Freddie Freeman left Wednesday’s game in Houston after getting hit on the back of the right elbow by a fastball from Astros left-hander Darin Downs in the eighth inning, but he thinks he avoided a serious injury and hoped to be back in the lineup Thursday afternoon in the series finale.
Freeman’s flexibility was tested on the field by Braves trainer Jeff Porter, and he was examined after the game by an Astros doctor. X-rays weren’t deemed necessary and Freeman hoped by leaving the game early to get iced, he could keep the swelling down and play again Thursday.
“I needed to get ice on it with a day game tomorrow, so I just tried to keep the swelling down, see if I can go tomorrow,” Freeman said after the game. “The doctor already saw me. Everything is good. Hopefully it’s not too swollen and too sore tomorrow to go. But I’m going to try to do everything I can to.”
Initially Freeman started walking toward first base after he got hit by the pitch. But he said he stopped when he felt a tingling sensation in his elbow.
“All of a sudden I had no feeling in my hand, so I was like ‘Well, this could be a little bit worse than just getting hit in my triceps,’” Freeman said. “I felt it hit a little bit of the bone, but not too much, so I thought that’s why I could go to first. Then all of a sudden, the tingling started so I stopped. Top of the eighth, up by four, get some ice on it, with the 1 o’clock game tomorrow. See if I can go tomorrow.”
Freeman was replaced at first base in the bottom of the eighth inning by Chris Johnson, who moved there from third and manager Fredi Gonzalez kept Ramiro Pena in the game at third base.
The eighth inning was the first time all season Freeman hadn’t played in the field for the Braves. He was one of only three National Leaguers to start game for his team this season, joining Starlin Castro of the Cubs and Hunter Pence of the Giants.