Michael Bourn has hardly been alone among Braves hitters who’ve slumped recently, but no other has had such a profound effect on the team’s overall offensive performance.
As Bourn goes, so goes the Braves offense. And lately, he and it have not gone well.
The speedy center fielder hit .177 (14-for-79) with one extra-base hit, five runs and a .495 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in his past 22 games before Friday, when Bourn was out of the lineup for the fifth time this season and third time in the past 22 games.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez rested Bourn to give him consecutive days off – the Braves didn’t play Thursday – and get Reed Johnson in the lineup against Nationals starter Ross Detwiler. Johnson was 5-for-9 with a homer against the left-hander before Friday, while Bourn was 1-for-13.
Asked if fatigue might be affecting his recent performance, Bourn said, “I want to play in October. I don’t care if you’re tired; that don’t matter. But I understand [Gonzalez’s] method. I