Originally posted on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 3/13/12
JUPITER, Fla. Third baseman David Freese walked into the Cardinals clubhouse Saturday and joked to a few nearby teammates that he felt like he was 0-for-20. He was actually only 0-for-6, having played in just three games. Two games and two home runs later, Freese is starting to feel a lot better. A day after hitting a first-inning three-run shot Monday against the Nationals, Freese launched a two-run shot in the first inning Tuesday in Port St. Lucie to help the Cardinals defeat the New York Mets 7-1. "That's what spring is all about," Freese told reporters. "I'm just trying to get my swing ready for April. I had some good swings the last couple of days, and I'm just going to try and keep that going. "I'm just trying to get things right. You come into camp, you have to get your timing down, try to get good wood on the ball, build your confidence, and hopefully you feel good when April comes." Freese is coming off a memorable 2011 in which he was named MVP of both the National League Championship Series and World Series, helping the Cardinals defeat with Texas Rangers in a unforgettable Fall Classic. The St. Louis native hit .397 in 18 postseason games, with five home runs, 21 RBI and eight doubles. His two-run triple tied Game 6 of the World Series with two out in the ninth inning and his solo shot in the eleventh sent the Cardinals home happy. But the regular season wasn't as kind to Freese, who missed nearly two months after breaking his hand on a hit-by-pitch on May 1. The absence came a year after Freese missed nearly half of the 2010 season with injuries to his ankles. Feeling as healthy as he has in years, Freese is out to prove that not only can he duplicate what he did late last season, he can stay healthy and be counted on for a full season. "I think it's real important," Freese said. "To be an everyday guy, you have to be available every day. I know things will happen here or there over the course of a long season, but I take pride in being an everyday guy. I want to be a part of the core. Being on that field is a huge objective." Asked about the relief of finally being healthy, Freese said, "Just one huge thing that I don't have to worry about. That's a huge part coming into camp. It's awesome to feel good, to know that my legs feel good, my feet feel good. I'm happy the way the last two days have gone, and I'm just going to keep things rolling." Monday and Tuesday were the first two back-to-back games for Freese, who had altered playing a game and resting a game for the first week of games. The Cardinals are hoping to keep him as fresh as possible heading into the regular season. The two home runs are the only hits of the spring for Freese, who is 2-for-11 in five games. But the Cardinals know a healthy Freese will eventually hit, and they aren't concerned with numbers, especially in five spring games. "His swing has always looked pretty good," manager Mike Matheny told reporters. "I think he's had more hesitation in the past because of how his legs, feet and ankles have felt but he's pretty happy with the work that he's done and the medical team has done to him. "Between yesterday and that ball today, it was short, quick to the ball and he's got power, so that's going to happen."
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