Chipper saluted by Dbacks; Heyward gets a rest

PHOENIX – Chipper Jones was saluted as “one of the greatest players of his generation” in a video tribute during Sunday’s series finale at Arizona.

On Monday at Los Angeles, the Braves and their veteran third baseman will face a player some believe could become the greatest of the current generation, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp.

Kemp led the majors in batting average (.466), HRs (nine), RBIs (22), on-base percentage (.515) and slugging percentage (1.000) before Sunday, and his 1.515 OPS was more than 300 points higher than the next-best by Texas’ Josh Hamilton.

“What I like about him is, he works,” Jones said. “He’s working for something. He wants to be the best player in the game, and he’s got a workout routine to help him get there. That’s what you like to see out of young guys. Obviously he’s got an abundance of talent, but to have the heart and desire to get better, that’s rare these days.”

Kemp and Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier (four homers, 21 RBIs) ranked 1-2 in the majors in RBIs before Sunday. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was asked about the challenge of slowing the duo.

“We’ll see,” Gonzalez said. “I know Kemp’s always given us fits. We’ll get it figured out. Maybe he’ll cool off on the plane ride back from Houston.”

Actually, Kemp has a modest .231 career average against the Braves with five homers, 20 RBIs, 14 walks and 44 strikeouts in 35 games. He went 5-for-23 against them last season with two homers and 12 strikeouts in seven games.

The Dodgers cooled off before the plane ride home – they got hammered 12-0 in the series finale against the Astros on Sunday. It was only their fourth loss in 16 games, but third in their past six.

The Dodgers and East-leading Nationals (12-4) are tied for best record in the National League, but the Dodgers have not played a team with a current winning record. Their first 10 games included seven against San Diego and three against Pittsburgh, and they’ve since gone 3-3 against Milwaukee and Houston.

Jones, who will turn 40 on Tuesday and has announced he’ll retire after the 2012 season, received a standing ovation from the Chase Field crowd during a video montage shown on the scoreboard. He came to the top step of the dugout and waved his cap in appreciation as his signature at-bat song “Crazy Train” played on the stadium P.A.

Gonzalez had said at the beginning of the series that Jones would play Friday and Saturday and get a rest day Sunday. He didn’t play the series opener Thursday after his surgically repaired left knee had some swelling following the long flight from Atlanta to Phoenix.

Jones grounded into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning Sunday and  limped noticeably after the game. Asked how he was doing, he replied, “I’m living.”

Pastornicky out of lineup again

Shortstop Tyler Pastornicky was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game Sunday, and not for any injury or ailment

Gonzalez didn’t give any specific reason for playing veteran Jack Wilson over the slumping rookie for both weekend games at Arizona, but did acknowledge that he hoped it might help Pastornicky relax a bit and clear his head.

Pastornicky said after the game he’s spent time “working on some things” with his swing this week.

He has hit .175 (7-for-40) in 11 games with three extra-base hits (one homer), four RBIs, two walks and a .214 on-base percentage in his first stint in the major leagues. Since hitting a homer April 10 at Houston, he’s gone 4-for-28 with no walks and six strikeouts in his past seven games.

“He’ll probably play the next couple of days, maybe all three in L.A.,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez has said he likes Wilson’s ability to do things at the bottom of the lineup such as bunt and hit-and-run.

Heyward gets a rest

After having his 10-game hitting streak snapped Saturday, Jason Heyward was out of the lineup Sunday to get what Gonzalez told him was a deserved rest. Eric Hinske got the start in right field, and Heyward pinch-hit with two out in the ninth inning and flied out to end the 6-4 loss.

Heyward has hit .309 with a .377 OBP and .527 slugging percentage, and ranks among NL leaders with five stolen bases (two fewer than teammate Michael Bourn).

