Atlanta Braves: Freddie Freeman has found his groove once again

Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freema is starting to heat up after a slow start to the postseason.

Freddie Freeman, who is my candidate for the 2020 National League Most Valuable Player of the year award, struggled in the National League Wild Card Series and the National League Division Series.

He was practically a non-factor in the back to back Atlanta Braves sweeps in the first two rounds to bring them to the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Freeman hit an amazing .341 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs during the 2020 regular season. He had to battle Covid 19 at the beginning of the season and he struggled at the start of the season as he tried to find his groove.

It did not take long for him to find his groove and suddenly was thrown into the NL MVP conversations.

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The Braves finished first in the NL East and had to face the Cincinnati Reds to start the postseason. Freeman was one for six, driving only one run in. Granted, the Braves faced some outstanding Reds pitchers, you would expect someone like Freeman to produce for the team.

It was a similar story in the NLDS versus the Miami Marlins. Freddie was hitless in eight at bats in games one and two against the Marlins.

Although Freeman got on base frequently through his great control of the strike zone in the NLWC and NLDS, that is not enough from the big slugger.

But, the Braves managed through its outstanding pitching during the first two series, and the breakout of Travis d’Arnaud in the postseason.

Then came game three of the NLDS, a chance for the Braves to sweep another team and move on to the NLCS. Freeman just needed some time to adjust apparently cause he recorded two hits in four at bats.

Overall, from the NLWC and NLDS, Freeman batted .167, and .444 OBP with only one RBI, no home runs.

Now that the Braves were in the NLCS, they faced the stacked Los Angeles Dodgers.

Freeman hit his first home run of the 2020 postseason against Walker Buehler giving the Braves an early 1-0 lead over the Dodgers.

The Dodgers were favored in this series, and the Braves need Freddie to find his form if they are to have a chance against a stacked Dodgers lineup and he did just that.

The Braves won game one, 5-1.

With a 1-0 series lead, the Braves were preparing to face Clayton Kershaw. He would be scratched from the game with back spasms, so Tony Gonsolin took the mound.

Freeman proved game one was no fluke when he homered on a 3-2 pitch scoring Ronald Acuna Jr. in the process. Another home run to give the Braves a lead in back to back games.

Freddie would later hit a RBI single in the fifth inning. That RBI by Freeman ended up being crucial because the Braves narrowly defeated the Dodgers 8-7.

The Dodgers were down four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and they put up a three spot. Mark Melancon was able to close the game, stranding Cody Bellinger on third base.

Freddie Freeman finished the game two for four with three RBIs and the two run home run in the fourth inning. The Atlanta Braves have missed Freeman’s bat in the postseason and it is coming back to life at the right time.

Freeman is not the only Braves hitter that has seen recent success. d’Arnaud has been great this entire postseason, but Ozuna, Albies, and Swanson have been hitting better as of late. This is a promising sign for the Braves because their starting pitching has been better than expected.

Should Dodgers Fans be Worried That Their Team is Down 2-0?

Game one was disappointing for Dodgers fans, and game two started that way until the last inning.

Clayton Kershaw’s back spasms are a major concern because he has been dealing with it the entire year. On the positive side, it is just spasms.

Julio Urias is slated to start game three for now against Kyle Wright for the Braves.

Now back to the big question, Dodgers fans should be worried. It is not the end of the world right now, but if the Braves take game three it would be time to hit the panic button.

Although the Braves hitters are starting to heat up, notably Albies and Freeman, Dodgers hitters are equally pulling their weight.

Everyone in the lineup for game two recorded a hit. Corey Seager had a big game, and it is promising to see Max Muncy hit a clutch home run to try and complete a come back.

Kyle Wright for the Braves has yet to prove himself in 2020 as a whole. Although his one postseason performance against the Marlins was great, he has not consistently done that in the regular season.

I would put my money on the Dodgers to take game three with Julio Urias on the mound who has thrown eight innings of scoreless baseball.

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But, if Wright has another outstanding outing, the Dodgers might struggle to outscore the Atlanta Braves lineup that is heating up.