Chipper Jones holds himself accountable

BY foxsports • June 19, 2012

Chipper Jones is not absolving himself of blame when he points the finger at the Braves' anemic offense.

"I'm not putting balls I should be putting in play in play," he said. "And when I'm putting them in play, they go for a double play."

Still, he said, "You'd still like to think you can go out there and score three runs no matter who's in the ballgame."

That's a reference to injuries, and not only his. Freddie Freeman's absence has been keenly felt. It was when he took over for Jones in the three-hole in the batting order that the offense was clicking.

"When the guy that's hit third for most of the year is sitting next to you for the last three or four games and he's not healthy, with his finger, it hurts," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

That might be about to change.

Freeman got two cortisone shots in his bruised left index finger on Saturday -- one in the joint and one in the ligament -- and by Sunday was able to make a fist with his left hand for the first time since he was hit by a ball thrown by Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes in the June 6 game at Miami.

Subsequent efforts to play were a bust, both at the plate and in the field. He couldn't grip the bat to swing it, and incoming balls hitting his glove hurt the finger and prevented the swelling from abating.

Freeman is targeting Tuesday's game against the Yankees for his return after taking some groundballs and a few dry swings on Monday. That's assuming he doesn't wake up with more swelling in his left index finger knuckle Tuesday morning.

By now, though, the offensive slump is teamwide. But Jones thinks panic is premature.

"The only thing we need to avoid," he said, "is pressing."

Monday's 6-2 loss to the Yankees was more about the Yankees' defense and pitching -- left-hander CC Sabathia's complete game -- and Braves left-hander Mike Minor being a young pitcher whom the Yankees saw only five days ago.


NOTES, QUOTES

--RHP Brandon Beachy's right elbow MRI showed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. He will see Braves' lead orthopedist, Dr. Xavier Duralde, on Tuesday; Duralde was in surgery all day on Monday. Beachy will then see Dr. James Andrews for his opinion on Wednesday.

--C Brian McCann got a partial day off from manager Fredi Gonzalez and filled the DH role against the Yankees in New York. He remained in the third spot in the order but was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

--C David Ross had a hit in each of his last three starts before getting the start Monday against the Yankees in New York. He was 4-for-9 with an RBI and three walks in that span. He followed that up with two hits Monday.

--RF Jason Heyward came to the plate 216 times this season before grounding into a double play. His first one came in the bottom of the second inning in Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Orioles.

--RHP Randall Delgado has lost two games in which he pitched eight innings and allowed only two earned runs: Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Orioles and the 4-0 loss to the Phillies on May 3 l. A lot was made of his balk, which allowed the second run to score on Sunday, but even had he not done that, the Braves would have lost 1-0.


QUOTE TO NOTE

"We haven't kept the line moving." -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez on the Braves' lack of offense.


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