“Fredi told me before he put the lineup up,” said Heyward, who started 14 of 15 games before Sunday, including each of the previous 11. “He wanted to let me know. He said, ‘You’ve gone out there and played hard, and we appreciate the hard work you’ve put in. Just want to give you a day to rest, get ‘Ski in there. You’ll be in there when we get the lead late in the game.’

“That’s that. He shook my hand and said, just wanted to let you know before we put the lineup up.”

Unlike last season, when Heyward was benched several times late in the season in favor of a hot-hitting Jose Constanza, no one has played better for the Braves this season than the big right fielder. Heyward said it would be easier to relax and make the most of a day off under these circumstances, with the team having won 10 of its past 11 before Sunday.

“It’s cool,” he said. “I want to play, but I have been going pretty hard. So anytime you can take a rest like this at time when we’re playing well, when I don’t feel like I’ll be too missed.”

Gonzalez said: “I didn’t post the lineup until after I talked to him. I said, hey, just giving you a little breather. Really appreciate the way you’ve been playing. Just give your body a little rest. But be ready to play because if we get the lead you’re going back out there [in the late innings] to play defense.”

53 comments Add your comment

count_schemula

April 22nd, 2012
6:50 pm

Chipper getting a nice reception everywhere.

count_schemula

April 22nd, 2012
6:51 pm

Matt Kemp taking the MVP snub… PERSONALLY!

Brave Decisions

April 22nd, 2012
6:52 pm

Tough loss today. 3 batter sequence killed us.

http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-4T

Jimmy

April 22nd, 2012
6:54 pm

Fredi managing to lose again today. Really pathetic. Braves would be a elite team with even an average manager. Doubt DOB will even mention all the blunders.

count_schemula

April 22nd, 2012
6:57 pm

Heyward is 22. Why is he resting? When I was 22 we would drink until 4am and be at work at 9am. Even though this generation of kids grew up skateboarding with pads on, it’s no excuse!

mikega1965

April 22nd, 2012
7:02 pm

Guest Feddie is beting on games since he is bench players instead of his best hitters good lick with that we have the worsre manager in the game nice job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dan Struggla

April 22nd, 2012
7:09 pm

When will Fredi just admit he doesn’t like Jason?

Ken Stallings

April 22nd, 2012
7:15 pm

Can’t win them all, and this loss came down to one pitch hit for a grand slam to finish off a 5 spot for the Diamondbacks. The Braves came close but could not come all the way back.

At least now I can watch the games again after serving the 4-game mindless purgatory courtesy the Diamondbacks’ stupid blackout policy!

Ebenezer Snerdberg

April 22nd, 2012
7:25 pm

mikega1965, why do I call him Fredi Cox? An IBB to load bases just like Bull Headed Bob would’ve done.
Fire Fredi Cox!

GO BRAVES!

jim

April 22nd, 2012
7:30 pm

Is there something wrong with EOF?
He hasn’t pitched in over a week and it seemed the 8th inning today was an ideal spot for him. Curious choice of using Durbin and Martinez instead of EOF and Medlen.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

April 22nd, 2012
7:33 pm

Chad Dinger is one of Fredi Cox’s pets. Get used to it!

Lobosolo

April 22nd, 2012
7:34 pm

And just how did Fredi lose it? Can you guys tell me of a team that doesn’t rest their starters here and there throughout a long season… If one of them went into a slump, you whining armchairs would call Fredi out for not giving him a rest…. you guys just plain have to cry at the tip of a cap… The Braves took their 4th series out of five, on the road no less, at 3-1…. revel in that, whimperers, they are playing great ball… you can’t win every game…. the lack of understanding of baseball gives one pause to wonder why in the name of the world you blubberers even watch…. alexis, get in here! Your fellow tumbsuckahs need their binkies!!!

