David Freese, streakers and Lawrie goes beast

David Freese heads home after hitting the game-winning homerun against Texas in game six of the World Series last year. He's carried the magic of his playoff run into the first six games of the season. He's not Pujols, but he's helping Cardinal fans forget what they lost in the off-season as the Cards are off to their best start in franchise history.

LIVINGSTONE: It’s the wee hours of Wednesday morning. A day after the Jays dropped a tough one in the ninth to the Boston Red Sox 4-2 – and like I said in my piece yesterday on the game – the sleeping giant awoke, ie: the bats.

The Jays took the second game of the series 7-3 on the backs of solid hitting through the line-up, an infield single by Brett Lawrie (I swear he burned a streak of fire into the turf on that hit) that ignited the crowd, an outstanding performance from fireballer Kyle Drabek, a 6-for-12, four rbi performance from Edwin Encarnacion, Adam Lind and Lawrie (Jose Bautista was 0-4 with three Ks, sadly), it was a good night to be at the ballpark.

Oh yes, I almost forgot the streaker. But this site is about baseball, not public nudity – despite the fact the kid could be a pinch-running base stealer.

Did I mention Lawrie almost ran through the wall on the third base line trying to snag a foul ball? Legend has it he turned a man into ashes when he hit the wall. True story. Guy is a beast.

That’s all for Jays talk for me. Let’s talk the defending World Champions and the Cardinals third baseman David Freese.

We all know about his playoff performance last year. The 20-plus runs batted in, the well-above .300 average, the World Series game six-tying hit in the ninth, followed by the game-winning walk-off homer in extra innings, sending the Cards and Rangers to game seven, and the title.

Sure, we know all about him. He became America’s darling. And the expectations he set for himself after his post-season performance, carried by fans, were terribly high – so high, one would expect him to never be able to do it.

He might not hit like he has in the last five games for St. Louis, but he surely is doing a good job at making them forget about the former face of the franchise, Albert Pujols.

Maybe not completely, but he’s doing a good job at healing the wounds a little.

His stats? 12-for-27, 12 hits, 5 runs, 3 HRs, 10 RBIs, .425+ avg., OPS well above 1.100 (updated stats to include his big game tonight were added in by me – apologies for less than specific numbers on some. I’m a writer, not a mathematician). It’s a heck of a start for the hometown boy-turned hero and one can’t help but hope, just a little, that he continues on it for a little while longer.

After all, you have to feel for a team who loses a guy like Pujols the season after winning the World Series with him. The Cards, people figured they’d contend to some degree, but maybe not make the playoffs. Losing one of the greatest coaches of all-time in Tony La Russa and likely, when all is said and done with his career, the best hitter ever, would crush any spirits of a back-to-back World Series title.

But maybe the likes of Freese and the rest of the champs from last year (Yadier Molina, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman and newest addition Carlos Beltran) can help fans forget what they’ve lost.


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