as the Braves completed a 3-6 trip with Sunday afternoon's 5-4 loss to the Phillies, Freeman had no reason to be encouraged by what had transpired over the past week. The frustration created by his limited offensive production was trumped by the two critical errors he committed this weekend at Citizens Bank Park.
"We made a lot of errors this road trip," Freeman said. "I think we need to come back expecting to play better baseball tomorrow."
While winning just one of their past six games, the Braves have committed nine errors -- eight more than they had committed in this season's first 12 games. The costliest miscues have been charged to Freeman, who saw Friday's 1-0 loss conclude when he was unable to field Ben Revere's chopper as Freddy Galvis raced home with the winning run.
With Friday's miscue fresh in his memory bank, Freeman fielded Odubel Herrera's two-out, seventh-inning grounder on Sunday and then made a flip to first base that eluded left-handed reliever Ian Thomas' reach. This miscue allowed Galvis to score an insurance run that proved necessary when Alberto Callaspo cut Atlanta's ninth-inning deficit to one run with a solo homer off Jonathan Papelbon.
"It's tough with a left-handed [pitcher] covering the bag," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If you don't lead him just enough, it's going to be tough for him to make the adjustment. You've got a speedy guy running, and there is just no room for error."
Freeman was not so lenient while assessing what was actually his third error of this three-game series in Philadelphia.
"Looking at the replay, it's an easy toss, or I could have just let [second baseman Jace Peterson] get it," Freeman said. "It was a bonehead move again."
Freeman's recent frustrations have been enhanced by the 1-for-21 skid that he snapped by recording the first of his two opposite-field doubles on Sunday. His third-inning double put him in position to score when Kelly Johnson followed with a game-tying double off Phillies starter Jerome Williams.
Freeman has batted .235 with a .792 OPS through this season's first 18 games. His recent struggles have significantly influenced the fact that the Braves had tallied three runs or fewer in four straight games before tallying five runs during the final three innings of Saturday night's win over the Phillies.
"All I can do is keep going up there and trying to get a good pitch to hit and then put a good swing [on it]," Freeman said. "Obviously, the previous 20 at-bats didn't go the way I wanted. But hopefully, this is a start."