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Freeman had better luck after a July 1990 trade sent him to Atlanta for Joe Boever. He had three-and-a-half years of infrequent work as a situational reliever with the Braves, witnessing the team's worst-to-first transformation in 1991. Along the way he was criticized for relying too heavily on his split-fingered fastball.
The Rockies signed Freeman in 1994, hoping he could add depth to their shell-shocked pitching staff. Although he hadn't started a game in six years, Freeman won a spot in the Colorado rotation and turned in an impressive 10-2 record -- the best winning percentage in the NL. Had he pitched enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, his 2.80 mark would have ranked second behind league leader Greg Maddux.
It all fell apart in 1995. Nursing a sore elbow, Freeman lost seven of ten decisions as his ERA ballooned to 5.89. He did sock his second career homer off the Cubs' Kevin Foster on May 23rd, but surrendered a round-tripper to Foster a few frames later, marking only the tenth time that century that pitchers had homered off each other in the same game. But arm surgery ended Freeman's season in September, and a 6.04 ERA the following year ended his career. (JFC/JGR)