Lobosolo

April 22nd, 2012
7:36 pm

Wow, we seem to have the most illiterate blubberers in the league as well… Boy, to be both dumb AND stupid must be quite a burden for the whine-babies…

me

April 22nd, 2012
7:37 pm

Freddie Gonzalez lost the game by letting that grammar school pitcher take the mound, Anybody that cant throw a strike to a pitcher deserves to go to rookie league. SEND HIM DOWN NOW

BoatDoc

April 22nd, 2012
7:42 pm

Did anyone else think it was odd that no one – especially the manager – complained when Bourne was called out on the play at second when replays showed he beat the throw by five feet? Isn’t THAT the place where the manager goes out and even though he might not reverse the call he fires up the players and lets them know he’s got their back? A certain previous manager would have extended his record for getting thrown out of games…

Ebenezer Snerdberg

April 22nd, 2012
7:50 pm

Hey, Lone Wolf, they are supposed to be professional baseball players. Rest, my aunt Fanny’s foot. Baby is more like it. Those great Yankee teams that were killin’ everybody that was, how many times did Stengal ‘Rest’ players? No, he put ‘em in the next day and they murdered whoever! As the ‘Mighty Casey’ said hisself, ” Every game I just wrote down, Blanchard, Kubec, Marris, Mantle, Berra, Skowran, Howard, Boyer & a pitcher and they won!

me

April 22nd, 2012
8:00 pm

Fire FG now.

Ebenezer Snerdberg

April 22nd, 2012
8:04 pm

Gotta go…my life is callin’!

JNick

April 22nd, 2012
8:15 pm

Bunch of idiots posting on here today….

jim

April 22nd, 2012
8:19 pm

MARTEEEEN!!!

April 22nd, 2012
8:34 pm

@BoatDoc- yeah, I was thinking the same thing. He should have jumped out of that dugout and got in that ump’s face. Couldn’t believe he just stood there.

Greg from Marietta

April 22nd, 2012
8:39 pm

Hey ‘Lobosolo’, I couldn’t have said it better myself. Way to call it!

Bob the Blogger

April 22nd, 2012
9:16 pm

Fredi didn’t walk the pitcher with 2 outs and the bases loaded, then groove one to the leadoff hitter.

CC

April 22nd, 2012
9:28 pm

Love Chipper. Most everyone most everywhere else does too.

He still won’t make 60 games this year. Knee(s) are going to blow.

gotigers72

April 22nd, 2012
9:49 pm

Fredi should’ve jumped down the ump’s throat for missing that call. Just what a manager should do when an ump misses one that bad. Then the ump thinks “Boy, I must’ve really blown that one”. Next time he tries a little harder to get it right. Because that was just awful and Fredi should’ve let him know that. Fredi’s excuse that he’s “300 feet away”, and he didn’t really see Bourn fuss about the call, are just pitiful. Come on Fredi, take up for your players. Go nuts occasionally. Maybe it’ll make you a better manager. It will in the player’s eyes.

Scuba Steve

April 22nd, 2012
9:52 pm

Ebenezer. Are you really comparing the great Yankee teams and Casey Stengal to these 2012 Atlanta Braves and Fredi G. You must be out of your freakin’ mind dude. Totally brainless comments by some clueless nitwits. I’m done bashing. If you don’t have anything positive or enlightening to say, SHUT THE F**K UP! Go Braves.

Younger Than That Now

April 22nd, 2012
10:13 pm

I’m not one to bash the manager… there’s plenty of the “armchair managers” doing that already… BUT, if Bobby Cox had been managing today, not only would he have been out of the dugout and on that umpire like white on rice, but he would have been thrown out of the game trying to let the umpire know that he blew that one!

ane

April 22nd, 2012
11:50 pm

I could not understand the decision to puposly walk the batter so they could throw to the pitcher. even if he hit a home run it would have been 3-1. So they decided to walk him with 2 balls to the pitcher walks in a run and then a grandslam, 5-1 instead. I can ne ver understand the decision to purposly walk a hitter, it comes back to bite them too often. I wish I had a software program to get the percentage of walks that come back to harm the team. I think the percentage of harm is higher than 50/50, though it is anectdotal rather than based on statistical evidence.

