Aching Chipper out of lineup for last reg-season game

PITTSBURGH – Chipper Jones knew plenty of people traveled to Pittsburgh to see him play in the retiring third baseman’s last regular-season game Wednesday. His heart said yes, his body said no, so he compromised.

Jones was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game since playing a season-high seven in a row, but he got a pinch-hit single in the sixth-inning Wednesday. He finished with a .287 season average and a .303 career average, and  hopes to have his achy body feeling better before the Braves host the Wild Card game against St. Louis at 5:07 p.m. Friday.

“I’m not healthy. I need some time,” Jones said Wednesday morning. “Knees, back… I just really needed some time. I expected to play today, or at least give it the old spring training try, a couple of at-bats and whatnot. But I’d much rather have the time off. And have tomorrow off, work out at the stadium. Have three or four solid days off before Friday, because usually when I take a day or two, 36-48 hours, I feel great the next day. Hopefully this is no different.”

After starting all six games on the Braves’ last homestand that ended Sunday, Jones also played the series opener against the Pirates on Monday, going 0-for-3 with a walk to make him 1-for-18 with six walks in his past six games before Wednesday.

He lined a pinch-hit single through the right side of the infield on the first pitch of the sixth inning Wednesday. Jones got a standing ovation when he took the lineup card out to home plate, another when he was introduced in the sixth, and one more after scoring on J.C. Boscan’s bases-loaded RBI single in the inning.

Jones hit three homers in back-to-back games Aug. 16 vs. the Padres (two homers on his bobblehead night) and Aug. 17 vs. the Dodgers. Since then, he had batted .216 (24-for-111) in 34 games before Wednesday, with four doubles, one homer, eight RBIs and a .279 slugging percentage.

He said before the last homestand that he planned to play every remaining home game, and he did — playing every inning of all six games, as the Braves surged to keep alive slim NL East title hopes and played to crowds totaling more than 150,000 in Jones’ final three-game home series.

The Washington Nationals clinched the division title when the Braves lost 2-1 in Monday’s series opener at Pittsburgh.

“I wanted to be in the starting lineup for all the home games,” Jones said. “Quite honestly, the only reason I didn’t take Monday off was because I had so many family and friends in the stands here [in Pittsburgh]. I figured I’d play one game and let the chips fall where they may, as far as the division. If we had still been in it, I’d have been in [the lineup Tuesday] night.

“But I’m going to get more out of these two days off than strapping it up and playing for a couple of [at-bats] each game.”

Braves fans appeared to out-number Pirates fans in the sparse crowd Tuesday, and in the late innings many fans chanted “We want Chipper.” One particularly aggressive fan shouted directly at manager Fredi Gonzalez from the end of the dugout to put in the player he drove to Pittsburgh to see play.

“The guy came around the corner. He looked in the dugout and yelled, ‘Put him in!’” Gonzalez said, smiling as he told the story. “He said, ‘I drove all the way from…’ — I don’t even know where he came from. I looked at Chipper and Chipper [signaled no].

“I understand the fans want to see him. He may get a pinch-hit [appearance], see what he feels like.”

Jones laughed and said, “I mean, I’m sure if they get as rowdy as they did last night late in the game…. It was funny, because Fredi kept looking at me out of the corner of his eye. I’m like, no, I’m not going in there. Don’t even ask me. He’s like, ‘They’re going to string me up from something out here.’ I said, blame it on me.”

“They [teammates] were all joining the chant in the dugout, too. I think they enjoyed making Fredi squirm a little.”

When the Braves’ bus returned to the team hotel in downtown Pittsburgh late Tuesday, Jones signed autographs for dozens of fans waiting outside the entrance.

28 comments Add your comment

[...] Aching Chipper out of lineup for last regular-season game [...]

JoshTown

October 3rd, 2012
2:03 pm

I’d MUCH rather him sit today and come out swinging on Friday. Go Braves.

JW

October 3rd, 2012
2:06 pm

I know Fredi wanted to get some of the relievers some work, but I thought Sheets was going to pitch at least 2 – 3 innings based on what Fredi had said previously. DOB – do you know if it was Fredi’s decision to just use him for one inning in his last game, or do you think Sheets pulled himself after a strong inning to end on a high note?

Quack Quack

October 3rd, 2012
2:09 pm

WOW!! I can’t wait ’til Friday.

