Chipper’s perspective on slump

Hanson's pitching today despite sickness

  Chipper Jones is mired in one of the worst slumps of his career, and it’s certainly no coincidence that the Braves’ offense as a whole is struggling mightily.
  Because, well, in this case the whole has not been better than the sum of its parts. Entering today’s series finale against the Red Sox here at steamy Turner Field, the Braves have lost 12 of their past 17 games.
  And scored two runs or fewer eight times in that dreadful stretch.
  Oh, it’s bad.
 They’ve lost nine of their past 14 at home, while averaging three runs in that stretch and scoring two runs or fewer eight times. Eight out of their past 14 home games, two runs or fewer, including three shutouts.
  In case you missed it, I wrote in the comments section on the last blog that Tommy Hanson is going to try to pitch today despite battling a cold or flu bug or something nasty that’s had him feeling lousy for a few days.
 Oh, and Yunel Escobar and Nate McLouth are both out of the lineup again, Escobar (hip flexor; doghous) healing and/or doing his sentence for p’ing off certain folks, and McLouth healing from a strained hammy (he’ll probably play Tuesday against Philly after the Monday off day, and I’d expect     Escobar would, too, after he has another day to stew and think about being benched, etc.)
  As for Hanson, Kris Medlen is ready to step in if he’s buddy can’t survive out there. Medlen would be pitching on two days rest since his last relief appearance.
  Yes, it’s going to be up to either a sick rookie or a rookie on short rest to hold down the Red Sox enough so that the Braves’ lineup can do its thing against Brad Penny if they hope to avoid being swept.
  And since doing its thing has meant scoring three runs or fewer most games lately … well, hey, I’ve been told by many pitchers that they’ve done their best work when sick, because they have to focus so hard and because they don’t try to overpitch like they might when they feel strong and rested.
  Braves better hope that’s the case with Hanson and/or Medlen.
  Anyway, back to Chipper and his persepective on his current slump.
  He’s 10-for-60 (.167) in his past 16 games with three doubles, one RBI, 10 walks, eight strikeouts and a .499 OPS. He has as many errors (three) as extra-base hits in that stretch.
  Like I said, it’s one of the worst stretches of his career. And Chipper had a perspective that I hadn’t really thought about.
  ”I’m a .310 lifetime hitter, and for the last few years I’ve hit .340,” said the 37-year-old third baseman, who was exactly right about his .310 career average (he has a .408 career OBP, .546 slugging, 416 homers, 1,406 RBI, etc.)
  ”The numbers have to average out sometimes.”

Hoss after Saturday's 0-for-4

Hoss after Saturday's 0-for-4

   For the past three seasons (2006-2008), he did hit an absurd .342 with a .435 OBP and .592 slugging percentage in 372 games (average of 124 games per).
  In the three previous seasons (2003-2005), he hit .283 with a .391 OBP and .516 slugging percentage in 399 games.
  This season, Chipper has hit .290 with eight homers, 32 RBI, a .407 OBP and .471 slugging percentage in 65 games (he’s missed nine games).
  When I mentioned to him that his slump would have to go on for quite a while for the “numbers to average out,” he said, “Let’s hope it’s not that long. But it’s not going good right now.”
  Still, he’s not ready to call on his private hitting coach, Larry Jones (his dad). Because Chipper said his video study from yesterday’s 0-for-4 and some other recent games showed no obvious flaws in his swing or approach.
  ”Lot of it has to do with the way I’m being pitched,” he said, and reiterated that it’s not a result of those hitters who are behind him. “Guys are just flat-out making pitches on me. When they do, they’re going to get outs.
  ”It’s just a matter of being able to execute those pitches right now. We’ve run into some guys who are executing pitches well.
  ”I looked at tape yesterday after the game. There’s nothing wrong. I’m getting pitches to hit and missing them. That’s gonna happen from time to time.”
  He said it can happen when a hitter’s tired, or just scuffling for whatever reason. He sounded tired as he described it, frankly.
  ”I’m not drifting [in his swing], the swing is fine, it’s on balance,” he said. “The margin for error at 95 miles an hour is small.”
  By the way, going back to the 2002 season, I found three stretches that were almost, but not quite, as bad as this one for Chipper:
 • In 2002, he went 4-for-40 with one extra-base hit (double) and no RBI in a 13-game span beginning in late June, with a .265 OBP and .125 slugging percentage.
 • In 2004, he was 8-for-56 (.143) with five extra-base hits (two homers) and 11 RBI in a 17-game stretch at the end of the season (OK, that’s not nearly as bad as this one).
 • In 2005, he was 6-for-47 (.128) with one RBI and a .212 OBP in a 14-game stretch in June and July that bridged a stint on the DL.
  For those looking for positives, it’s worth noting that immediately after that 14-game slump, Chipper hit .463 (25-for-54) with seven doubles, five homers and 21 RBI in his next 16 games, with a .545 OBP and .870 slugging percentage.
  OK, this game is starting, and Hanson is pitching. This should be interesting.
  ♦ Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: Albert Pujols has as many homers in June (12) as any four Braves combined. No Brave has more than three this month.
  ♦ One more thing: not only do Braves outfielders have the second-fewest fewest homers (16) and the lowest slugging percentage (.356) and lowest OBP (.304) of any team in the majors, but Braves first basemen also have the fewest homers (three) and fewest RBI (30) in the majors and the second-lowest slugging percentage (.372).

