Slumping Heyward dropped to sixth in order

Jason Heyward is mired in a three-week slump that got him dropped to sixth in the Braves’ batting order Monday night for Game 4 of the division series.

The rookie right fielder was 9-for-64 (.140) with one extra-base hit, one RBI and 19 strikeouts in his past 17 games, including 0-for-12 with seven strikeouts in his first three postseason games.

Monday marked the first time that Heyward hit lower than third since May 5, when he batted sixth. Heyward hit second in 99 games during the regular season and third in 11 games.

“Just trying to switch the lineup to get some [offense],” manager Bobby Cox said before Monday’s game. “We got shut out in Game 1. Yesterday we were shut out until the eighth inning.”

The Braves hit .214 in their past 15 games, including a meager .165 with 37 strikeouts in the first three games of the best-of-five division series.

They lost 1-0 in the series opener and 3-2 in Game 3 on Sunday, when they had one hit through seven innings.

Facing elimination if they lost Monday, Cox batted Matt Diaz in the second spot that Heyward had occupied since early summer.

“Try to get Matty up front, maybe, and get on three or four times, see what happens,” Cox said. “And maybe Jason can drive somebody in from down there as well.”

Leadoff hitter Omar Infante has also slump since mid-August, batting .197 (14-for-71) with three extra-base hits in his past 17 games before Monday, with only three runs, five walks and four RBIs in that stretch.

32 comments Add your comment

David..(Athens, AL)

October 11th, 2010
7:54 pm

YES, Bobby believe he will

Sam Fossela

October 11th, 2010
8:16 pm

This is where he should have been hitting all year and Escobar should have been left hitting second.

T-Pot

October 11th, 2010
9:56 pm

If we still had Escobar we’d be waiting to play the Phils. And what the hell is Cabrera doing pinch hitting for Diaz, I guess it serves him right for making a great play in the field, there is not a worse player than MC in the majors. I have a feeling Glaus would have won this in the ninth.

Braves808

October 11th, 2010
10:19 pm

hey theres others that like escobar like me? i though he belonged batting 2nd, not 7th or 8th no wonder he was pissed all the time. wish we can re-trade rater than having swing and whiff gonzalez

Bill M.

October 11th, 2010
10:23 pm

Let the rumors begin. Get some players that can hit the ball. With all that has happened, they did great. They shouldn’t be in playoff’s. It’s ashame to waste good pitching and can’t hit. McCann has decided to hit but it’s to late.

Jonathan Simeone

October 11th, 2010
10:36 pm

The season is over, but I’m happy with how it went. With some good moves during the winter this could be a good team for next year. And, of course, Cox will gone. That, alone, is worth looking forward to.

LOSERS

October 11th, 2010
10:55 pm

Thankfully this misery is over. This team is weak, heartless, and plain undeserving to take up a playoff spot. I am so grateful that the Bobby Cox era in Atlanta is finally over. If that guy pulls a Brett Favre and decides to return, then I will boycott the Braves next season.

Now maybe the Braves team can watch the Phillies play in the NLCS and watch how a real team plays ball. Perhaps Bobby Cox can watch Charlie Manuel and see how a real manager gets the job done.

Most fans will say farewell Bobby Cox but I will simply say Good Riddance. You more then wore out your welcome with your predictable style of baseball and doing everything a moment to late. Can’t help but to hope that the Braves have a real manager, pitching coach, and hitting coach next season. Time for a new era in Braves baseball, and hopefully a better era in Braves baseball.

yoursporthouse.com

October 11th, 2010
10:55 pm

Well another post season for the Braves, another loss. Bobby Cox has gone out much of how his career was. Losing a series in the postseason. However, to his defense, this was a depleted team that limped into the playoffs and encountered more bumps and bruises with closer Billy Wagner getting hurt. If he’s healthy, do the Braves lose Game 3? We will never know. Oh well, so long Bobby. It was still a good run.

Bill Hulsey

October 11th, 2010
10:56 pm

What’s with “Wonderboy” Heyward? With all the hoopla and raving about how good he is, what a huge disappointment. Every at bat he watches the 1st pitch go by no matter how good it looks. Major League pitchers have figured this out and throw him a strike every time he comes up. Does he swing? Heck no, he just stands there and watches it go by. Why doesn’t TP and/or BC tell him to be more aggressive. As for ROY, he doesn’t stand a chance. Posey is 100% more deserving. Anyway, Braves did real good getting there at all. Sad Bobby Cox had to out that way, but he has earned his retirewment.

Thanks

October 11th, 2010
10:59 pm

Fond farewell to Bobby Cox! Good riddance to that stupid Indian chant from the fans.