I’ve got this feeling that we are going to explode, in a winning way. ;-)

GO BRAVES!!!

Hobbes

October 3rd, 2012
2:11 pm

Umm…I’m looking at him on first base right now…

David O'Brien

October 3rd, 2012
2:27 pm

JW: Sheets was scheduled to pitch 2 innings, not 2-3. And the fact that he came out after 12 pitches (including a lot of 94-95 mph fastballs, and one at 96) tells me he probaly let it fly to see what he could do in one inning before the shoulder started aching too much. But we’ll know after the game.

JW

October 3rd, 2012
2:40 pm

reckingball

October 3rd, 2012
2:42 pm

bill arp

October 3rd, 2012
2:48 pm

any chance they keep Sheets on the roster for relief appearances?

Tami

October 3rd, 2012
3:34 pm

What a way for our TWO retiring Braves to go out in their last regular season game! Chipper gets a PH single in the top of the 6th. And Benny….scoreless 1st inning bringing some heat! It’s too bad he couldn’t have been in the bullpen for the postseason. We get to see Chipper for a few more POST season at-bats. But, to Benny: Thanks for everything, Man! Have a great retirement! BRAVES win final regular season game 4 – 0!

kreedham

October 3rd, 2012
3:57 pm

Sheets won’t be on the wildcard roster but possibly the division series roster.

kreedham

October 3rd, 2012
4:01 pm

If Beachy hadn’t gotten hurt we might have won the division but then with Beachy out Medlen probably wouldn’t have started. Who’s #5 next year? Delgado, Teheran or a free agent? Prado to 3rd, whose in left?

kreedham

October 3rd, 2012
4:01 pm

If Beachy hadn’t gotten hurt we might have won the division but then with Beachy out Medlen probably wouldn’t have started. Who’s #5 next year? Delgado, Teheran or a free agent? Prado to 3rd, whose in left?

Colbren0

October 3rd, 2012
4:04 pm

I’ll be there Friday! I have a really good feeling. With all the fans packed in the stadium, I think magical things are gonna happen. Just gotta believe. The Braves NEED another ring! Chipper NEEDS another ring.

Anyone experiencing butterfies in their stomach?

perk

October 3rd, 2012
4:05 pm

Dave: is Ben’s shoulder shot? never heard exactly why he is retiring

Chipper's ACL

October 3rd, 2012
4:05 pm

Let’s discuss a little off season thoughts while we wait for Friday’s game.
Top 3 players that may not be in a Braves uniform for ‘13.
1. Bourn
Boras will be asking way to much for his services even with his second half swoon.
2. Hanson
His numbers have been sub par since the break last season. Arb eligible and a Boras agent plus the number of young starters in the organization equals no slot for big red.
3. Venters
I’m sure this raises some eyes but let’s look at the roster. Big O is the set up man and Avilan has proven he can be productive. Arb eligible, over worked for two years, wildness and would be a big piece in any big trade this winter.
The obvious is JJ. Non tender. No need to discuss.
3 players that will return
1. Huddy
Option will surely be picked up
2. Johnson
Been a good fit for the team. I see him being offered a deal
3. Maholm
Good value needed for the start of ‘13. May be trade bait next July
3 free agents that may be pursued
1. Pagan
Bourn walks, he makes the most sense
2. Yuke
Crazy? This team is use to missing their third baseman the last few years so why break the rythm? Good club house guy and with Prado available for 30 games at third why not?
3. Haren
I’m sure this sounds real crazy. His option will not be picked up and could be had on a one, maybe two year deal. Still young, he coul fill in as the staff ace. I’m not buying in to our top two prospects, even though I think Delgado pitched well. The hype has been there, as it was with Hanson,but I don’t see it. Plus there are plenty of younger arms in the way. Sims, Wood, Gilmartin, Graham. The top two could be delt for other needs, aka a right handed power hitter
3 possible players obtained in trades
1. Ellsbury
Fill the CF void
2. Rasmus
Same as the first
3. Braun
Again, you say huh? The Braves have the talent to unload a 5 for 1 trade to bring in a stud LF. Why not target the best? The Crew may not listen but a package of Teheran, Venters, and other young talent may make them bite.