 

“LIBRARIAN” by My Morning Jacket (Jim James)

Walk across the courtyard, towards the library.
I can hear the insects buzz and the leaves ‘neath my feet…

Ramble up the stairwell, into the hall of books…
Since we got the interweb these hardly get used.

Duck into the men’s room… combing thru my hair…
When god gave us mirrors he had no idea…

Looking for a lesson in the periodicals…
There I spy you listening to the AM radio…

Karen of the carpenters- singing in the rain…
Another lovely victim of the mirror’s evil way.

It’s not like you’re not trying, with a pencil in your har
To defy the beauty the good lord put in there…

Simple little bookworm, buried underneath…
Is the sexiest librarian… take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.

So I watch you thru the bookcase, imaging a scene:
You and I at dinner, spending time, then to sleep.

And what then would I say to you, lying there in bed?
These words, with a kiss, I would plant in your head:

“what is it inside our heads that makes us do the opposite?
Makes us do the opposite of what’s right for us?
Cause everything’d be grrreat… and everything’d be good…
If everybody gave… like everybody could.”

Sweetest little bookworm. hidden underneath…
Is the sexiest librarian…
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.
Take off those glasses and let your hair down for me.

Simple little beauty, heaven in your breath.
The simplest of pleasures, the world at it’s best.

 

2,899 comments Add your comment

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

I swear, Chipper hit that homer less than one minute after I hit “publish” on this blog to post it.

My curse words in reverse, too, as you know….

RHR

June 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Ha! Suck it, Curse of DOB. :P

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Thanks For the Homer Hoss!

Too bad your bad went into creep mode during this sink or swim homestand!

Soph

June 28th, 2009
1:57 pm

Nice. The new blog’s about Chipper slumping too. Very funny.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
1:58 pm

Dammitt B-Macc..It was Perty to see…

McFann Ô

June 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Seriously!! STOP STRIKING OUT!!! I cann take much more of this…

Thanks for the homer, Chipper, anyway…

TommyP

June 28th, 2009
2:00 pm

Confirmation on what I alleged about a year ago. I said that the way DOB defended both Kotsay and his signing by the Braves could only mean he was buddies with him.

Like I said then, if you’re buddies with him, I understand where you’re coming from.

Mixxo

June 28th, 2009
2:01 pm

Great song, great band!

Josh B.

June 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

Does anyone know what the on-field delay way?

Steve from OH

June 28th, 2009
2:02 pm

Schafer in the lineup and leading off today for Gwinnett.

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

Josh B -

It was probably when Francona and the trainer came out to check on Penny. It looked like something hurt him in his hand when he was pitching to Kelly.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

D.O.B.

Good Stats on our Production from our power positions

“not only do Braves outfielders have the second-fewest fewest homers (16) and the lowest slugging percentage (.356) and lowest OBP (.304) of any team in the majors, but Braves first basemen also have the fewest homers (three) and fewest RBI (30) in the majors and the second-lowest slugging percentage (.372).”

Sounds like a 4th place team to me…

N8

June 28th, 2009
2:03 pm

“That’s my man. Suck it, haters. RHR

See. (no offense RHR), THAT is the kind of post that gets the “haters” or negative nellies to play the gotcha game.

The gotcha game is NOT specifically just for the haters. Chipper stinks it up for a week or two, which draws some ripping from frustrated fans, and then all of the sudden hits a solo HR (in the 2nd inning of a scoreless game), and somebody says “Suck it haters”.

Yeah. It’s the negative people that instigate everything, isn’t it?