a concerned fan

April 23rd, 2012
6:21 am

when u have 2 balls on a .167 hitter, u SHOULD not walk him intentionaly to get to a pitcher. now u have a rookie trying get him out with pitching to the corners. dont blame the rookie, just call it poor , then fire the ____ manager. the braves cannot win with a gutless mananger that does not stand up for his players(the call on bourne)

Wrecker

April 23rd, 2012
7:07 am

More “Fire the Manager” idiocy. You guys do realize how well the team has been playing, right? Last year I heard that Fredi was a Cox clone and we would get more of the same (I wish, given that Cox was a HOF manager). This year, you complain because Fredi does not come out and scream at the umpires like Cox would have done. Get your stories straight!

myside

April 23rd, 2012
8:07 am

The second base umpire, not Fredi, lost that game yesterday. He, not Fredi, should be bashed and fined by MLB powers.
One bad inning by a young pitcher can be expected and accepted. He learned more from that one inning than all the rest.

Ralph

April 23rd, 2012
8:21 am

Jason Heyward was out of the lineup Sunday to get what Gonzalez told him was a deserved rest
———————————————————————————————————————————–
I wonder what Cal Ripkin thinks about that, How many YEARS did he play without a rest?????????

BRAVELESS

April 23rd, 2012
8:48 am

Gonzalez has obvious issues with Hayward. Benching him and not benching Freeman, Uggla, or McCann for “rest” shows be that there is an obvious underlining issue with him as an ineffective manager.

urban redneck

April 23rd, 2012
8:53 am

everybody gets a day off………..chill out. cal ripken was obviously a robot.

Mark's for the Braves

April 23rd, 2012
9:32 am

Delgado was robbed by a sorry umpire. No way he’d given up that slam if the the pitches to Kennedy had been called correctly (or at all since they didn’t even appear to have been called balls or strikes).

Need to shake it off and get ready for a good Dodgers team tonight……….

Tony C.

April 23rd, 2012
10:52 am

Heyward sits and we loose…..hrrrmmmmmmm

IHEARTCARROLL

April 23rd, 2012
11:24 am

@braveless 8:48

I am pretty sure Freeman, Uggla, and McCann have had similar “rest” days this season. Did I miss something ?

IHEARTCARROLL

April 23rd, 2012
11:27 am

Perhaps not Uggla yet, but it’s early.

[...] Source: ajc.com [...]

Kash

April 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

@DOB – who is more valuable 6 years of Jordan Schafer or 1 and half year of Michael Bourn?

Heisenberg

April 23rd, 2012
12:11 pm

Did not like the intentional walk. It is the # 8 hitter and the free pass takes away a young pitchers aggressivness. Get him out and make the pitcher lead off the next inning. That can be on the manager. But a 4 pitch walk to the pitcher is all on Delgado. So even though I did not like the strategy, more blame goes to the pitcher. Still a Delgado fan though and hope he stays with big league team after Hudson is activated.

C from Marietta

April 23rd, 2012
12:59 pm

@ count_schemula

“Why is he resting? When I was 22 we would drink until 4am and be at work at 9am.”

LOL. Now that’s funny. I bet you were the pride of your work too. One of the most ignorant posts I have seen in a long time.

C from Marietta

April 23rd, 2012
1:01 pm

It’s funny. How folks complain about taking 3 of 4 in Zona. It was a good weekend if you ask me. Next, I will be hearing I am “drinking the Kool Aid”.

C from Marietta

April 23rd, 2012
1:03 pm

@ BRAVELESS

Mccann will be out of the lineup tonight. Freddie had his day off last week. Why would you rest all your good players on the same day? Seems to me, your just looking for a reason to bash the manager.

jayvee

April 23rd, 2012
1:24 pm

Was at the games in Phx Thursday and Sunday. Great to see Chip’s salute Sunday, but not so great to see Delgado lose it in one ridiculous inning. You walk the pitcher on four pitches, you deserve to get grand slammed.

