Petco Park perdition for Braves

Petco Park perdition for Braves

SAN DIEGO -- As Freddie Freeman stood in front of his locker following Monday night's 7-2 loss to the Padres, his weakened voice provided clear proof that he wasn't feeling well and it didn't necessarily have anything to do with the fact that he is the only Braves player who has been around for the entirety of an 11-game losing streak at Petco Park.

"I don't know what it is," Freeman said. "I threw up about six times today and threw up once yesterday. That's no excuse, but I just wasn't feeling good."

Freeman certainly did not look good as he endured his fifth three-strikeout game of the season during this series opener. The veteran first baseman struck out with two on and no outs in the first inning and then stranded two more runners when he struck out to end the top of the seventh inning.

With these two latest squandered run-producing opportunities, Freeman is now hitting .122 (6-for-49) with runners in scoring position. He led all qualified Major Leaguers in this category last year with a .376 batting average.

Still throughout his struggles and his current sickness, which began when he first vomited on Sunday night, Freeman has continued to lobby to remain in the lineup on a daily basis.

"I feel good enough to play," Freeman said. "It would be hard to take me out of the lineup. I threw up six times today and still went out there and tried to give it what I got. Obviously it wasn't very good."

While the flu-like symptoms might have weakened Freeman on Monday, he has endured far more frustration than anybody could have envisioned this season. He struggled mightily through the first two weeks, righted himself for about a month and then began his current skid, during which he has batted .169 with a .546 OPS over his past 20 games.

When reminded he is allowed to take an occasional day off, Freeman said, "I'll get one of those on Thursday," in reference to the team's off-day, which follows this latest visit to San Diego -- a place that has been anything but paradise for the Braves.

Chipper Jones notched a first-inning RBI double and Kris Medlen completed eight scoreless innings when the Braves last won in San Diego on Aug. 28, 2012. Coincidently, Freeman also struck out three times that night.

"It's different," Freeman said of the team's woes at Petco Park. "We don't score many runs here. I can't remember the last time we scored a lot of runs here in San Diego. It's one of those things where you really can't put your finger on it. They've obviously played us well here." 

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.