Chipper: Braves need urgency in early innings

For the second season in a row, the Braves have a penchant for hitting home runs in the late innings of close games.

Veteran third baseman Chipper Jones just wishes they’d adopt a similar approach for other situations, too.

The Braves were hitting just .223 in close-and-late situations, which ranked 13th in the National League before Friday. However, they had 17 homers in those situations, more than twice as many as any other NL team.

“It’s nice to have that ability and nice to be able to turn it on when we need to,” Jones said. “I just wish there was a little more urgency early on in games, because if we keep playing [close] games like we’re playing, we’re going to blow out [relievers Eric] O’Flaherty, [Jonny] Venters, [Craig] Kimbrel.”

Only 11 major league pitchers had 25 or more relief appearances before Friday, including that Braves trio: Venters had a majors-leading 28, O’Flaherty had 27, and rookie closer Kimbrel had 25.

The Braves had averaged one homer per 19.5 at-bats after the sixth inning in close games, compared to one homer every 42.5 at-bats in all other situations.

“And that’s just concentration,” Jones said. “I feel like if we had that urgency in the first three innings like we have in the last two or three, we’d greatly benefit ourselves.”

Dan Uggla, who has otherwise struggled mightily, had a team-high four close-and-late homers. Uggla and Martin Prado (three) had more close-and-late homers between them than nine NL teams before Friday.

42 comments Add your comment

Feeach

May 27th, 2011
7:49 pm

Tomahawk Mafia

May 27th, 2011
8:04 pm

I second Chipper’s sentiment, more urgency in the early innings would be excellent because most the games the Braves play are stressful, close affairs.

MT

May 27th, 2011
8:19 pm

Yet once again, the Braves will have to come from behind.

John Mayberry

May 27th, 2011
8:25 pm

Schaefer couldn’t take my man Willie Wilson in a foot race I’m telling you.

[...] Atlanta Braves [...]

Dennis Reynolds

May 27th, 2011
8:47 pm

Words from wise.

Hawes

May 27th, 2011
8:52 pm

Wow, if only the Braves had hired someone to work with the hitters on their approach to the game. I imagine such a hypothetical person would be very helpful during a team-wide slump.

GO REDS

May 27th, 2011
9:14 pm

Haha. That urgency is sure showing. Can’t even beat us with 2 days off this week and out 4 game series with the phillies and the 19 inning game

What a joke

May 27th, 2011
9:21 pm

3 hit shut out against this pitcher? This team has no clue how to score runs. I hate them

Brett

May 27th, 2011
9:23 pm

Ok 1st and 2nd again and what will it get them? Nada

Brett

May 27th, 2011
9:24 pm

Like I said Nada

Johnny Bench

May 27th, 2011
9:25 pm

Play the game with pride.

Largo

May 27th, 2011
9:40 pm

I wish Freeman would stop swinging at those pitches that are so far inside they go right over the tops of his shoes. He’s another good glove but usually sad at the plate.

evadayjonny

May 27th, 2011
9:53 pm

You people are unbearable!! The blog is great but the comments are absolutely retarted. These guys are playing hard every day and we’re in good shape in the division right now. I’m starting to lose faith in “FREDDY” but the guys we’re running out there every day are playing hard for him. The negative comments are getting old FAST! I think we’ll be OK if the bats get luke warm and the pitching continues.

braves

May 27th, 2011
9:58 pm

As stated, braves are going to lose tonight’s game because Cincinnati cannot lose forever. This will imply the Phillies will definitely gain more ground. Go braves.

Jim Bakker

May 27th, 2011
9:59 pm

I’ve been saying that for years. Glad you’re on board now that your career’s at the end, Larry.

Formerbravefan

May 27th, 2011
10:03 pm

Chipper in urgency do you mean that embarrassing 260 that you are contributing in the three hole.

braves

May 27th, 2011
10:06 pm

evadayjonny, are you stupid or you just do not know how to count? When was the last time the fifth best team in NL made the playoffs (the top four teams are going)? And, they are moving in to sixth in one more inning. I am typing extremely slow so you can read.

Hinske Da Man

May 27th, 2011
10:20 pm

This team could mess up a wet dream. Wake me up in October when this waste of a season is over. What does a team that is on a 1-8 slide in their last 9 games need? Well a series against the choke artist Braves of course.

David O'Brien

May 27th, 2011
10:21 pm

Reds are 2-for-17 with RISP tonight

braves

May 27th, 2011
10:27 pm

braves are 25 players away from a good team. They should get a good player one out of every ten years. At this pate, I will be dead before seeing them over 500 at the end of the season.

braves

May 27th, 2011
10:28 pm

David O’Brien,
reds are winning with 2-for-17 with RISP tonight.

