That win in Game 4 of the National League Division Series propelled the Braves to a 3-1 series victory over the Brew Crew, seen as the favorites to advance by virtue of their incredible pitching staff and their regular season record.
Freeman hitting a homer shouldn’t surprise anyone: after all, he has 271 regular season blasts at 32 years old.
The shocking part is that he hit the game-winning homer off All-Star closer Josh Hader, arguably the best reliever in baseball, who had a 1.23 ERA during the regular season.
Are you kidding me Freddie Freeman?!
— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) October 13, 2021
Freeman became the first batter to hit more than one home run off the star left-hander.
The Brewers offense couldn’t answer the call and failed to score again.
The Braves will now play in the NLCS against the winner of the Los Angeles Dodgers–San Francisco Giants series, to be decided on Thursday.
Another Excellent Season
Freeman, meanwhile, is enjoying yet another fantastic year in his awesome career.
During the regular season, he slashed .300/.393/.503 with 31 home runs, 83 RBI, 120 runs scored, and a .896 OPS.
He started a little slow, but heated up in the summer months and kept raking, helping the Braves replace the lost production when outfield sensation Ronald Acuna Jr. went down with a torn ACL.
The postseason didn’t stop Freeman, who hit .308/.471/.615 with a double and a homer in the four games against the Brewers.
The first baseman keeps increasing his value in his walk year: he is slated to hit free agency after the World Series, and will likely command a big, big contract.
He is still theoretically in his prime, having just turned 32 (although he is on the further end of it), is a proven performer, can hit for average and power (career .295/.384/.509), is athletic, can play defense, and is a leader both on and off the field.
Those traits and abilities will make him an expensive player come free agency.
However, and although he will be free to sign with any team of his liking, he remains highly unlikely to leave Atlanta.
For years, he has been the franchise player, and the club would be fools to let him walk now that they seem primed for contending for a long time.
Freeman Should Retire As A Brave, But Only Time Will Tell
The Braves’ contention window is still wide open, and signing Freeman and making him retire as a Brave would go a long way helping the cause.
A mainstay in the Braves’ lineup since 2011, Freeman has already been signed to an extension, back in 2014.
It was an eight-year, $135 million pact, and he was a star during the whole deal.
You can even say that, at an average salary of just under $17 million per year, he was a bargain.
Now, Freeman will likely push for much more money per season.
Freddie Freeman will be 32 when he is a free agent this winter. He's gotta get at least a 5-year, $100M-$125M right?
— Brandon Wile (@Brandon_N_Wile) October 9, 2021
It’s entirely deserved for one of the franchise’s icons.
It’s likely he remains in Atlanta, but it’s not a given.
In any case, he is doing the best he can to help his cause and earn a lucrative, multi-year deal.