Freddie Freeman responds to narrative that Braves are playoff chokers
The Atlanta Braves are hearing some familiar and unwelcome music after Thursday’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS. Now one of their stars is admitting that they have to confront their demons head-on.
Speaking with reporters after the Game 5 defeat, Braves slugger Freddie Freeman spoke on the narrative that this could be a repeat of last year’s NLCS where the team choked away a 3-1 lead to these very same Dodgers.
“We don’t have a choice until we kill that narrative,” said Freeman, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports.
For the Braves, who entered Game 5 up 3-1 in the series, their collapse last postseason is still fresh in the minds of many. Georgia sports fans are also particularly uptight considering their teams’ lengthy history of blowing big leads (e.g. the Falcons’ 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, the University of Georgia’s 20-7 lead over Alabama in the 2018 national championship game, etc.).
What the Braves have going for them this time around however is the fact that they have two games to win one in front of their home crowd instead of having to play at a neutral site like last year. The Dodgers are also beat up right now. Their rotation is gassed and key players like Clayton Kershaw, Max Muncy, Justin Turner, and Joe Kelly are all hurt. But with their $300 million payroll, the Dodgers are still so stacked that absolutely no one will be surprised if they come back to win the series, especially after getting new life in Game 5 with 11 runs on 17 hits. There is also some uncertainty with Freeman’s own future after the season. That means the heat is on for the Braves to finally get a happy ending for Georgia sports this time around.
Photo: Jun 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a RBI single against the Boston Red Sox in the third inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports