Dodgers News: Freddie Freeman's HR crushes Atlanta, Will Smith-Marcell Ozuna incident
The Los Angeles Dodgers rebounded after a series loss in St. Louis to take the opener on Monday night against the Atlanta Braves. Freddie Freeman returned to where it all began, but this time it was all business.
In the 8-6 victory, Freeman's go-ahead three-run homer in fifth off Charlie Morton was the highlight of the slugger's 3-for-5 evening. After receiving a rousing ovation from the crowd before his first at-bat, Freeman silenced the home crowd in a flash.
Morton gave up a single to Miguel Rojas, walked Mookie Betts, and then had Freeman on the ropes with a 1-2 count before grooving that slider over the inside corner. Tears for Braves fans this time, not Freeman!
After the win, Freeman thanked the crowd for their support, but something tells us next time won't be as pleasant since he's now 7-for-17 with five runs scored and four RBI in his four games back at Truist Park as a visitor.
Dodgers News: Freddie Freeman's home run, Will Smith-Marcell Ozuna
We'd be remiss not to mention the inning prior, though, when Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna hit catcher Will Smith in the head with his bat on his follow through. Smith, who dealt with a concussion about a month ago and returned at the end of April, wasn't happy.
Smith and Ozuna exchanged words and the bullpens emptied, but the umpires kept it under control. It's hard to blame Smith for being upset because 1) nobody likes Ozuna; 2) Ozuna shouldn't even be playing in MLB after his domestic violence suspension and; 3) Ozuna's exaggerated follow through is dangerous for every catcher, all of whom already have to deal with playing the hardest position on the field.
After the game, Smith offered up an explanation for his frustration and we'd venture to say even Braves fans probably agree with him. Smith acknowledged that there's no intent behind Ozuna's actions, but the slugger needs to know that it's something he needs to fix because of how harmful it can be, especially if it happens multiple times in a game.
Smith also said Ozuna didn't apologize, so that was probably more of a reason to say something and cause a bit of a scene in order to get attention on the subject. Perhaps Smith gets the night off on Tuesday after tempers flared and he got hit in the head. He's played in six straight games and the Dodgers don't get another day off until June 1.
It'll be top prospect Bobby Miller against Spencer Strider, though, so the Dodgers will need all the offensive firepower they can muster. Either that, or they try their luck on Wednesday when it's Tony Gonsolin vs Bryce Elder. Dave Roberts might want to give fans all the fireworks though because Tuesday's game is nationally televised on TBS.