ANAHEIM -- If there's one word to describe David Freese, it may be this one: Streaky. There have been some pronounced slumps in the still-evolving career of the former Cardinals and current Angels third baseman, like the .179 batting average he had in last year's posteason, or the .193 clip he sported this April. But there have also been some scorching stretches along the way, like the last two rounds of the 2011 playoffs, or the 20-game hitting streak he carried through the middle of 2013.
And that's why his current stretch -- taking place as the regular season winds down and the playoffs begin -- could be so significant.
"I'm feeling good," Freese said. "Every pitch, I'm ready to hit. That's kind of where you want to be as a hitter -- patiently aggressive, ready to go at all times."
Freese's playing time was in question at the start of September, while he was stuck in an 0-for-21 slump and watching as newcomer Gordon Beckham stole some of his at-bats. But the 31-year-old entered Wednesday with a .378/.429/.667 slash line over a 13-game stretch that dated back to Sept. 4. He had hit safely in his last seven games, knocking in seven runs in the process, and is consistently driving the ball to the opposite field, like he typically does when he's right.
"Just riding the waves," Freese said, smiling.
Multiple times this season, Freese has gotten hot, prompting questions about whether he was ready to turn his season around just before his bat got cold again. His slow start could easily be forgotten by a strong finish.
"That's what it's all about," said Freese, now batting .261 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in his first season with the Angels. "I'll take this route over the other way around."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.