With due apologies to TNT, Chipper Jones knows drama. Fighting the urge to reference The Closer or Men of a Certain Age, Jones’ return and veteran presence has imposed some much-needed Law and Order. In his first full game since coming back from a strained quadriceps, he knocked in Jose Constanza in the ninth inning. Craig Kimbrel walked a pair in the bottom of the ninth, but some good defense preserved a 6-5 Atlanta victory over the Mets.
The Braves leave Citi Field having taken 2 of 3 from the Mets (talk about Leverage). This evens up the road trip at 3-3 heading into three games with Florida. Philly finally lost a game, as their nine game winning streak was snapped in this afternoon’s loss to the Giants. The Phillies head to LA with an 8 and a half game lead. With just two months left in the season and a widening gap in NL East standings, it’s a pretty tough road to hoe for the Atlanta Braves – or anyone for that matter!
In the National League wild card race, Atlanta is up 3 1/2 over Arizona and 4 over St. Louis. Finally the NL Central looks like it’s getting some separation as Milwaukee and St. Louis are pulling away from Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Now for injury situation. Jair Jurrjens went on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee. This forced Fredi Gonzalez to bring up Mike Minor from Triple-A Gwinnett. The Vanderbilt alum pitched well, but couldn’t hang on for the win. Chipper’s big hit put the game in the hands of Jonny Ventners while Kimbrel gets save #34. The best bullpen in baseball pulls another one out of the fire and pulls up their tent pegs heading for their next challenge.
Brian McCann will test out his oblique in Florida, and while he is eligible to come of the DL at the start of the next homestand against the Cubs, the hope is he can come back for the following series with the Giants. Freddy Freeman’s hitting streak ended at 20, while Dan Uggla got a single in his last at-bat to extend his best current hitting streak to 28 games. His average is now up to .220.
Atlanta got three homers in Sunday’s win on getaway day in New York, with one bomb each from Jason Heyward, Alex Gonzalez and Constanza (no hidden Seinfeld references here, I swear).
Also, in other local news, the Atlanta Hawks have just been purchased by Los Angeles businessman Alex Meruelo (cue the chorus to Handel’s Messiah). It ends the oft-malinged reign of the Atlanta Spirit. The wreckage caused on this city by this ownership group will prove to be case studies in “What Not to do in Sports Management Master Classes” for years to come. Not that I don’t want the Spirit to stay in charge, or Mr. Meruelo to change his mind, but if this guy is a smart businessman, then why on earth is he buying a franchise that more than likely will not play next season? That doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I don’t have a billion dollars, so what do I know?
I’ll tell you what I do know. High school football season starts on Wednesday and I’ll have the scrimmage between the Norcross Blue Devils and Walton Raiders on NHSBN.com at 7:10. Please tune in.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.