It is a question that knows no answer. What is the deal with Freddie Freeman and the Marlins?
The Braves first baseman went into Saturday night’s game batting .056 (3-for-54) against Miami this season. That includes 20 strikeouts. That, of course, strains the imagination.
Freeman had a career .299 average against the Marlins before this year. He came into the weekend on a 24-game binge, hitting .348 with 11 extra-base hits and 10 RBIs. Then Friday night against a 9-9 Tom Koehler, he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. His biggest contribution was a walk, which Justin Upton followed with a home run in the sixth inning.
Freeman was not available before Saturday night’s game but broaching the topic with Fredi Gonzalez had the manager speaking on tongues.
“You know why I don’t answer it and I’m not going to answer it now?” Gonzalez said. “It’s a tough answer but I’m not going to answer it.”
Pick any theory. The Marlins seem pitch him effectively, pounding him inside with fastballs and then exploiting down and away. But other teams have tried to do so but without such effect. Freeman’s 149 hits were tied for fourth in the league entering Saturday play.
Though Freeman may be the most unflappable Brave, it is also possible the streak has begun to play with his head.
“I have never even asked him about it,” Gonzalez said.
And he would never tell him this: Remove the Marlins games from his portfolio and Freeman would be hitting .318, good enough to lead the National League by seven points.