April 28, 2009 at 12:54 am by Capitol Avenue Club under Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, Quotes
After reading the following by Chipper Jones I thought to myself: “at least he feels the same way I do”:
“We continue to waste JJ’s good outing with bad offensive performances,” Jones said. “Until we start doing something at the top, we’re going to continue to struggle. We’re just not getting anything generated at the top of the lineup offensively. We’re continuing to make baserunning mistakes at inopportune times. You walk pitchers, you’re not going to win a lot of games.”
My favorite part of the quote was the part about baserunning mistakes. It highlights the fact that the Braves haven’t been playing professional baseball. They’re stuck in spring training. A few nights ago Martin Prado got thrown out trying to steal third with 2 outs and Chipper at the plate. If you can give me 1 good reason Prado should try to steal 3rd with Chipper at the plate I’ll return the favor by locating the insane asylum closest to your residence for you. Tonight, Escobar took a huge lead and was picked off at 1st, again with 2 outs and Chipper at the plate. A few days ago Escobar was thrown out trying to take 2nd on a single down by 6+ runs. This time Chipper wasn’t at the plate, but he was coming to bat next. Another silly place to try to grab an extra base. When you’re down by 6, you don’t represent a run that’s significant to the outcome of the game, so don’t risk getting thrown out for the extra base. You have to kind of sit back and wait for the pair of grand slams, not force anything.
Making stupid outs is not acceptable. Not using your head is not acceptable. Taking the bat out of Chipper Jones’ hands is not acceptable. We’re flat out embarrassing ourselves on the basepaths and I’m pretty sick of it.
I’m also pretty sick of Jeff Francoeur’s hit or miss plate discipline. Tonight, in a crucial situation (2nd and 3rd, nobody out, down 2), Francoeur fishes the first pitch out of the dirt and hits it to the outfield for a sacrifice fly and a RBI. It was a breaking ball, and we all (Francoeur included) know how well Francoeur handles breaking pitches (not well if you didn’t). Look, I’m not all about taking the first pitch. I’m not all about taking pitches in general. I’m all about taking BAD first pitches. If you can’t do anything with it, why are you hacking away?
All we needed was a single to tie the game. We had 3 chances to do that. Jeff Francoeur took one of the chances we had, peed on it, and exchanged it for a run. Had he been selective he would’ve had a better chance to collect a hit or a walk. Now, had he gotten down in the count 0-2 or 1-2 and gotten that same pitch he did 0-0, I’d have no problem with Jeff settling for a sacrifice fly. Of course Jeff didn’t strand the runner at 2nd by himself. Brandon Jones and David Ross both struck out, but the fact that he went up to the plate looking to settle for 1 run makes me furious. I don’t know if I should be furious at the coaching staff or the players, but I am fed up with this team settling for 1 run. We’re playing baseball like it’s 1980 and it isn’t good enough.
Chipper’s comments about the top of the line-up seem to be directed towards Kelly Johnson, who is an incredibly soft 4 for his last 39 with 5 walks and 6 strikeouts. Tonight, after going 0 for 3 including grounding into a double play, he was yanked in favor of Omar Infante. I’ll spare an extended rant, but Kelly’s defense has also been utterly pathetic as he’s been flashing his significantly below-average range while hopelessly running out grounders that talented defensive players would get to. Kelly Johnson needs to step up and quit playing below replacement level.
By the way. Your 2009 Braves leader in VORP: David Ross.