Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman is optimistic about the team’s up-and-down start. Freeman, who’s hitting .298 with six homers through 34 games, spoke with the media before the Braves’ series opener in Los Angeles on Monday night.
On Max Fried’s emergence:
“He’s been consistent. Every time he gets on the mound, you have a great chance to win that ballgame. That’s how we feel when he’s out there. He pounds the zone, he has plus pitches. You feel pretty confident when he’s on the mound that you’re probably going to get the W that day.
On persisting through the early portion of the season:
“We’ve been mixing and matching. Everyone in April is trying to stay above water and tread through it. We played in some cold cities. Not everyone feels good on the plate, on the mound. Just trying to find your bearings. So getting through the first month, we’re a couple games above .500 now, I feel like we still haven’t hit our stride at all. We played good baseball for a week, then you go back and forth for a week or two. Hopefully we can get more consistent going forward.”
On the bullpen:
“Things are going to fall into place. Things work themselves out. We can be in spring training and say this is how it’s going to go, this and this, and it usually never ends up like that. A lot of things we thought were going to happen aren’t happening. Luke Jackson is closing baseball games for us, (Josh) Tomlin in the eighth inning. I don’t think anybody could’ve envisioned that in spring training. Things just work themselves out sometimes. And sometimes for the better. People are figuring out their roles and when that happens, good things start happen and people feel more comfortable.”
On starters, such as Max Fried and Mike Soroka, going deeper in games:
“It’s huge. Bullpening got so big the past couple years, but you can’t cover four or five innings every single night. You can’t do it no matter how good you are. You’re going to get tired and you’re going to need those starters. That’s why I feel like the Astros have been so good the last couple years … They have all those guys who can go six, seven, eight innings and then you have relievers come shut it down. You have to be able to give your relievers some rest and getting starters who can go deeper in games is definitely big for us.”