Do what you can – and no more.
That, according to Chipper Jones, will be how the Braves snap their nine-game losing streak and not fall too far back in the NL East standings.
“The guys have to relax,” the Braves third baseman said before Friday’s game against the Astros. “The pitchers are trying to make perfect pitches, guys are trying to hit five-run homers with nobody on base, guys not playing good defense. All those things contribute to streaks like this. Everyone just has to relax. You have a few chances to impact the outcome of a game, whether it’s your four or five at-bats or a couple plays in the field. Concentrate on those situations and make the most of them and at the end of the day hopefully it’s enough.
“It’s human nature. We are all professionals. We feel we can do more than we actually can at certain times. … We can’t worry about personal stuff – whether you go 3-for-4, 2-for-4 or 0-for-4. Don’t worry about the individual stuff. Go out and be part of the equation that goes out and wins the ball game.”
It’s early in the season, but a nine-game skid hurts no matter what time of year. The Braves are last in the division.
“We have to keep losing streaks to three and four games, not nine,” Jones said. “It will come back to haunt you more times than not. The silver lining is maybe it’s good that it happened this early to get it out of our system. We can bounce back and start playing better baseball. Until we start playing more consistently in all phases of the game, we are going to struggle.”
Jones pointed to the team’s early schedule and noted that the Braves have already faced aces like the Giants’ Tim Lincecum, the Phillies’ Roy Halladay and the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright and Chris Carpenter.
“Lots of teams are going to struggle to put together consistent offense against those type of pitchers,” Jones said. “They could be 1-2-3-4 in Cy Young [voting] by the end of the season. If other teams had faced that kind of pitching this early in the season, I’m sure they’d be struggling as well. Give it a little time. Let’s us get into the part of the schedule everybody else is going through the first part of the season, if we are still struggling at that point then it’s time to ask questions. Now, I’m not so sure.”