Bill Hulsey

October 11th, 2010
11:05 pm

Someone (pitching coach) needs to tell Kimbrell to stick with his best pitch in the situation he was in Sunday night. We had the game won needing only 1 (one) strike and SF would have been playing to avoid elimination instead of Atlanta. Be aggressive–throw your best pitch–if you beat me–it was just your turn–but if I don’t throw my best pitch I got nobody to blame but myself. Anyone remember Bob Gibson???

Larvell Blanks

October 11th, 2010
11:08 pm

I’m sorry, I thought we got rid of Escobar because his head wasn’t in the game, he loafed too much, etc. I thought we were supposed to be getting a true “professional” in Gonzalez. And now, my permanent memory of Alex will be of him standing at home plate, watching Renteria drop a soft liner, and then being thrown out by ten feet to absolutely kill any chance at a rally. But hey, it’s not like he could have expected the shortstop to make an error or anything — I mean, there haven’t been any of THOSE in this series. And it’s not like the phrase “run everything out” has been drilled into every player’s head from the time he’s six years old or anything. So thanks, Alex — this loss is on you, but at least you didn’t get winded. Give me Conrad over you any day – you are dead to me.

guard

October 11th, 2010
11:26 pm

Excuses will not change anything. This team out-played its self. Much better than most of us thought. Good luck to Cox.
Now get a new mgr and staff. clean house and lets play ball 2011.

David Granger

October 11th, 2010
11:28 pm

Heyward was better when he was hitting sixth…that’s a good batting order spot for a young player. Andruw Jones had his best all-around (pre-steroid) years hitting sixth, then Bobby Cox got the bright idea to try him at leadoff one year. The only year he ever started off worse was that year he didn’t start hitting until the feds came in and closed the Gold Club.

Barry Bonnell

October 11th, 2010
11:30 pm

Let Charlie Manuel lose Ryan Howard , Chase Utley , Brad Lidge , His 4th and 5th starting pitchers and see how good he manages.

Charlie Manuel does not take this team into the playoffs, he misses them by a wide margin.
Charlie Manuel could not hold Bobby’s jock strap.

Deb57

October 11th, 2010
11:40 pm

Barry Bonnell
Where have you been? The Phillies lost Utley, Howard, Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, Lidge, Madson, Blanton, et al at one time during the season. They played half the season with the bench as their everyday team. You whine too much and make me laugh.

Cox fighiter

October 11th, 2010
11:49 pm

Face it Braves fans, we were the absolute worst team in the playoffs this year!! I still don’t know how we made it! But, of course, this year was plagued by Bobby Cox mistakes and pathetic play by his team. I personally don’t see the bright future that others see. Let’s face ti, WE SUCK!! Heywood became the worst rookie in the majors as the season progressed and our defense could be the worst in the history of the playoffs. I could go on with all the mistakes that our esteemed manager made during this series, but why?? Thanks, Bobby, for being loyal to a fault and only winning once after you had been given the keys to the castle. Good riddance!!!

Disgusted Fan

October 11th, 2010
11:56 pm

Worst 2 playoff games for the Braves I have ever seen this weekend- I have seen middle school baseball teams play better!

ORCA 68

October 12th, 2010
12:27 am

Hey Braves fans, the ones who booed Buster Posey, seems you should have booed Heyward-what an absolute no-show! Maybe one of you should have told him the playoffs were on. That’s OK, you can watch Posey beat your fannies for a long, long time.

Jonathan Simeone

October 12th, 2010
12:54 am

As many of you know, I am willing to be critical when I think something is deserving of criticism. But those of you that are all over Heyward, saying that this team had no heart and the rest were you watching the same things I was? Heyward does take too many pitches, but I really think something is wrong with him; his bat is much slower than it was a month ago. Also, the Giants pitching staff is the best in baseball. The run they have been on since September first is historic. With better defense and managing this team could have done a little better; however, people should really be happy with all of the great moments they gave us this summer.

Jonathan Simeone

October 12th, 2010
1:00 am

I know part of the decision to trade for Gonzalez was based on the team-friendly option in his contract for next year, but I hope it is not exercised. His defense is much worse than it once was. No longer is he an asset on defense, he’s a liability. Also, his power does not play in a park that has not been taylored for home runs. With the number of ground ball pitchers the Braves have they must go into next season with a shortstop with more range and defensive ability than Gonzalez now offers. Lastly, his failure to run out the soft liner he hit in the eighth–especially given the errors he made earlier–is really unforgiveable from a baseball point of view. We knew Escobar was not the answer. We now know Gonzalez is not either.

aj

October 12th, 2010
1:27 am

Nothing wrong with the pitching. Hats off to Lowe for pitching his
tail out. Don’t want to read next spring about him on the trading
block. Loved his agressiveness in wanting to stay in the game.
Get some offense and bench players and the Braves should be
right up there again next year barring any injuries.Lots of heart
in this 2010 team. Until next spring.

