Perhaps it’s because, before last season, Freeman had two years of decreased production as the immediate follow-up to a 2013 campaign in which he finished fifth in the MVP voting after clubbing 23 homers, 109 RBIs and carrying a .396 on-base percentage. A down season in 2014 was followed by an injury-riddled 2015 in which Freeman played in just 118 games. And just like that, baseball minds outside Atlanta drifted away from thoughts of Freeman.
Or perhaps Freeman’s lower profile is because the Braves, while still with a large fan base, are no longer the type of national brand they were in the days of Superstation WTBS, when their games went nationwide every night and helped players get name recognition among both casual baseball fans and those who rooted for other teams.
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Or maybe we can blame it on the Braves having not won consistently in recent years, with three straight sub-.500 seasons and two seasons of 90-plus losses, the logic being that MVPs shouldn’t come from losing teams. After all, Chipper Jones won his MVP in 1999 in the middle of the Braves’ run of 14 straight division titles, and Dale Murphy won his two MVP awards in 1982 and 1983 as the Braves won a division title and stayed in the race for another — both in the heart of the Superstation era.
Nationals stars Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman continued their hot hitting in a 4-2 win over the Phillies. Rendon, who had a game for the ages last weekend, went 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBIs and a walk. Zimmerman, who has quietly been the best hitter in MLB so far this season, went 3 for 5 with a solo home run, and is now batting .433 this year.
Limited Kids Joe Colborne Jersey Blue Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, two home runs and five RBIs in an 8-4 win over the Rays. Toronto scored five runs in the eighth inning to pull off the come-from-behind victory.