Like I said RHR, no offense. Just using your post as an example.

PWHjort

June 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

TommyP,
The Braves didn’t sign Kotsay. Thanks for playing, though.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:04 pm

Big Red Made Big Sloppy look Silly on that K, Nice!

Doug

June 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

DOB-

Nice blog! It seems to have served its purpose.

Now by Tuesday write one about how the Phils own the Braves at home and have won God knows how many in a row at the Ted. Then maybe we could get a sweep!

Rodney Derrick

June 28th, 2009
2:05 pm

CaBravesFan– Have you seen the Doctor Who episode yet? I have not, so no recap please. Note that there will be another one in about a month. Also, apparently, Torchwood Season 3 will be a mini-series on five consecutive nights, I think next month.

Chipper must have done a Doctor Who transformation when he went into the slump and finally has his new identity under control.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

For Someone who is having Pregnant Pauses Big Red Is looking good so far…

Paul Lentz

June 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Meanwhile, Matt Harrison, the “prized” lefty that the Braves gave up in the Mark Texeria trade in July of 2007, is once again on the disabled list. He is 4-5 in 11 starts with an ERA of 6.11. 63 innings pitched, 81 hits, 23 walks, 34 strikeouts, 1.64 WHIP, and hitters are batting .316 against him.

His CAREER numbers are 13-8 in 26 starts with an ERA of 5.76, 147 innings pitched, 181 hits, 54 walks, 81 strikeouts, 1.60 WHIP, while hitters are batting .307 against him.

Horatio Ramirez anyone? Both are left handers who cant stay healthy, give up lots of base runners, low strikeout to walk ratio, yet got lucky on occasion with good run support. Yet both are guys who end up taxing a bullpen.

Nice rip there by Chipper. Now that was a hanger that he deposited the opposite way in the cheap seats. I’m pretty sure that it wont be 3 more weeks before he hits another homer (unlike Francoeur).

bravefaninok

June 28th, 2009
2:06 pm

Tommy looks good,hopefully he can go 6 today.after the flu he may wear down very early today.

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:07 pm

As I mentioned above, a lot of pitchers will tell you they’ve had some of their best games when sick. Weakened state keeps them in control, not overpitching, and focused because they have to be because they don’t think they can afford to make a mistake.

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

Yay Hanson! Solid two innings so far.

Chucktown Brave

June 28th, 2009
2:08 pm

3 up…3 down… way to go T-Pain

Il Cattivo

June 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

We have always trusted DOB’s antijinx, here on the blog. The other day you mentioned BMac’s slumping or something and he promptly hit a Hr the next AB ( and I called it too). Keep saying stuff like that DOB. The team should turn around soon.

McFann Ô

June 28th, 2009
2:09 pm

Tommy’s dealing so far…I wish all our players did this good when sick…

Paul Lentz

June 28th, 2009
2:10 pm

Mark DeRosa was traded to the Cardinals, which means one less bat out there for the Braves to acquire. The Cardinals gave up a reliever and a “player to be named later”. Doesnt sound like they gave up very much for him.

I have a feeling that the trade market could be “soft” this season. Teams want to dump payroll, with other teams want to improve their team without adding payroll. Not a very good combination if one wants to see an “active” trade market.

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

McFann -

I’m assuming you’re referring to B-Mac in your 2:09? :-)

Goldenglove002

June 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

dang this kid can pitch. I vote we take him out after 5 if the braves have a lead going. Don’t want him staying out longer than he needs to in this heat if he’s even a little bit sick. Of course, this could be hard considering the .167, .217, .140 and .246 AVG’s in the lineup today (not counting Tommy).

Salamander

June 28th, 2009
2:11 pm

I gotta say that in the small sample size of games I have seen Hanson has pitch in so far, the thing that has stuck out to me the most is that he just looks like a big leaguer.

He gets in and out of jams, he makes good pitches when he needs to, and he never looks rattled. He hasn’t been overly dominant in any start (other than the Brewer’s start where he wore himself out), but he just looks comfortable out there.

Stoic, a little pis-ed off, and ready to deal.

RHR

June 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

LOL they weren’t even talking about our DOB going to dinner with them. Because I’m fairly certain that our DOB doesn’t broadcast for the Red Sox.

Goldenglove002

June 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

there we go Kotch, way to get on

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:12 pm

CK! Would’ve loved to see that in the 9th yesterday but I’ll take it!

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

There We Go Kotchmeister…!

Now If we can get some extra-basehits with runners on and less than 2 outs!

