ST. LOUIS -- David Freese was back in the Cardinals' lineup Thursday, still looking for anything to spark some offensive momentum.
Freese, who hit 20 home runs last year, remains homerless 88 at-bats into his season entering Thursday's finale against the Mets. He has only three extra-base hits and four RBIs. A career .290 hitter, Freese is batting .216.
There was a brief hint of optimism that Freese was beginning to find his way when, after being pulled from the lineup for two straight games beginning April 30, he returned with three consecutive multi-hit games. Since then, however, Freese has just five hits in 28 at-bats. All five have been singles.
"It's just timing and confidence right now," manager Mike Matheny said. "And there's a feel part of it that you can't really define really well. But when you've got it, you've got it. And when you don't, it's like chasing a ghost. That's where David is right now."
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.