The D-Backs are a good team. The Braves were lucky to play them while Chris Young, whose season start was second only to Matt Kemp’s. without Justin Upton for two games, and without Stephen Drew.

Phx said goodbye to Chipper, but he might play in Az again, in the playoffs.

Arizona Braves Fan

April 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

Who is Jimmy?????

“Fredi managing to lose again today. Really pathetic. Braves would be a elite team with even an average manager. Doubt DOB will even mention all the blunders.

What is your expectation – that the Braves just blister through every team they play and go 162 – 0! Get real dude. We started a young rookie pitcher in Delgado against the D-backs best pitcher in Ian Kennedy. Believe it or not, the other teams in this league have some athletes of their own too. Some people here need to quit all their whining and get behind this Braves team AND their coach!!!!!
There – I just said it.

Arizona Braves Fan

April 23rd, 2012
2:02 pm

Who is Jimmy?????

“Fredi managing to lose again today. Really pathetic. Braves would be a elite team with even an average manager. Doubt DOB will even mention all the blunders.

What is your expectation – that the Braves just blister through every team they play and go 162 – 0! Get real dude. We started a young rookie pitcher in Delgado against the D-backs best pitcher in Ian Kennedy. Believe it or not, the other teams in this league have some athletes of their own too. Some people here need to quit all their whining and get behind this Braves team AND their coach!!!!!
There – I just said it.

IHEARTCARROLL

April 23rd, 2012
2:41 pm

Arizona Braves Fan,

“Believe it or not, the other teams in this league have some athletes of their own too”

You can not win by being optimistic on this blog. The only reason other teams have any talent is because we did not trick them into trading all their talent for Lowe and KK and autographed pics of Bobby Cox.. If our management was able to do that, we would have all the talent and go 162- 0.

Otherwise, fire someone. Anybody.

crackbaby

April 23rd, 2012
4:36 pm

@Jimmy = Idiot of the Day

Fredi did nothing wrong today. Delgado goes 2-0 on the 8th batter with men on 2nd and 3rd. Fredi tells McCann to put him on to get to Kennedy, the pitcher, who doesn’t have a hit this season. Delgado walks him on 4 pitches with the umpire making phantom strike calls so bad he had to clarify the count TWICE to both dugouts. Then Parra jacks a grand slam. All this happened in the second inning.

Without either the walk or the gran salami, the Braves would’ve won yesterday.

Whether the Braves win the World Series or finish last, we will have the “Fire Fredi” F-tards posting the same garbage every day. Isn’t this internet great?

Ekim

April 23rd, 2012
6:24 pm

Read the postings, see the same drivel from the same people. Win 9 of 11, the predominant posts are about what an idiot the manager is for losing the last one.

Fredi Gonzalez gave Amelia Earhart directions.
Fredi Gonzalez framed Roger Rabbit.
Fredi Gonzelez is the reason for high gas prices.
Fredi Gonzalez faked Obama’s birth certificate.

Skeeterleg

April 23rd, 2012
6:42 pm

This is the third out of sixteen games that Heyward has been “given a rest”. Heyward is 22, having a good offensive year, is the best defensive option in right field by leaps and bounds, and runs the bases well.

Most managers would want this type of player to be written into the middle of the lineup for 160 games or more instead of hitting seventh and on pace to play 130 games. I thought you you were suppose to ride players while they were hot (10 game hit streak)…not to try and personally snuff out a good run.

Loosing Managar = Loosing Record

April 23rd, 2012
9:23 pm

Haywood does not need a rest he needs to spend time in the minores so he can stop strikin out so much all the time.

damngooddawg!

April 24th, 2012
3:44 pm

Resting….Resting??? RESTING???!!!!! Jeez!

Add your comment