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Ha! RHR – I heard Boog say that and I was like…wait, DOB, Red Sox…?

I’m confoozed.

Mitchell

June 28th, 2009
2:13 pm

Il Cattivo

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

Hey wait, supposedly that O’Brien is of the Red Sox broadcasting team, not the AJC.

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

Holy jeez, I hope Frenchy’s ok. Owch.

Chucktown Brave

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

HBP in the head?

bravesgirlnc

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

Jeff’s batting gloves are ugly. I think he is bleeding each time i see them. As I type this Penny tries to help Brave’s fan everywhere.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

That Ball must hit the bill of the helmet, i thought it hit the bat!

Mitchell

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

Take the base Jeff.

CorkylikesBeer

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

I hope Frenchy is ok…..

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:14 pm

that is one way to get on base, francine. keep it up.

GTKevin

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Anyone have a clip for Yunel’s tirade the other day?

Josh B.

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Atta boy Frenchy take one for the team

Mitchell

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Oh dear God, Diory Hernandez.

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Finally, The Frenchman uses his head.

JasonInFL

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

we were close to getting 2 in the 1st…Big Red is pitching well!

RHR

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Yeah N8, I knew I was asking for it, (notice I wrote suck it curse! instead on this new blog)…but I don’t care. I have faith in Chipper. He may not come out of the slump now but he will come out of it this season.

Il Cattivo

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

How did Frenchie not swing on that pitch (that hit him). Wow good control there Jeff.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:15 pm

Come On D! No DP’s Please…

Man We are missing Esco…!

Mitchell

June 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

Way to go D.

Jake W.

June 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

But Joe likes Diory Mitchell, what’s not to like.

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:16 pm

c’mon tommy you gonna have to help yourself here

Goldenglove002

June 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

please Bobby, you want to win, right? Let Yunel play, he can do whatever the heck he wants out on the field so long as he is hitting the ball

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Kawakami moved back to Friday, instead of Tuesday. Not surprising, considering how cautious Braves usually are in these instances, and with off day in schedule all the pitchers get regular rest anyway.

CorkylikesBeer

June 28th, 2009
2:18 pm

Blanco…is going to lead off the next bottom half..good news

RHR

June 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

DOB – I’m keeping an eye on your 2:07. :mad:

bravefaninok

June 28th, 2009
2:19 pm

David O’Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:17 pm

Kawakami moved back to Friday, instead of Tuesday. Not surprising, considering how cautious Braves usually are in these instances, and with off day in schedule all the pitchers get regular rest anyway.

And kamakazi pitches much better with extra rest so this should work out nicely!

McFann Ô

June 28th, 2009
2:20 pm

Soph

Good guess… :roll: :P

RJB in DC

June 28th, 2009
2:21 pm

Arg- 4 run fourth for the Phillies. 5-4 over Toronto in the bottom of the inning.

Il Cattivo

June 28th, 2009
2:22 pm

Jake W.

Sure Joe likes Diory. After all he replaces Esco in the lineup and on the field. I think he would be cussing at Esco if he were being as aggressive as Diory, the .136 hitter.

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:22 pm

Guess that’s why they call it the hot corner.

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:22 pm

Phillies Bats are getting hot before coming to Atlanta, Not Good!

RHR

June 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

Phillies Bats Are Getting Good After They Got Their Asses Chewed Out Friday Night!

CorkylikesBeer

June 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

Crazy if Hansen pitches a no hitter when he is sick

RHR

June 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

My fingers are exhausted after typing a sentence Tomahawkin style. :P

Chucktown Brave

June 28th, 2009
2:24 pm

3 more up… 3 more down

GTKevin

June 28th, 2009
2:25 pm

I found the answer to my question. Here is the clip of Escobar having a temper-tantrum:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ftk8W5DywA

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:26 pm

Ha Ha, Big Sloppy…! Love It!

Jake W.

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

Bout time they exposed that DH

Goldenglove002

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

wait Ortiz is playing 1B? hahaha

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

Can we make something out of this, please. no DP kelly

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

They ain’t paying Papi to field, obvioiusly….

Pitching matchups for Philly series look solid for Braves:

(monday off)
Tuesday: Lowe vs Joe Blanton (4-4, 5.06)
Wednesday: Jurrjens vs. Cole Hamels (4-4. 4.44)
Thursday: Vazquez vs. undecided.

Salamander

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

Goldenglove002

June 28th, 2009
2:27 pm

what’s Kelly think he’s doing?

