8:23 pm September 28, 2011, by Carroll Rogers
Jason Heyward found himself on the bench on the final game of the 2011 season after Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to start the right-handed hitting Matt Diaz in right field against Phillies starter Joe Blanton.
“Blanton historically has better numbers against lefties; right-handers hit him a little bit better,” Gonzalez said. “And if they do bring in (left-hander Cole) Hamels; Diaz is there.”
Entering the game, right-handers had hit .341 against Blanton this season, and left-handers .281. Also, Diaz had hit 2-for-6 with two RBIs against Blanton, while Heyward was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
“The lineup I put out there is guys you feel like are going to grind out some at-bats,” Gonzalez said.
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