His belief that the Baseball Gods have forsaken the Braves and his losing a grounder in the lights on Monday notwithstanding, Chipper Jones has been really damn useful lately. In September he’s hitting .309/.372/.529 and has been one of the few bright spots for a skidding Braves team. This kid may make something of himself in this game one day.
But tonight he’s absent. Jones has gotten leave to be away from the team due to his son having to undergo a surgical procedure. I would assume it’s not terribly serious because he’s expected to rejoin the team for Friday’s game against the Nationals.
Martin Prado will play third base. The Braves are also without Alex Gonzalez due to a strained right calf, so he’ll be replaced by Jack Wilson at short, giving Atlanta a new look left side of the infield.
The Yankees fell behind early to the Orioles on Sunday afternoon, a day after dropping both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader. Their game, as did every other game on Sunday with the exception of the Braves-Cardinals doubleheader, started at 3:05 or 3:10 EDT, a change Major League Baseball recently made to create fairness on the final day of the season.
Girardi is not a fan. Per the Associated Press:
It was cloudy at Camden Yards at 3:05 p.m., but late-afternoon games often make it difficult for batters to see pitches.
Girardi said, “Here’s the thing that bothers me: If it’s a sunny day you’re playing in shadows.”
He added, “If it’s the most important game of the year to get in, I don’t think that’s right.”
Understanding the idea is for every team to play at the same time, Girardi said, “Then play all night games.”
One wonders if MLB had scheduled Sunday’s slate of games for the night, if Girardi would have instead complained about batters losing fly balls in the stadium lights. Furthermore, both teams have to play in the same conditions.
Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki was given an opportunity to play a new position in Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. After the Phillies rallied to take a 6-2 lead in the seventh, the Marlins let Suzuki take the hill in the eighth. And, in news that surprises no one, he was impressive.
Though Suzuki gave up a run on two hits, he flashed a fastball that hit the mid-80’s and a breaking ball with some bite.
Suzuki, who turns 42 years old later this month, is 65 hits of 3,000 in his major league career. The Marlins are interested in bringing him back in 2016.