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There’s no cooling off David Freese

Oct 15, 2012, 12:30 AM EDT

David Freese Getty Images

He hasn’t had the chance to distinguish himself as much as some, but at-bat for at-bat, Carlos Beltran is the best postseason hitter of all-time.

At least until David Freese overtakes him.

Beltran and Freese both added to their remarkable postseason totals in Sunday’s Game 1 against the Giants, hitting two-run homers off Madison Bumgarner. Beltran’s exploits were covered in this space a couple of days ago. Now it’s time to look at Freese’s rather remarkable success these last two years.

Including Sunday’s victory, Freese has played in 25 postseason games with the Cardinals and hit .386 with six homers, 11 doubles and 25 RBI. He’s slugging a robust .739.

Among players with 100 postseason plate appearances — Freese’s total on the button — only Beltran (.824) and Babe Ruth (.744) have higher slugging percentages than Freese. Lou Gehrig is next at .731. Lower the total to 70 plate appearances and only one more person slips in higher than Freese: Troy Glaus came in at .756 in 88 plate appearances.

In 2011, Freese tied the all-time single postseason record with 25 hits and set new records with 21 RBI and 50 total bases.

Sunday’s homer was his first of the 2012 postseason, but he’s hit .360 with three doubles.

Freese has been a perfectly good regular-season player, too, but nothing like this. He’s averaged one homer every 32 at-bats and a double every 20 at-bats from April through September. In October, he’s homered every 15 at-bats and doubled every eight at-bats.

The Cardinals have a better lineup top to bottom this year than when they won the World Series last season, so they don’t necessarily need Freese to keep up this pace. Still, it certainly can’t hurt the cause if he does. No player in major league history has ever claimed an LCS or World Series MVP honors in back-to-back years. Freese won both last year, so he’ll have at least one and maybe two chances to make history.

  1. stlouis1baseball - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    Dude is a solid player. Has been since he joined the club. But he certainly seems to step up the biggest when the stage is at it’s highest.

  2. fearlessleader - Oct 15, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Good stuff, Matt—thanks. Having Freese healthy and productive this year has been a real boost to this team (his defense has come a long way, too), and it’s a ton of fun to see him pick up where he left off last October.

    • txnative61 - Oct 15, 2012 at 2:00 AM

      He may pick up where he left off, but hard to top that last strike stuff! Most clutch hitting possible. Icewater in his veins—-of course he’s named Freese.

  3. stex52 - Oct 15, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    I thought early on that the loss of Berkman’s bat could be a problem for the Cards. At that point I was doubly glad the they had picked up Beltran. But it appears they have things well in hand with the present cast. Freese is better than I thought he would be. Good player development.

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