Freeman on Bauer: 'He hasn't done his research'

Braves star reacts to curious comments from Tribe right-hander

April 21st, 2019

CLEVELAND -- The tone was critical. The words were… complimentary? Add it all up, and ’s postgame comments about the Braves’ bats after Atlanta’s comeback, 8-7 victory at Progressive Field on Saturday night were certainly curious.

“It didn’t seem like they wanted to hit tonight,” said Bauer, who went 6 1/3 innings and held the Braves to two runs on three hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts but used 120 pitches. “It seemed like they were looking to take pitches and foul pitches off… You’ve got to give them credit. They made me throw a lot of pitches, and they made me get out of the game in the seventh instead of the eighth or ninth. So, I guess, good job on their approach to them.”

The comments -- which come off as more disapproving in video form than they do in print, given Bauer’s intonations, eye rolls, etc. -- reached the Braves’ clubhouse.

“We heard that,” said. “It makes no sense. I don’t think he even knows what he was saying. It’s 40 degrees out. He’s a good pitcher, and we’re going to try to work you. I think we’re [usually] one of the most free-swinging teams there is. I think that comment is just … he hasn’t done his research.”

For background, going back to the start of 2018, the Braves have the highest first-pitch-swing percentage in baseball (34.3) and the second-lowest percent of pitches taken (50.7). But against Bauer, in the bone-chilling cold Saturday night, they took 52.7 percent of first pitches. They took 15 called strikes, 44 balls and fouled off 31 pitches.

In other words, they made him work. And yes, it did work. Because the Braves took advantage of a walk-prone Indians bullpen to get the win in the late innings.

“If it was 80 degrees, I think a lot of us would have hit some pitches,” Freeman said. “But it was 40. We were just trying to grind and grind and grind. He’s a good pitcher. I don’t know if he gave the right compliment to our team. But that’s him, and he can say whatever he wants.”

Wilson up, Toussaint down

In addition to returning Shane Carle, the 26th man added for Saturday’s doubleheader, back to Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves also optioned Touki Toussaint to Gwinnett and recalled to beef up the bullpen.

Wilson broke camp with the club and made just one appearance (allowing four runs in 3 1/3 innings in Philadelphia on March 30) before getting optioned. The 21-year-old right-hander was brought back to possibly provide length out of the ‘pen.

“We know what he’s capable of,” manager Brian Snitker said. “It’s a situation right now more, for us, having somebody with some length. These looks that these [young] guys are going to get is going to help them down the road.”

Toussaint labored in 1 1/3 innings against the Indians on Saturday. The Braves are expected to bring into the rotation fold later this week after his fourth rehab start with Gwinnett, though he labored against Durham on Sunday, allowing six runs on seven hits with a homer, two walks and two strikeouts.

Bid on the Braves

Fans can bid on more than 300 autographed memorabilia items and VIP experiences as part of the 10th annual UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction currently underway at

All proceeds of the auction which is put on my MLB’s umpires, support UMPS CARE Charities’ youth programs to provide MLB experiences for children awaiting adoption, Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for hospitalized children coping with serious illnesses, college scholarships for deserving young adults who were adopted as children, and financial assistance for families in need.

Braves fans can bid on such items as a Dansby Swanson-signed ball, a Bobby Cox-signed hat, a Nick Markakis-signed bat and a package of four tickets with a batting practice experience at Sun Trust Park.

The auction closes at 10 p.m. ET on April 30.