Chucktown Brave

June 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

my guess is Brazil will win 2-0

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

god, he is awful, why can’t he even get a bunt down, why is he playing

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

God This Team Sucks hittint Fundamentals-wise…

Fire TP NOW!

David O'Brien

June 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

Francoeur made it a point to tell me before the game that he’s wearing his lucky “turkey underwear” that his wife bought him at Thanksgiving. He claims the Braves are 6-0 when he’s worn them this season, and that he broke them out Monday for the Cubs after the two weekend losses at Boston.

“I probably should have worn them yesterday, but they weren’t clean yet,” he said.

RJB in DC

June 28th, 2009
2:28 pm

DOB- Depends on which Lowe pitches…the April/May one or the June one.

McFann fan

June 28th, 2009
2:29 pm

Well if no one’s going to say it, I will.

Thanks for the new blog, chiefie!

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:29 pm

we do not do the little things right and we have not for a long time now

AndyC

June 28th, 2009
2:29 pm

There are two DOB’s?!? My head is going to explode!

CorkylikesBeer

June 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Why didn’t Joe Simpson rag on KJ for not getting the bunt down

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:30 pm

Attaboy KJ…

This Team Needs To run more often, Nuff Said!

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:31 pm

Come On B-Macc!

We need a single baby…!

The_Superhoo (Montana by way of Virginia)

June 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

doesnt Frenchy know you cant wash Rally Boxers???

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 28th, 2009
2:32 pm

Frenchy’s dirty undies sat uncleaned for 6 DAYS???? Outstanding!

Chucktown Brave

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

foul out on a 3-0 pitch? geez

Tomahawkin

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Man It hurt not getting that bunt down…That will cost us the game…

Jake W.

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Il Cattivo

I don’t mind Joe dissing Escobar for what he did on the field Thursday because Esco was wrong. But ever since bobby benched Esco the 1st time Joe picks on every little thing he does like no one else is messing up. He got in a fit when Esco didn’t catch a ball on a steal or knock it down but Garret Anderson isn’t even paying attention on defense and he says it so calmly. Its becoming an obvious bias against Esco and to imply that Diory is having good at bats because he’s aggressive is just stupid. I guess he’s going with the Jeff Franceour school of hitting.

That Guy

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Why didn’t Joe Simpson rag on KJ for not getting the bunt down

Because he is a nice white boy.

jkerr

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

don sutton just ragged on kelly for running to third, green cut him a break and went with the sure out at first, if kelly can’t bunt or be smart on the bases and he surely can’t hit, why does he continue to play? is it his great glove?

Steve from OH

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

This Team Needs To run more often, Nuff Said!

This team has been caught stealing more often then they’ve stolen successfully. If anything, they should steal less, but they definitely shouldn’t try to steal more. I like the plan right now–steal on the pitcher, and only when you’re pretty sure you’ll make it, not “get to first and go go go!”

All I'm Saying Is...

June 28th, 2009
2:33 pm

Cardinals just traded for Mark DeRosa getting him from Cleveland for a reliever and a pitcher to be named:

The Cleveland Indians traded infielder Mark DeRosa to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later.

DeRosa, who the Indians acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade last offseason, was hitting .270 with 13 homers and 50 RBIs.

DeRosa goes from the Indians, who have the worst record in the American League, to the Cardinals, who are tied with Milwaukee for first place in the National League Central.

Perez, who turns 24, on July 1, has a 4.18 ERA in 29 appearances with a 1-1 record and one save. Shapiro hopes he can help Cleveland’s beleagured bullpen, which is a major reason the Indians are 31-45.

“He throws 93 to 95 (mph),” Shapiro said. “He had back end stuff and the ability to get a strikeout.”

BOTTOM LINE: We could have picked up DeRosa and sat Kelly Johnson’s sorry butt. Was Frank Wren asleep at the switch?

Soph

June 28th, 2009
2:34 pm

Green light on 3-0 rarely works out for the Braves.

CorkylikesBeer

June 28th, 2009
2:34 pm

Jake..are you implying that Joe has a new man crush on diory

"Chef" Tim Dix

June 28th, 2009
2:34 pm

Bobby should bench Frenchy’s wife / maid.

McFann Ô

June 28th, 2009
2:35 pm

DANGIT!!!!!!! When is that man gonna get another freaking hit with RISP…when is ANYBODY on this team gonna get a freaking ht with RISP!!!

I’m so sicka him being the last out in the inning, BTW…

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