Monday, August 3, 2015

Game 24: This is why we chop

ATLANTA — A month of baseball will produce some strange numbers. Take the Atlanta Braves' scoring output of 5.04 runs per game in their first 22 games of 2012. The Braves averaged 3.96 runs per game in 2011 and only 3.22 runs per game during their disastrous month of September.

Game 24: This is why we chop

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Cole Hamels faces a Braves lineup that ranks third in the NL in scoring. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Cole Hamels faces a Braves lineup that ranks third in the NL in scoring. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

ATLANTA — A month of baseball will produce some strange numbers. Take the Atlanta Braves' scoring output of 5.04 runs per game in their first 22 games of 2012. The Braves averaged 3.96 runs per game in 2011 and only 3.22 runs per game during their disastrous month of September.

But here are these Braves, third in the National League in scoring after a quiet winter and numbing spring training. Their 2012 motto is "This Is Why We Chop," and most of the marketing surrounds 40-year-old Chipper Jones, who is playing in his final season.

As Jones has battled injury, just about every one of Atlanta's regulars has been productive, save Brian McCann. And as MLB.com's Mark Bowman writes, even Michael Bourn has made adjustments against lefthanded pitching.

Charlie Manuel will use a (sort of) familiar lineup in the opener of the season series against Atlanta:

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1. Jimmy Rollins 6
2. Placido Polanco 5
3. Shane Victorino 8
4. Hunter Pence 9
5. Ty Wigginton 3
6. Laynce Nix 7
7. Carlos Ruiz 2
8. Freddy Galvis 4
9. Cole Hamels 1

Here are Atlanta's career numbers against Hamels:

  PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Dan Uggla 56 50 8 2 0 2 5 4 15 .160 .232 .320 .552
Brian McCann 55 49 13 6 0 1 11 6 9 .265 .345 .449 .794
Martin Prado 44 42 14 3 0 1 3 2 3 .333 .364 .476 .840
Chipper Jones 41 34 10 4 0 2 7 7 7 .294 .415 .588 1.003
Matt Diaz 40 39 10 2 1 1 1 1 6 .256 .275 .436 .711
Michael Bourn 16 15 4 0 0 0 1 1 2 .267 .313 .267 .579
Jason Heyward 14 13 3 1 0 0 0 1 3 .231 .286 .308 .593
Freddie Freeman 13 13 3 0 0 1 1 0 4 .231 .231 .462 .692
David Ross 10 8 1 0 0 0 1 2 2 .125 .300 .125 .425
Brandon Beachy 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 .000 .000 .000 .000
Jack Wilson 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
Total 308 281 68 19 1 8 34 24 58 .242 .303 .402 .705

The Phillies will face Brandon Beachy, who is off to a fantastic start in 2012. They have hit the righthander before; he has a 3.94 ERA in six career starts. Shane Victorino (4 for 10) and Carlos Ruiz (5 for 8) have success in limited time against Beachy.


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