Chipper's ACL

October 3rd, 2012
4:05 pm

Let’s discuss a little off season thoughts while we wait for Friday’s game.
Top 3 players that may not be in a Braves uniform for ‘13.
1. Bourn
Boras will be asking way to much for his services even with his second half swoon.
2. Hanson
His numbers have been sub par since the break last season. Arb eligible and a Boras agent plus the number of young starters in the organization equals no slot for big red.
3. Venters
I’m sure this raises some eyes but let’s look at the roster. Big O is the set up man and Avilan has proven he can be productive. Arb eligible, over worked for two years, wildness and would be a big piece in any big trade this winter.
The obvious is JJ. Non tender. No need to discuss.
3 players that will return
1. Huddy
Option will surely be picked up
2. Johnson
Been a good fit for the team. I see him being offered a deal
3. Maholm
Good value needed for the start of ‘13. May be trade bait next July
3 free agents that may be pursued
1. Pagan
Bourn walks, he makes the most sense
2. Yuke
Crazy? This team is use to missing their third baseman the last few years so why break the rythm? Good club house guy and with Prado available for 30 games at third why not?
3. Haren
I’m sure this sounds real crazy. His option will not be picked up and could be had on a one, maybe two year deal. Still young, he coul fill in as the staff ace. I’m not buying in to our top two prospects, even though I think Delgado pitched well. The hype has been there, as it was with Hanson,but I don’t see it. Plus there are plenty of younger arms in the way. Sims, Wood, Gilmartin, Graham. The top two could be delt for other needs, aka a right handed power hitter
3 possible players obtained in trades
1. Ellsbury
Fill the CF void
2. Rasmus
Same as the first
3. Braun
Again, you say huh? The Braves have the talent to unload a 5 for 1 trade to bring in a stud LF. Why not target the best? The Crew may not listen but a package of Teheran, Venters, and other young talent may make them bite.

Colbren0

October 3rd, 2012
4:09 pm

I’m so excited to go to the game Friday night. This is going to be magical with all the fans packed in the stadium and the Braves team pumped up! Braves need another title..Chipper needs another ring.

Anyone else getting the butteflies?

Colbren0

October 3rd, 2012
4:10 pm

sorry didn’t mean to repeat the same post..didn’t see it on there the first time..oops!

GO BRAVES!

Liz

October 3rd, 2012
4:24 pm

Guys, Need help here. I’ll be in Charleston on Friday for a conference that I cannot miss (however I *can* disappear for a few short hours on Friday). I’m looking for a place to watch the game (wish they’d announce the time). I’ll be off of Meeting Street. I’ve called The Brick, game on, no volume if it’s a night game; The Kickin’ Chicken, game on, maybe volume on the patio; The Griffon, game on, probably volume if I ask early and loud enough _I’m up to the task. Any other recommendations? These places were recommended by locals, but I don’t care if I’m in tourist helI, as long as I can get volume for the game. Thanks!

mpimentel

October 3rd, 2012
4:43 pm

why trade so many player for a PAD’s player?

Ted

October 3rd, 2012
4:50 pm

Pretty good analysis by chipper acl. On Jones himself, I am delighted he finished as a 300 400 500 hitter, one of the few in history, and the only Brave ever.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/joe_posnanski/09/30/atlanta.braves/

Mike in TX

October 3rd, 2012
4:51 pm

So I just found out that one of my buddies deploying with me is Lyle Overbay’s cousins. That’s pretty cool.

Congrats on a great season Braves and especially Chipper. Here’s hoping they win they win the wild card play in so I can take my soon to his first Braves game!

Mike in TX

October 3rd, 2012
4:52 pm

Son*

Damn technology

Chipper's ACL

October 3rd, 2012
4:56 pm

Why would you not considering his stats and salary? 9.5m next season. .320 avg, 41 HR’s, 30 steals. The top LF in the game. Sure he’s worth a 5 for 1 swap.

reckingball

October 3rd, 2012
5:17 pm

Have you been taking GM lessons from John Shurleholtz? I kid.

JHarber

October 3rd, 2012
5:30 pm

Game Friday 5-07 pm on TBS

http://tiltmonkey.com/blog/jonnimb0/2013/09/06/sacs-longchampstrousse-de-toilette-sac-longcham-kate-moss-longchamp/

October 6th, 2013
8:04 pm

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