Odds and ends: McCann back in the lineup; Chipper’s thoughts about hitting second
With today’s early start, this will be a brief entry to update you on a few items and more importantly put something on top of yesterday’s “McCann, Prado enhance concerns surrounding Braves” entry.
One day after stranding five runners with a pair of strikeouts in the final four innings of Monday’s 12-inning loss, McCann returned to Turner Field Tuesday and looked nothing like he had while hitting .159 over the previous month.
With the assistance of some minor mechanical adjustments and the decision to use a little lighter bat, McCann enjoyed a two-hit night that included four impressive at-bats. His three-run, sixth-inning homer proved to be the decisive blow in a game the Braves needed to win.
Dan Uggla, who set a new career-high with his 34th homer, Tuesday provided a good description of McCann’s homer.
“It wasn’t just a three-run homer,” Braves second baseman Dan Uggla said. “That was one of the biggest home runs we’ve had this season, as far as instilling confidence back in us and getting our swagger back.”
McCann was smiling again Tuesday night and before he left the stadium he exchanged a heartfelt hug with Braves Minor League manager Luis Salazar, who was getting ready to leave Atlanta after spending the past week as an extra coach on the Major League staff.
Just seven months earlier, Salazar had lost his left eye and nearly his life after getting hit by a foul ball off McCann’s bat during the Division Series. Since then he has served as an inspiration to McCann and many other members of the Braves organization.
After catching the entirety of Monday’s 12-inning loss and Tuesday night’s game, McCann returned to Turner Field and was back behind the plate for Wednesday’s noon start.
Chipper Jones was also back in the second spot of the lineup for the sixth time in the past eight games. He remains hopeful to move back to a run producing spot of the lineup before the season concludes.
Click here to read Jones’ thoughts and get an update on Tommy Hanson, who felt good during today’s bullpen session.
The Braves will host the Yankees and play them in the Bronx next year. They will also visit Boston to play the Red Sox. Click here to view the 2012 schedule.