Chipper hits mammoth homer; McLouth finshing strong

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Chipper Jones’ fourth home run of spring training was  one of the longest he’s hit in recent memory, a three-run blast in the first inning Friday that cleared a 60-foot wall holding the scoreboard in left-center field at Champion Stadium.

It traveled an estimated 450 feet and staked rookie starter Brandon Beachy to a 3-0 lead in a 5-3 split-squad win against Detroit. The veteran switch-hitter unloaded on a fastball from Tigers left-hander Adam Wilk.

“That was impressive,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, who smiled and added, “He’s had a terrific spring; I ought to put him in deep freeze until we start the season.”

Jones was 1-for-2 with a walk and ranks among NL leaders in multiple offensive categories including batting average (.411), on-base percentage (.459), slugging percentage (.768), doubles (eight), home runs (four) and RBIs (15).

He has three homers and four doubles in his past eight games.

McLouth is finishing strong

Martin Prado, Nate McLouth and Brandon Hicks had two hits apiece in the Braves’ split-squad loss Friday against Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla.

McLouth raised his average to .320 with his third consecutive two-hit game, and Hicks continues to make a strong case for a utility infield job with a .355 average, four extra-base hits and six RBIs in 31 at-bats. He’s outplayed Ed Lucas, who has more defensive versatility but has hit .244 with one extra-base in 41 at-bats….

Braves starter Rodrigo Lopez was charged with five hits, three runs and three walks in five innings against Philadelphia, including Jimmy  Rollins’ two-run homer in the first inning….

Alex Gonzalez and bench candidate Matt Young each had two hits and an RBI in the win against Detroit.

“He’s put himself in position to try to earn a spot,” Gonzalez said of Young, batting .270 with five RBIs and a .404 OBP in 37 at-bats.

51 comments Add your comment

eskippy

March 25th, 2011
9:10 pm

John Galt

March 25th, 2011
9:12 pm

Hope Nate can rebound-

mike lum

March 25th, 2011
9:12 pm

Ray k.

March 25th, 2011
9:14 pm

Oh, Chipper…please, please, please continue this into the season, buddy.

adolfo

March 25th, 2011
9:14 pm

Chipper my comeback player of year. Wow hes back watchout nl east.

Ray k.

March 25th, 2011
9:19 pm

DOB, do we save spring training stats? Is this, by chance, the best spring training of any brave in recent years?

macky

March 25th, 2011
9:20 pm

last time Chipper had major knee surgery he finished 2nd in ROY and won a WS…..just sayin’

Bring it on!!!!!!!!

March 25th, 2011
9:32 pm

I am not that surprised about Chipper but what a spring McLouth is having. This season is going to hinge on those 2 guys. Keep it up and bring on Washington. Go Braves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NC Brave

March 25th, 2011
9:52 pm

Macky, I like the way you think!
If McLouth and Chipper hit like this throughout the season we will win the divison.

Vain Jangling

March 25th, 2011
9:54 pm

You’ve just got to be optimistic about these Braves. It seems like the season is going to hinge on Freeman, McLouth and Chipper. And so far, so good. Maybe Chipper believes he has something to prove. It’d be nice to see him out there for about 150 games. With our pitching, if we can get a career year out of a couple of guys, happy days are here again. PLAY BALL!

DawgDad

March 25th, 2011
10:01 pm

The Braves had more than their share of injuries and fizzle-outs last year. If they stay healthy they have the horses to compete. I’m rooting for McLouth to have a good year, and optimistic he will.

AFSOC 1st Sgt

March 25th, 2011
10:01 pm

I’m guessing Chipper is playing his last season this year. I think he would have retired last year if the it had not ended the way it did for him – injured and carried off the field. I think he’s on a mission. He has a lot of pride and wants to go out the door after a good year and jog off the field for the last game, head help up, smiling and tipping his hat to the crowd. I hope he stays healthy and does just that.

Scott from Fairburn

March 25th, 2011
10:03 pm

If anyone needs comic relief, check out the new and improved Frenchy’s spring slash line … The Melk man – however – has been En Fuego

ncbravesfan

March 25th, 2011
10:04 pm

I hope Chipper goes out hoisting the World Series trophy over his head!

