With Jones resting Freeman bats third

With Chipper Jones resting his sore right knee, the Braves entered Saturday afternoon’s matchup against Giants right-hander Tim Lincecum with Freddie Freeman sitting in the third spot of their lineup.

Since experiencing his annual early-season struggles, Freeman has been on a tear.  The 21-year-old first baseman entered Saturday with six hits in his previous 13 at-bats and the confidence that has increased while hitting .349 (15-for-43) over his previous 15 games.

“There’s nothing better than a Major League hitter with confidence and he’s got it,” Jones said.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez put Freeman in the third spot of the lineup and surrounded him with a couple of fellow left-handed hitters  —  Jason Heyward and Brian McCann.   Gonzalez understands this allows Bruce Bochy to potentially  set his top left-handed relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez to face this trio of left-handers in a crucial late-inning situation.

But with this being said, Gonzalez said he likes the plate appearances Heyward, Freeman and obviously McCann have produced against left-handed pitchers.

McCann has hit .217 (5-for-23) against left-handers this year and .265 in his career.   Heyward has hit . 250 (47-for-188) against southpaws in his young career.   The 21-year-old right fielder padded that mark with a pair of singles off Madison Bumgarner in Friday night’s win over the Giants.

Freeman has recorded seven hits, including a double and two homers, in his first 20 at-bats against left-handers this year.

But before worrying about how they could be hurt by Affeldt or Lopez, the Braves will focus their attention on Tim Lincecum, who has gone 6-2 with 2.89 ERA in eight career regular season starts against them.    Or maybe you’d like to hear that he is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA in his last three starts against them.

Jones thinks there is a chance he’ll be back in the lineup Sunday, when he turns 39.   The veteran third baseman said his right knee has been bothering him for about 10 days and he hasn’t experienced much relief while taking anti-inflammatory medication during this span.

Chipper has hit .419 (18-for-43) with four homers in his career on his birthday.

Before wrapping this up, Gonzalez once again took time Saturday to further explain why he opted to pitch to Matt Kemp with first base open and one out in Thursday’s 12-inning loss to the Dodgers.

With the currently hot Juan Uribe on-deck and the pitcher’s spot to follow, Gonzalez was hoping to get one out, intentionally walk Uribe and force the Dodgers to send a pitcher to the plate with two outs.  They had exhausted all of their position players.

“The pitcher’s spot came after Uribe and they had run out of position players,” Gonzalez said. “The pitcher’s spot was coming up, so I was trying to get one out.  If we would have got an out with Kemp, I would have walked Uribe to face one of their pitchers.”

BRAVES LINEUP

Prado 5

Heyward 9

Freeman 3

McCann 2

Uggla 4

Hinske 7

Gonzalez 6

McLouth 8

Hudson 1

26 Comments

We can hash and rehash the game 4 against the Dodgers but it all leads back to the ‘dreaded leadoff walk’. It seems the DLW bites you in the butt every time!

I find it really quite funny that Freeman is providing protection for Heyward today. Who ever saw that coming?

If I’m Huddy, I’m pissed. Line up giving us little chance for victory against an already tough pitcher. Bill, if I’m wrong, I am “moron” for the day.

So, Chipper dodges a game with an ace going to the mound again? Hmmmm

We’ll probably pay for him agaim this year to warm the bench….hope The Freak doesn’t cry tonight! I think he’s met his match!

LOL this should forever go down in Brave’s history as the 0-2 road trip.

Wearing the “moron” label with pride and JOY! : ) Go Braves!

So much for “little ” chances, eh Barry? I guess we now know why Fredi is the manager and you are posting about baseball in a blog.

Yeah, wondering if you will give credit where credit is due – and acknowledge Nate McClouth’s effort?

looking for a sweep in san fran….no easter eggs for me!

Yeah, Nate got his like 3rd multiwalk game in 250 some since becoming a Brave. I guess Lincecum was pitching where even he couldn’t swing at them. I also loved his stellar non- throw to the plate. Hell Hudson had to relay a throw from a ball that landed just past 2nd base. Did you see this game, Barry?

Bill, I found something you might enjoy: http://twitter.com/#!/NotNateMcLouth

Nah, I’m too busy on Twitter finding out what Brooklyn Decker is wearing today.

I was gonna say earlier thst it looked to me like Heywards swing was really coming around but i didn’t want toi jinx it. Glad I didn’t say anything. Man he crushed that slow curve.

Nice to see “Danny” Boy jump on that hanging slider too. What the heck was that in the bottom of the 7th?

When did Alex Gonzalez catch Andrew Jones’ disease?

At a boy, Nate!

Wow, McLouth got a clutch hit. Next thing you know it will be raining up and cats will be lying with dogs.

Let’s be serious, Nate’s line last year with 2 out RISP- .095. His real name is Nate McChoke. After all he was 0-4 for the day at that point. The hit brought him up to his normal avg of .200 .

.325/.364/.538 3 HR, 17 RBI’s. Does anyone in here believe this is Jeff Francoeur’s line? Well it is.

Great sweep for the braves. Now we need to win the series in sand diego and it will be looking like a good road trip

Of course I believe it’s Jeff Francoeur’s line, let’s compare it to the end of the season and see if they are similar before we anoint him comeback player of the year. I also, think I saw somewhere that Wilson Betemit is hitting well. Nice to see old Braves produce well. We should think about playing the Royals in Atlanta for an interleague series. It would be like a high school homecoming game, or family weekend at college….or at least a kegger…

BTW, anyone know Gwinnett’s starting pitcher rotation? I want to try and get a chance to see Teheran deal before he makes the big league club.

Bills needs to start recognising the fact that Nate McClutch is coming around.

the guy goes 1-5 and he is “coming around”. I mean that like saying my 95-year old neighbor is getting A LITTLE OLDER. You guys are so much fun. Blind optimism in the teeth of daunting evidence, how refreshing. I suppose Nate’s throwing arm is “Gold Glove caliber” as well?

“Blind optimism in the teeth of daunting evidence…” Also applies to anyone who believes the Braves have any chance of winning the division this year. Don’t you agree?

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