Freeman, Braves know their defense must improve

Freeman, Braves know their defense must improve

PHILADELPHIA -- Freddie Freeman could not hide his frustration after the Braves suffered their fourth consecutive loss with a tough offensive and defensive performance at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.

His game-ending error had provided the Phillies a 1-0 victory. But his dismay extended beyond what he had not done with his glove.

"I think we're capable of being way better than this," Freeman said. "It doesn't help when your four-hitter isn't doing anything. So, hopefully, I can pick it up here shortly. I think we're better than what we've been showing the past four games and hopefully it starts tomorrow."

It would be hard for the Braves to be any worse than they were on Friday, when they committed a season-high four errors and totaled a season-low two hits -- both of which were tallied in the fifth inning against their former pitcher Aaron Harang, who faced just one more than the minimum over eight innings.

The Braves certainly could have covered up their defensive miscues with just some minimal offensive production. But their inability to do so set the stage for the suddenly shaky defense to commit the costly error.

Freddy Galvis began the ninth inning with a single off Jim Johnson and then advanced to third base with the assistance of a sacrifice bunt and passed ball charged to A.J. Pierzynski. This set the stage for Ben Revere, who delivered a chopper directly toward a drawn-in Freeman.

Freeman was two steps into the infield grass when he fumbled the ball as Galvis dashed home with the winning run.

"I had to act like a shortstop and obviously, I'm not one of those," Freeman said. "So, I just missed the play. It's on me."

Freeman's inability to cleanly field another Revere grounder in the third inning proved inconsequential when the Phillies outfielder slid beyond second base on a stolen base attempt moments later. Likewise, Alex Wood's errant pickoff attempt in the first inning and Chris Johnson's miscue in the eighth inning did not prove damaging.

But this four-error night simply added to the recent woes of the Braves, who have tallied seven errors during their current four-game losing streak. They had committed just one error in the previous 11 games played this season.

"I'm not sure even if Freeman comes up with that ball, there's a play at the plate, even though he's got an above-average arm," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Still, it doesn't sit right making four errors the entire game. That's not what we're about."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.