PITTSBURGH • Cardinals third baseman David Freese, whose spring training was disjointed by his having to battle a lower back issue, hasn’t been good so far, hitting .200 with one RBI and six strikeouts in his first 20 at-bats.
“Since the end of February, I haven’t had that many consistent at-bats,” said Freese, who was hurt in the first week of March. “That’s the aggravating thing and the tough thing to deal with.
“You try not to play catch-up with the scoreboard and everybody else’s numbers. But it’s going to click eventually. ... We’ll see where I am 50 games in and 75 games in and we’ll be all right.”
Manager Mike Matheny said, “His timing looks real close.”
Wednesday night marked the first time Freese had been in the starting lineup for all three games of a series; he was 0 for 3 with two strikeouts against A.J. Burnett and committed a throwing error in the Cards' 5-0 loss.
Matheny has sought to bring Freese along gradually while wrestling with how to get both Matt Carpenter and Daniel Descalso on the field, too (Descalso played shortstop Wednesday).
“(Freese) came in early, walked past the office and he had that look in his eye,” said Matheny, jokingly. “I know that David wants to be in there every day. We’ve said it a thousand times. Every one of these guys wants to be in there every day, and I appreciate that and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.”
Freese said that when Matheny sits him, “He knows I’m not liking that. I feel good. I hope eventually I’ll be in there every day. He knows how I feel.”