By Jason Shetler
While all things were good in the Pirates winning their home opener against the Atlanta Braves 5-4, things were almost not good in regards to David Freese, as he had to leave the game with chest discomfort.
Freese of course is now the Pirates regular third baseman, replacing Jung Ho-Kang, who is trying to get back to the United States, following his third DUI offense during the offseason. The 33-year-old Freese returns, this after signing a two-year extension with the Bucs back in August.
In the fifth inning, Freese clubbed the first Pirates home run of 2017, taking Braves reliever Josh Collmenter deep. Shortstop Dansby Swanson hit a line drive that smacked off Freese’s chest in the eighth inning. The play was pretty scary in real time, as it looked like the ball ricocheted near his neck. He stayed in to play the rest of the inning, but was lifted in the bottom half of the eighth for pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin. The decision to take Freese out is obviously a precaution, and he should be back in the lineup Saturday.