LOS ANGELES -- Similar to the stretch Matt Holliday endured in April, David Freese finds himself stuck in a rut where, despite making plenty of hard contact, the hits aren't falling.
Freese has only three hits in his last eight games (27 at-bats), and all three came on one night in San Francisco. A batting average that sat at .312 on May 9 has since dipped to .272, a season low for the Cardinals' starting third baseman.
"I'm just going through one of those times that every baseball player goes through," Freese said. "I think if a couple balls fall in, my month probably looks pretty good. It's frustrating, but I'll just keep pushing through."
What Freese does not intend to do is react to this drop in productivity by making any changes. He is not concentrated on altering anything mechanically, nor does he put a strong focus on knocking down his strikeout numbers. Doing so, Freese noted, would only take away from the aggressiveness that is also key to his stretches of success.
Freese has struck out a team-high 35 times this year.
"We've seen some hard outs," manager Mike Matheny said. "My only concern would be how he perceives those. It would be nice to be rewarded with a hit. He's exceptionally hard on himself. It's just a matter of making sure that he's seeing that he's hitting the ball hard."
Arguably the hardest hit ball of this recent bunch came on Friday, when Freese lined out to Dodgers third baseman Adam Kennedy with one on in the sixth inning of a 4-4 game. He stranded two in his next at-bat by striking out to end the inning in a game the Cardinals lost, 6-5.
"I feel good at the plate," Freese said. "I'm just not executing, and that's what this game is all about. It's about production. But I feel good, and I'm just going to keep at it."