Willie Mo

March 25th, 2011
10:14 pm

Goodness….what else can you say? Its funny though, as i stated on the blog about chipper on braves.com, i dont see or hear any comments from the morons bashing Chipper. Can it really be that they actually are too busy choking on the proverbial crow to come on and beg forgiveness? Or are they scared the Chipster will find them…….shame shame.
GO BRAVES!

1eyedJack

March 25th, 2011
10:19 pm

How far away is Chipper from 3,000/500?

esasc1

March 25th, 2011
10:45 pm

GO CHIPPER!!!!!! Gonzo is hitting well also. Man with mclouth,prado,chipper at the top of the lineup we may be in real good shape. Thunder in the middle and lighting in the bottom. Cant wait, bench should look like hinske,ross,hicks,young,conrad. I wanted lucas and ramierz, but they are folding againist big league pitching. Maybe a call up after some AAA at bats. How about beachy today. Lights out!!

Bill Nahorodny

March 25th, 2011
10:55 pm

Andres Thomas

March 25th, 2011
11:01 pm

Chipper has 2,490 hits and 436 HRs. I think he would need 3 more seasons to get there based on his career splits- http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/stats?playerId=3006.
Chipper is one of my all-time favorites, but I really would like to see him finish strong and hang it up after this year. I don’t see his body holding up beyond this year.

xhuff

March 25th, 2011
11:29 pm

Andres Thomas is smoking something………………….

Bill Nahorodny

March 25th, 2011
11:33 pm

wreckmaniac

March 25th, 2011
11:48 pm

I thought Sheaffer had locked up center . Maybe its better for him to ease into the season rather than start.

gotigers72

March 26th, 2011
12:28 am

Yeah, I’d say Chipper’s ready. WOW!

Saw where Sherrill got lit up again in his one inning of work. Have the guts to DFA him Fredi/Wren.

Beachy! WOW again. Six innings, 0 runs, 6 Ks. If this guy keeps pitching like he has this spring, he has been the find of a lifetime for the Braves. I loved what Tosca said about his control, “He could hit a gnat in the ass.”

Dennis Reynolds

March 26th, 2011
12:30 am

Just got done watching Game 6 of the 95′ Series. Talk about motivation. Im pumped for the season and I have some predictions.

Chipper becomes 2nd straight Brave to win comeback player of the year.
McCann becomes an All-Star yet again and wins a SS yet again
Freeman wins NL ROY
JJ is traded mid season along with KK
Braves win NL East Crown
Braves win World Series on a walk off hit in the 10th inning of Game 7 against the White Sox

Field

March 26th, 2011
12:48 am

Enter your comments here

Field

March 26th, 2011
12:51 am

JJ traded mid-season? Would hate to see him go, but we DO have the depth with Minor and Medlin (in August).

I like Hicks, hope he wins a bench job and gets a start every now and then. Saw a lot of him last year, but only in pinch running situations. Would like to see him get some clutch AB’s, he’s a pretty solid hitter.

I also like that Hinske will be our first bat off the bench. That dude is awesome.

TeheranTime

March 26th, 2011
7:54 am

Nate McLouth looks good so far. He’s crucial to the Braves’ season. Not many holes in this lineup if he hits anything like he has this spring. The key to this team will be the bench and the bullpen. George Sherrill has looked horrible and I can’t even imagine this season if Scott Proctor will be counted upon for anything. Craig Kimbrel is still a question mark in my mind despite putting together several good outings in a row. His control is always an issue. If he pitches well on the back end and Pete Moylan, Scott Linebrink Johnny Venters pitches the way he did last season, Atlanta is set. I guess we will see how this plays out and how Fredi Gonzalez handles his pitching staff. Go get Omar Infante back from Florida and things just feel better.

Boog

March 26th, 2011
7:58 am

He’d have to swing extremely hard to knock a mammoth over the wall!