coach carlsen

October 12th, 2010
1:56 am

R U kidding me? How many people, fellow Braves fans nonetheless, r going to get online tonight and bash Bobby Cox? All you have to look at is the amount of ADMIRATION and RESPECT he gets from his players. Hindsight is always 20/20, you should hear the Giants fans and how much they complain about Bochy! Managers only do so much in baseball. Players play the game. Remember the adversity and the lineup we were forced to put out on the field. And even though he blew it in an everyday position, our 3RD STRING 2nd baseman did a hell of a job for us as a pinch hitter all year. Hell of a season Braves, proud of you, can’t wait til next year.

GySgt Hartman

October 12th, 2010
8:02 am

Three acquisitions that blew it for Atlanta, Gonzoles, Derrick Lee and Cabrera. Gonzales was barely holding his own as the SS for a team dwelling in the cellar (marlins) his lack of solid defense, his lack of fundamentals (Run everything out) and his lack of a winning attitude really hurt the Braves down the stretch. Derrick Lee (Chicago Cubs, nuf said). Cabrera, Yankee’s through away trash and we picked him up. All three of these acquisitions which were supposed to be key pieces to the puzzle batted less than .250 down the stretch, had the lowest OBP in the majors and combined for less than 50 RBI down the stretch, these are the names that should be traded or outright released. Not being a basher, just stating facts

GySgt Hartman

October 12th, 2010
8:03 am

oops “throw” away trash

GySgt Hartman

October 12th, 2010
8:07 am

Been a Braves fan since Rico Carty, Orlando Cepata, Hank Aaron, Davey Johnson, Dusty Baker, Darryl Evans, Biff Pocaroba and Buzz Capra were in the starting Line-up, Have really enjoyed the last 20 years, but most of that success was due to our Farm system being developed and not spending money for aging has-beens on their last leg. Let’s get back to that philosophy, if we do with core that the team has we can look forward to another 20 successful years with a couple of more WS titles. Looking forward to Feb 2011

GySgt Hartman

October 12th, 2010
8:14 am

@deb57;
You are correct, your team lost all of the mentioned players at one time or another throughout the year,but lucky for Philly they all got healthy at the right time, the Brave’s injuries would not have been so devestaing had they happened in May, June or July. With time to heal and get healthy the outcome would have been different. BTW, if I remember right, in May when both clubs were healthy Atlanta took two out of three from Philly in Philly and swept them at “The Ted.” Congrats on your loss to the AL in the series.

GySgt Hartman

October 12th, 2010
8:18 am

@ ORCA 68, is that a name or a discription? Posey was a no-show during the season series and heyward was playing with a wrist and back injury, we’ll see who beats who. Congrats on your loss to Philly, I doubt it even goes 5. You talk so loud about your great team and you barely beat a team missing 6 of their starters, two starting oitchers and their closer, keep talking ORCA but not too loudly, you don’t have a lot to be proud of either

Kashi

October 12th, 2010
12:45 pm

I agree Jonathan @ 1pm. We knew Escobar was not the answer. We now know Gonzalez is not either.

Kashi

October 12th, 2010
12:55 pm

I agree, we didn’t improve our club from last year (Glaus, Gonzoles, Derrick Lee and Cabrera. Ankiel, Saito, Wagner) MINUS (Javier Vazquaz, Adam LaRoach, Kelly Johnson, Yunel Escobar, Rafeal Soriano) WORST TRADE dealing ever I remember in Braves history. I give signing Wagner A+ but that came down with how much he wanted to play for Bobby. I don’t think we could have signed Wagner if Bobby hadn’t made to his ranch.

deb57

October 12th, 2010
7:51 pm

You know what? i was rooting for the Braves to beat the Giants. i was looking forward to an all East Coast NLCS. BTW, rollins still isn’t healthy, Planco still has a bad elbow and the bullpen occasionally acts like it can’t get a strike but I STICK With My Team and have since I was four and am now 53. I rooted for the Phillies when we had people like Deron Johnson, Tony Taylor and Cookie Rojas. My father raised me to believe if you root for a team you take the bad with the good and until recently the Phillies were more BAD than Good. AS for the WS I,m looking forward to it win or lose. Because if the Phillies are there they will have achieved what no NL team has in over 60 years. Winning would be icing on the cake.

deb57

October 12th, 2010
7:56 pm

And why Gy Sgt Hartman such sourness if the Braves had met and beat my Phillies I would have been upset yes but I still would have rooted for them in the WS. I respect my team’s opponents. Something I learned from my father when he was coaching Babe Ruth Baseball. Dad’s teams won some championships but he always taught respect before rudeness.

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