FSUBraves

May 27th, 2011
10:29 pm

time to make a trade….they need contact hitters, not free swinging hacks with no speed….come on wren!

Hinske Da Man

May 27th, 2011
10:44 pm

This team is a joke.

Hinske Da Man

May 27th, 2011
10:47 pm

What do you know, Kimbrel walks the first guy he sees. What a surprise. Where is that team that was so highly praised back in spring training? They fooled us fans again.

guthro

May 27th, 2011
10:54 pm

Offensively, this team is deadly boring to watch.

abidinggimmick8

May 27th, 2011
10:57 pm

I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by FedEX. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all this stuff, http://GoGetBids.com

Ronald Millsaps

May 27th, 2011
11:01 pm

The team has two more errors than it does runs, which isn’t good. When this team didn’t win a lot of games in the eighties, it always had strong defense. (It had offense, too, just not enough pitching.) The defense has been down the last couple of years, and why is Uggla batting sixth? He needs to be higher in the order.

Boombah

May 27th, 2011
11:04 pm

The chemistry sucks on this team…….

bob

May 27th, 2011
11:09 pm

Please explain to me why Kimbrel is put into a game where the Braves are down by 2 runs in the ninth.

Is Freddi nuts? Venters and Kimbrel will both be having surgery by next year at the rate that Freddi uses these two youngsters.

mark

May 27th, 2011
11:09 pm

I honestly can’t watch the Braves this season-their offense literally makes me sick.

Formerbravefan

May 27th, 2011
11:19 pm

Hey O’B time for that article about trading four or five starters for anyone.This offense is un watchable season is already a third over this is not a couple of bad weeks this what the next hundred games will look like.Time to clean house

Nelson

May 27th, 2011
11:22 pm

This team has no clue how to score runs. I hate them (From What a Joke)
ME TOO!!!!

wayn-o

May 27th, 2011
11:26 pm

the losing has got to the point of, I just don’t care any more. Not mad, not frustrated, just apathetic. ho hum the braves loose. no offense, bad base running, errors, and soon to be burned out bullpen to go with no ABC ball or speed.

Boombah

May 27th, 2011
11:29 pm

millsaps…suck (slang) to be contemptible or vary unsatisfying, as because of low quality, to fawn upon ingratiatingly. As a christian I forgive you too.

gotigers72

May 27th, 2011
11:46 pm

Speak for yourself Chipper. You hit 3rd so you hit in the early innings. Your record for doing damage in the early innings this year is not so hot. You have been a great player for the Braves, A GREAT PLAYER! Now you need to start leading by example. Get your focus and intensity going early in games and hopefully the rest of the Braves will follow.

Johnny Beach

May 28th, 2011
12:01 am

BONES Jones needs to quit talking and start driving some runs in. This team can’t rely on the catcher to get it done. Forget Uggla…………….He needs to sit down for a week or go on vacation. He is in a deep funk and needs a change in scenery

alex

May 28th, 2011
12:13 am

Just returned from the game, I would say that the play where uggla”lined’ to 3rd and chipper was caught off 2nd for the double took the crowd out of the game. This is an annoying team that finds ways to loose. Bad fielding, 3 errors and 1 play where uggla “forgot to cover 2 nd after amarvelous play by gonzo. Poor hitting with runners in scoring position. The team has moments of excitement ,but is unable to follow up . Go to a game, get the “feel”,watch the players.
Good moment, uggla hit one hard and also got an actual HIT, I know it’s so exciting. Well that’s about it. Reckingball, I invite your thoughts,really a disappointing display of baseball to a large crowd that left largely deflated. I suggest spending less$ and go to a minor league game(planning on catching the la AA aafiliate,the lookouts this weekend.

Bartman

May 28th, 2011
10:58 am

…more urgency is nice in theory. But just saying and even feeling it, doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. There is NO speed in the regular lineup. The Team bunting sucks.Throw small ball out the window. So the ability to execute and to force things to happen isn’t happening. You have some “nice” hitters that are doing…okay at best. I just think that when Uggla starts to get his hitting game together, there will be a big ripple affect through the lineup. But just being more urgent…? …will probably just cause more tension. They need a whole different psychlogical approach….in my opinion anyway.

chas

May 28th, 2011
5:00 pm

most of you think the braves are playing hard, that dont get it. wise up, they do not have the talent!!!!!! to succeed you must produce.

Mark (another one)

May 28th, 2011
7:05 pm

I think your all correct. Pull the plug, the season is lost. The Braves can’t figure out how to win anything. Oh, wait. They’re 28-24 with 110 games left? So, they’re not out of it yet.

Its a long season and the goal is to be leading at the end, not now.

Ron Hyatt

May 28th, 2011
9:37 pm

Ronnie Mishap–Ok, the chemistry blows on this team. Happy now?

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