- Buster Olney, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
Going into Sunday’s game, Freeman had seen the third-fewest pitches in the strike zone in all of baseball, behind Pablo Sandoval and Giancarlo Stanton, as you can see here (Sandoval is a big hacker, Stanton an obvious power threat):
Pablo Sandoval, SF: 36.9 percent
Giancarlo Stanton, MIA: 39.1 percent
Freddie Freeman, ATL: 40.1 percent
David Ortiz, BOS: 40.2 percent
Those numbers -- and the generally poor numbers for most of the Atlanta batters -- have created a quandary for Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who must structure his lineup in such a way that will nudge opposing pitchers to throw to Freeman. At the same time, there is a concern about stacking one part of the order with too many strikeout hitters.
For the readers: Put yourself in Gonzalez's shoes and consider the Rubik's Cube that is the Atlanta lineup structure. This is what Gonzalez opted for on Sunday night