It took 2,060 games, but Chipper Jones finally had the first Golden Sombrero of his 16-year career last night, striking out four times against Randy Johnson and the Giants.
Prior to last night there had been a total of 1,279 instances of a
player striking out at least four times in a game since Jones joined
the Braves’ lineup full time in 1995.
But wait, there’s more (blame the wonder that is Baseball-Reference.com).
Those 1,279 instances came from 577 different players, 14 of whom
had double-digit games with at least four strikeouts before Jones even
had one. Jim Thome led the double-digit crew with 16 four-strikeout
games, followed by Sammy Sosa with 15.
Jones watched 28 different Braves teammates strike out four or more
times in a game before joining the club himself, led by Andruw Jones
with 10. Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson were among those 28 and
according to Jones “they shook my hand and welcomed me in.”
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.