Freddie Freeman drew a walk but went hitless on Thursday as the Los Angeles Dodgers fell to the New York Mets, dropping two of three at Citi Field and losing the season series.
The highly-anticipated matchup between the two best teams in the National League was billed as a postseason preview, and in some regard it played out as such with each contest decided by two runs or fewer. However, in the series opener, the Dodgers relied on Heath Hembree and Jake Reed as part of limited options out of the bullpen.
Despite having their usual relief pitchers available on Thursday — with the exception of Brusdar Graterol, who was placed on the 15-day injured list because of right elbow inflammation — the Dodgers were unable to protect a lead after Clayton Kershaw exited.
And although the Dodgers lost the series, Freeman emphasized the importance of Kershaw returning to the rotation rather than the outcome, via Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group
“I thought they were real good baseball games. Kind of what you expect from a series like this, two good teams going at it,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “I don’t think you should read anything into it. I think you should read into it that we got Clayton Kershaw back and we’re going to build off that.”
While recognizing the Mets are a formidable opponent and someone they could face the in the playoffs, several Dodgers maintained there wasn’t added focus or importance on this week’s series.
It’s a mindset the team has consistently operated with under Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, regardless of opponent. Roberts recently alluded to that approach as key for the Dodgers’ success this season and being on pace to break the franchise record for most wins.
Freeman remains MLB hits leader
Freeman went 2-for-11 in three games against the Mets, and remains ahead of Trea Turner for the MLB lead in total hits this season with 165. Turner is not far behind Freeman at 162, and they are vying to become the first teammates to finish first and second for most hits since Ichiro Suzuki and Brett Boone for the 2001 Seattle Mariners.
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