There was a hint of unhappiness in Freddie Freeman’s voice, but additionally optimism.
“It’s an emotional time when the season ends, particularly like this,” the Braves first baseman stated Sunday evening after his staff’s 4-3 loss to the Dodgers in Sport 7 of the NLCS. “However that group in that clubhouse, that is the beginning of one thing particular.”
It’s a Braves staff that misplaced important beginning rotation items in the course of the season, together with staff ace Mike Soroka to a torn Achilles, however nonetheless got here inside three innings of reaching the World Sequence.
The Braves led 3-2 within the sixth inning when Dodgers’ pinch-hitter Kiké Hernandez hit a game-tying homer towards reliever A.J. Minter. Cody Bellinger’s blast the next inning towards Chris Martin put the Braves behind for good.
Freeman, Ronald Acuña Jr., Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and Travis d’Arnaud type the nucleus of a lineup that will likely be anticipated to maintain the Braves as a title contender subsequent season.
“With our younger guys, we took an enormous step ahead this yr,” Braves supervisor Brian Snitker stated. “We hadn’t received a postseason collection and we received two and we acquired inside a sport of the World Sequence. We’re taking strides in the fitting route and we did it with our younger gamers and the expertise that we acquired.
“I don’t what this spring will deliver and the place we’ll be in our world, however we’re in fine condition right here, with the expertise we acquired, the gamers we have now coming, numerous our younger gamers grew up so much these final three months and I’m excited as may be about the way forward for this group and this membership.”
Freeman, who had an MVP caliber season, is among the many greatest energetic gamers by no means to have reached the World Sequence. He completed the NLCS with a 1.168 OPS and certain would have been the collection MVP if the Braves received.
Freeman hit simply .200 with one homer final postseason, when the Braves had been eradicated by the Cardinals within the NLDS.
“Freddie is wholesome this postseason and final yr he wasn’t,” Snitker stated earlier than the sport. “After going into the shortened season he had an exceptional yr and he simply saved proper on going. I might like to get to the World Sequence, the place the world might see how nice a participant this man is.”