Trojan

March 26th, 2011
8:31 am

Our bullpen is the biggest worry. Sherrill may not need to make the team, Proctor is struggling now. One of these spots could be taken by Christian Martinez, but who takes the other spot?

bravesgrl4life

March 26th, 2011
8:38 am

I’m calling it: Chipper wins Comeback Player of the Year, NL MVP, NL Batting Title, and WS MVP! Dude is going to have a career year regardless of whether he does take all these or not. He’s giving a big old “up yours” to the haters, and I love it!

paul

March 26th, 2011
8:51 am

Braves have found lightning in a bottle (or a needle anyhow)

ueeediot

March 26th, 2011
9:30 am

Chipper Jones needs 14 homers to reach 450, nine RBIs for 1,500, 10 hits for 2,500, seven doubles for 500 and 96 walks for 1,500. (HoF Numbers???)

Derek Jeter only 74 hits from 3000.

(This is the most astounding to me:) Ichiro is going for a 10th consecutive 200 hit season.

LWells2000

March 26th, 2011
9:53 am

Good to see Schafer gone. Now, keep a close eye on McLouth’s numbers, and baill him, too if he goes much below 300.

The Dude Abides

March 26th, 2011
10:00 am

Boss Hoss is On A Mission

KnightInATL

March 26th, 2011
10:09 am

Anyone have a video link to the HR?

Skeezix

March 26th, 2011
10:12 am

Awesome, too bad it wasn’t in a real game.

obi wan kenobi

March 26th, 2011
10:15 am

ueeediot

March 26th, 2011
9:30 am
Chipper Jones needs 14 homers to reach 450, nine RBIs for 1,500, 10 hits for 2,500, seven doubles for 500 and 96 walks for 1,500. (HoF Numbers???)

Derek Jeter only 74 hits from 3000.

(This is the most astounding to me:) Ichiro is going for a 10th consecutive 200 hit season.

BTW, Chipper is third in switch hitting, behind Mickey Mantle. Being a switch hitter is where he is a HOF. He is already number two on the list. HOF guaranteed!

obi wan kenobi

March 26th, 2011
10:18 am

I thought Murry was second, thats why the first part doesnt make sense.

David O'Brien

March 26th, 2011
10:27 am

KnightInATL: I saw Chipper’s homer a couple times on SportsCenter late last night/this morning. Might still be able to catch it there.

billmaier

March 26th, 2011
11:17 am

trojan- we have some good arms in the minors for the bullpen- marek, abreau, ascenscio i hope you are right about sherril, but i dont think so wren’s ego is at stake he does not want to be wrong again, even if it hurts the team– same with mather–

DMAN

March 26th, 2011
11:32 am

Been watching Chipper since 1994 in Macon,great to see him back!just makes me wonder if Roids are the reason it’s happened so fast!

DMAN

March 26th, 2011
11:49 am

DOB you are the man with the info in all of your blogs! Night and Day compared to these other clowns for ajc.

Barry Bonds

March 26th, 2011
1:11 pm

Me and Chipper are tight, he will play 150+ games

Bigger Liart than DMAN

March 26th, 2011
1:13 pm

I have been watching Chipper since 3rd grade, I knew he was a Hall of Famer

Bigger Liar than DMAN

March 26th, 2011
1:13 pm

way back then !!!

Steve H

March 26th, 2011
2:16 pm

This one time, I swung my baseball bat so hard, it went back in time AND HIT A MAMMOTH (home run) over the Bering Straight. I was in Russia. It hit Sarah Palin’s window.

How is this possible? I hit the ball so hard, it went back FORWARD in time to 2013. The secret service was NOT happy!

D man

March 26th, 2011
2:21 pm

Hey, someone stole my blog name?

Joe Blow

March 26th, 2011
2:49 pm

Chippie don’t even play half of the game and it’s about 1 in 4 that he goes 6 innings. He will make more errors that home runs and shave his nasty chin. Look like a nasty billy goat.

dre

March 26th, 2011
6:07 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz…zzzzzzzzzz, yawn. Baseball, when watching your grass grow gets a little boring.

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