Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman — somehow quietly — has not made an out since the fourth inning of Sunday’s game against the Padres. Since then, his plate appearances have gone: intentional walk, walk, double, two-run home run, double, solo home run, single, walk, walk, single, walk, solo home run. Those last two plate appearances have come in the first three innings of Wednesday night’s game against the Nationals. For those counting at home, that’s 12 consecutive plate appearances reaching base safely ending in five walks (one intentional), two singles, two doubles, and three home runs.
The official record for consecutive games reaching base safely — reaching via hit, walk, or hit-by-pitch — was set between June 16-19, 1893 by the Orioles’ Piggy Ward, who reached base in 17 consecutive trips to the plate.
Going into his third plate appearance of the night, Freeman is hitting .438/.534/.938. Those are almost Eric Thamesian numbers!
Update: Freeman grounded out leading off the sixth inning, ending his streak.
Despite dealing with back trouble for five years, Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers recently made his first ever trip to the disabled list. Then he made another trip there. All of it has him contemplating his future. As he tells Bill Plunkett of the OC Register, his baseball future may be a short one if his health doesn’t improve:
“I want to get back this year to help the team and for me to be healthy,” Gonzalez said. “But I’m thinking more long-term about being able to play more years.
“Because if I have to deal with this next year again? That’ll probably be it. My contract will be over, that’ll probably be it. I won’t play any more. If I can heal it and my body feels good? Now I can go out there and do the things I can do. Then I’ll keep playing.”
Backs are one of those things that don’t get better as you get older. At least not without a lot of work and effort and good luck. Gonzalez is 35 now, so he’ll need all of that to keep playing beyond his current deal.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.