Could Chipper turn things around like he did in 2006?

When Chipper Jones directed Luis Perdomo’s fastball into the left-center field gap on Thursday night, it appeared that he was destined to record his third hit in three innings.    But Padres center fielder Tony Gwynn robbed the Braves third baseman of this rarity with a diving catch that seemed improbable when the ball left the bat. 

“When he caught that ball I was thinking as much as last year was my year, this isn’t my year,”  Jones said.
Coming off his first career batting title, Jones entered this season knowing that he likely wouldn’t match the career-best .364 batting average that he compiled last year.   But at the same time, he didn’t have much reason to believe that he’d enter August’s final weekend with a .281 batting average.
The last time that Jones’ average sat this low outside the month of April was on June 25, 2006, when he exited that day’s game in Tampa hitting .276.   One day later at Yankee Stadium, Jones recorded a three-hit game and found himself beginning a tear that would carry him through the end of last season. 

During the 423 games Jones played from June 26, 2006 through the end of the 2008 season, he hit .337 with a .436 on-base percentage and a .583 slugging percentage.  

It appeared he was on pace to produce similar numbers when on June 9 of this year, he was hitting .335 with a .442 on-base percentage and a .565 slugging percentage.  But during the 64 games that have followed, he has hit just .242 with a .370 on-base percentage and a .381 slugging percentage. 

Jones was encouraged by his two-hit performance on Thursday night and said that the swing that produced the liner that Gwynn glove would be one that he’d be taking into this weekend’s series in Philadelphia. 

Providing Jones even more reason for encouragement should be the fact that he’s hit .345 with eight homers and a 1.138 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in his last 25 games at Citizens Bank Park. 

Hanson’s perfect bid:  With a win or no-decision during tonight’s game the birthday boy Tommy Hanson will ensure that he’ll produce perfect records during two of his first three months at the Major League level. 

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last rookie pitcher to record two perfect months with at least four wins was Houston’s Roy Oswalt in 2001. 

Because Hanson was celebrating his 23rd birthday on Friday, we’ll provide him the gift of a mulligan while comparing his success to other Major League pitchers since he debuted.   Thus we won’t factor in his June 7 big league debut. 

In the 13 starts he’s made dating back to June 12, Hanson has posted a 2.68 ERA, which ranks first among the Braves starters and  12th among all Major League pitchers (min. 50 innings) during this span.    One of his primary competitors for NL Rookie of the Year honors, J.A. Happ has posted a 2.47 ERA during this stretch.

Javier Vazquez’s 2.75 ERA ranks 14th in the Majors during this span and Jair Jurrjens’ 2.96 mark ranks 19th.     


And if Hanson upends Pedro and the Phillies tonight it’ll be a very happy birthday indeed. As for Chipper, he’s a Hall of Famer, he’ll get it figured out in time to help us.

OK, I don’t understand. YOU KNOW there is going to be a rain delay. START CHRIS MEDLIN and don’t burn Hanson!

I understand what you’re saying barrys and I’ve even asked Cox if he’s ever thought about it. While saying he has considered doing something like this, he said you always go against it with the wonder if the radar will be wrong through the first 5 innings and more importantly, what if you do start Medlen and you’re down 4-0 or 5-0 quick.
Then is it even worth bringing Hanson back once the rain subsides? Obviously you could then just bring him back the next day. But then you’re burning two of your long relievers and putting yourself in a bad position the next day.

There’s certainly valid arguments either way you look at this. But I can’t understand from a competitive standpoint why you would start a game when the radar and forecasts were like they were tonight.
This obviously hurts the Braves much more than the Phillies, who benefit financially and aren’t as concerned about losing Pedro as the Braves are about losing Hanson?

Now one more question, why is Howard provided any opportunity to elevate a pitch? The Braves held him homerless during his first 39 at-bats against them. He has now homered four times in his past nine at-bats against them.

Pedro just ran to the bullpen and it looks like Hanson will return when play resumes at 8:30 p.m. ET.

WOW, are we going to have let Howard have a 5 homerun game untill we realize that he can hit homeruns. Try to get ahead with a corner fastball then get him to chase the slider maybe? I dunno easier said than done

Hanson – officially burned. We are in the year 2009. The Atlanta Braves can certainly afford to hire a weather expert to advise them in such important times. This is AT LEAST the third game this year where we have burned our starting pitcher due to early inning rain. Tonight it was a NO BRAINER. I am not a weather expert, and I looked at the radar on the internet and could tell you this was going to happen. The technology exists to know when rain is immanent. Let’s manage in the 21st century, not in the 20th.

Yeah well if you hang the freaking changeup he is going to blast it out to dead center

I remember when Hanson came up someone said, “Welcome to the bigs Hanson, prepare to go 0 – 12 with a 1.99 ERA.” Braves really need better coaches. This guys are very talented, but get into funks all too often, and last I heard, hitting coaches are a dime a dozen. Maybe, move Bobby to bench coach and make Eddie Perez the manager. Fire Chino, Sniker, and TP. Then find replacements for those previously fired. Since Bobby is a player manager like Dusty Baker, lets keep him as the bench coach.

If we had the offense we had after the All-Star game all year, we would be right in the thick of the things in the East.

Big game tonite. We need a win, it’s gonna be difficult with Lee on the bunk, but we’ve beaten a better pitcher before (Lincecum)’s possible.

I say we make Johnny Damon an offer of 3 years/25 million to play left field next year. Damon McLouth Diaz left to right in the outfield.

I’ll post a new entry within the next 30 minutes. Just wanted to let you know it sounds like the Braves might wait until Tuesday to activate McLouth. With the rosters expanded at that point, they wouldn’t face the tougher decisions that would be present on Monday, when they are also activating Hudson…Church’s back is bothering him again and you have to wonder if this will continue to be a problem as the season progresses.

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