SAN FRANCISCO – When Chipper Jones was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game Sunday, Gonzalez divulged that it was a sore left oblique and back that was the reason. Not the “just old” explanation Jones gave reporters Saturday morning.
Jones didn’t think the oblique was anything that will keep him out of the lineup for long, provided he doesn’t aggravate it trying to play before it’s ready. He took some swings during batting practice Sunday and said there was a possibility he could pinch-hit in Sunday’s game.
“The oblique’s bothering me more than the back,” he said. “Or else I would have pinch-hit [Saturday] with the bases loaded and one out. Kind of a good time to use me…. . That situation comes up and I know he wanted to use me right there, but you’ve just got to be smart.”
When Jones arrived at the ballpark Saturday morning, he told Gonzalez he didn’t think he could help the team in Saturday’s game. They didn’t want to say anything before Saturday’s game because they didn’t want the Giants to know he wasn’t available to pinch-hit.
“I was inactive yesterday,” Jones said Sunday. “I feel that I’m slightly better today. But I’m going to take some hacks [in batting practic] and see if I can swing in the game.”
Jones felt a twinge in his left side when he swung on a foul ball in his final at-bat Friday, and ended up popping out on the at-bat to go 0-for-4 to snap an eight-game hitting streak. He was 10-for-32 (.313) with two doubles and three home runs during the streak.