Atlanta lost Jair Jurrjens to more knee problems, but at least Chipper Jones is back in the Braves’ starting lineup today for the first time since injuring his quadriceps on July 25.
Jones avoided the disabled list and made four appearances as a pinch-hitter, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout, but he’s playing third base and batting fifth against the Mets. Mark Bowman of MLB.com notes that 2005 was the last time Jones batted as low as fifth in the order. And that only lasted a week.
Martin Prado and Brooks Conrad shared time at third base in Jones’ absence, so tonight Prado shifts back to the outfield and the slumping Jason Heyward is a healthy scratch while Jose Constanza starts over him in right field.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.