Chipper heals sooner than the Braves offense
From first to worst in a span of four games that the Braves can only
hope mark one of the ugliest mini-stretches they will experience this
As I search for the positives heading into tonight’s
series finale against the Mets, I’m forced to simply draw upon the fact
that the Braves could have easily entered this game riding the
frustration of a seven-game losing streak.
Remember the only
thing separating them from this was the two-walk off victories they
claimed in games where they were behind with two outs in the ninth
Or maybe, we can look at the fact that Chipper Jones is
back in tonight’s lineup, less than 24 hours after telling reporters
that he felt his sore right hip would keep him sidelined for more than a
couple of days.
Jones took a few dry swings in his hotel room
this morning and immediately felt his right hip was strong enough for
him to at least bat from the left side of the plate tonight against Mets
right-handed starter Mike Pelfrey.
“The action of pushing off is
what aggravated it yesterday,” Jones said. “I don’t do that
left-handed. I just have to get my foot down and pivot from the
left-handed side. So the left-handed swing should offer a minimal
amount of pain. When it’s going to come in play is if they turn me
Jones said that he will be able to deal with
the pain if the Mets turn him around during an at-bat during the latter
portion of the game.
Yunel update: The Yunel Escobar
saga continued on Saturday when he chose not to tag from third on the
routine sacrifice fly that Troy Glaus drilled to the right-center field
gap. The fact that he traveled more than halfway to the plate before
returning to third base indicates he simply thought there were two
Escobar hasn’t provided us an explanation and Cox hasn’t
revealed what the shortstop told him or his coaches. The Braves manager
simply said before Sunday’s game that his coaches have talked to
Escobar “a lot.”
In other words, this wasn’t the first time that
Escobar has made a glaring mental mistake. The Braves have benched and
yelled at him in the past to no avail. Of course, I’m not sure Cox has
ever taken the approach that he did yesterday when he unleashed during
his postgame address to the team.
The point is that the Braves
have made numerous attempts to connect with Escobar and proven
unsuccessful most of the time. The fact that he played his best
baseball and provided the fewest problems during the second half of last
year wasn’t a fluke. The influence that Javier Vazquez had on him was
Vote of confidence for TP: Before
tonight’s game, Cox said there isn’t any reason to blame hitting coach
Terry Pendleton for the club’s offensive struggles.
person in the world you ought to blame for a team not hitting is the
hitting coach,” Cox said. “We all feel bad. We’re not hitting that bad.
It’s just that when we’re not hitting, we’re not getting them in.”
90 minutes after Cox said this, the Braves loaded the bases in the
first inning and then saw Pelfrey escape the jam by getting Jason
Heyward to hit a harmless pop fly to Mets shortstop Jose Reyes.
Sunday, the Braves ranked last in the NL with a .216 batting average
with nobody on base and 14th with the .242 mark they had posted with
runners on base. With runners in scoring position, they ranked 13th
with a .248 mark.
“That’s the hardest job in the world being
the hitting coach,” Cox said. “They always get fired and re-hired
somewhere. Why blame them? Terry is a very good hitting coach.”
not making the trip to St. Louis. But I’ll check in on Tuesday with a
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