- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
- John McCain laments: Obama’s ‘self-pity … is really kind of sad’
- GOP offer to fix VA gives $10 billion in emergency funds
- Paul Ryan offers to repair U.S. economic safety net with a single grant stream
- Kim Jong-un builds bond with Putin: $250M Russia-backed addition to key port opens
- Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese woman sentenced to death
Freeman starts in first game for Braves
Question of the Day
Still, the 20-year-old first baseman had no complaints about his first game with the NL East-leading Braves. He hit a couple of balls hard, made a nice scoop of a low throw and, best of all, Atlanta beat the New York Mets 4-1 on Wednesday night for its fifth straight win.
“I felt like the day went really, really slow,” Freeman said. “But when the game started, it seemed normal.”
Heyward and Freeman were Atlanta’s top two hitting prospects coming through the minors, and Heyward locked down the right-field job in spring training. He homered on opening day, was voted a starter in the All-Star game and had his third four-hit game of the season Wednesday against the Mets.
Freeman spent the year at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he batted .319 with 18 homers, 35 doubles and 87 RBIs. He’s expected to take over as the starting first baseman in 2011, and Braves fans are clearly looking forward to watching him team with Heyward in the middle of the batting order for years to come.
When Freeman came up for the first time, he received a big ovation from a crowd that included his dad, Fred, who hastily flew in from California to see his son’s debut.
“It’s kind of nice that the fans think you can be that guy,” Freeman said. “Hopefully, I can keep up those expectations.”
Freeman went 0 for 3 before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. The first time up, he hit a hard grounder up the middle _ normally a hit _ but the Mets had the shift on. Shortstop Ruben Tejada fielded the ball and threw to first.
The youngster stroked it hard again in the third, but third baseman David Wright grabbed the ball just above the dirt and threw to first to double off Brian McCann.
“I was like, ‘That one’s got to go through,’ but it was right at David,” Freeman said. “That’s baseball. All you can ask for is to hit the ball on the barrel. You’ll get some hits.”
Freeman, who struck out swinging in his final at-bat, was among the players called up on the first day of expanded rosters. Braves manager Bobby Cox thought it was best to get that first start out of the way, though Derrek Lee will get most of the playing time at first base down the stretch.
As for Freeman, “he’ll play once in a while when Derrek needs a day off, pinch-hit and drive in the winning run,” Cox said with a smile.
“I was talking to her all game,” he said. “I was telling her I wished she could be here. But I know she was watching. She couldn’t be here physically, but she was here spiritually.”
By Michael Widlanski
Leveling the battlefield to aid terrorists enables evil to fight on
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- State Department indicates Nouri al-Maliki's days numbered as Iraq prime minister
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- Calif. dolls were meant to spread cheer, not chill
- Obama family set to buy $4.25M desert home in California: report
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq