Remember when the Braves struggled mightily with Chipper Jones out of the lineup in recent seasons? How they were a well-below-.500 team whenever their slugging third baseman, amid his late-career hitting resurgence, didn’t play because of various nagging injuries?
Well, the bad news is that his late-career hitting resurgence came to an abrupt halt a couple of months ago, and the nagging injuries have been a problem again lately after his relatively healthy first half-season.
The good news is that the Braves have gotten by far better without Chipper than they did in the past. Then again, he never had a hitting slump quite like this one in the past. And so, necessity being the mother of invention, and Yunel Escobar being the father of the on-deck-circle leap, and Adam LaRoche of the standing-at-the-bus-stop batting stance….
But anyway, the numbers don’t lie (except when those numbers are a pitchers’ won-lost record, as we’ll discuss in a moment