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Chipper Jones made his major league debut on September 11th of 1993 and almost fifteen years later he hit his 400th home run last night in Atlanta. Jones is a low key type player who just quietly does his job and that steadiness may or may not help him achieve the .400 mark this season. 400 could be his lucky number this year now that he has hit his 400th home run and has a chance of hittting .400.
Last night he not only hit his 400th home run but also had a 4 for 5 night raising his average to .418. One of the Braves announcers said they had asked Jones if he thinks he can hit .400 and he replied that he could. There have already been a few times when his average started going down below the Ted Williams line but he would have a good day and the average would go even further over .400.
His 400th home run moved him to 42nd on the alltime list as he passed Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga who both sadly came short of the 400 homer mark with 399 each. Duke Snider with 407 and Darrell Evans with 414 are next on the list above Jones.
This year I am enjoying being able to watch almost all the Braves games since their games are being broadcast here in Knoxville on the Peachtree Network, FoxSouth and SportsSouth so one of those three networks usually has a game to watch whenever the Braves are playing. Last year I didn't get to see many games on TBS since they didn't broadcast a lot of games and for some reason when the games meant the most in September they seemed to broadcast even fewer games.
The Braves defeated the Marlins 7-5 behind the hitting of Jones, Brian McCann and Yunel Escobar who also homered in the contest. The Braves have four of the best RBI men in baseball with Mark Texeira with 43, Jones with 39, Jeff Francoeur with 36 and McCann with 35. By the All Star break they could all have 50 runs batted in considering June has barely started.
Both starters Jair Jurjjens 6-3 and Ricky Nolasco didn't have their best stuff with Jurjjens allowing 11 hits and Nolasco allowing 12 hits. It was a crucial win for the Braves who will be hosting the Phillies starting tonight with Denny Moyer 6-3 facing Tim Hudson 7-4. The Phillies are 8-2 in their last ten games while the Braves are 4-6 in that time span.
Red Sox- Rays Imbroglio
The dictionary defines an imbroglio as a difficult or intricate situation or an entanglement and that is exactly what happened yesterday in Fenway Park in Boston. Coco Crisp had said after the game Wednesday that he was ready to leave things the way they were after sliding hard into Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura but James Shields didn't share the opinion of Crisp and threw a close one to Crisp. Crisp headed for the pitcher's mound after the pitch and the melee that ensued was not over for several minutes.
When the smoke had cleared Crisp, Shields and Jonny Gomes had been ejected. Later on in the fourth inning Kevin Youkilis and Manny Ramirez had heated words in the Red Sox dugout. Three Red Sox and two Rays were hit by pitches in the contest. Jon Lester 4-3 won his first game since his May 19th no-hitter against the Royals.
To make things even worse Jacoby Ellsbury left the game with a wrist injury and Ramirez had to leave with a hamstring injury. Kevin Youkilis played right field because of the shortage of outfielders between the ejection of Crisp and the injuries of Ellsbury and Ramirez.
Before leaving the game Ramirez hit his 13th homer and drove in five runs giving him 45 for the season.
Yankees 9 Blue Jays 8
Yesterday while online I checked the scoreboard and saw Blue Jays were ahead of the Yankees in the fifth inning by a 7-4 score but I had a feeling the Yankees would win the game and they did. Kyle Farnsworth gave up a run in the top of the ninth inning to give the Blue Jays a 8-6 lead but the Yankees came back to score three more in the bottom of the ninth culminating with a walkoff pinch hit homer by Jason Giambi giving the Yankees a 9-8 win. Matt Stairs drove in five runs for the Blue Jays.
The Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang who had a 5-0 record at the end of April hasn't won since May 2nd and is now 6-2 with five no decisions. His ERA has ballooned to 4.57. The schedule maker gives the Yankees an assist as they entertain the Royals the second worst team in the AL for a four game series this weekend. Yankees moved to .500 with a 30-30 record and with all the teams in AL East having 5-5 records with the exception of the Red Sox it may be a good time to gain some ground on the teams above them.
Indians 9 Rangers 4
C.C. Sabathia 3-8 can forget about winning the Cy Young Award this season after the Indians staked him to a 4-0 lead over the Rangers but the Indians lost by a 9-4 score. Sabathia allowed only 4 earned runs but one unearned run scored after an error by Shin-Shoo "Chattanooga Choo" Choo. Kevin Millwood 4-3 took the win after shutting down the Indians the next five innings after the four first inning runs.
While Josh Hamilton is getting most of the attention this season Milton Bradley may be on his way to a career year. He has 13 homers and 41 RBI's after homering last night. He has never had more than 19 home runs or more than 67 RBI's in a season but is on track to hit 25-30 homers and drive in 100 runs in 2008.
White Sox 6 Royals 2
Jose Contreras 6-3 is putting his 10-17 record of last season behind him as he pitched the White Sox to a 6-2 win over the Royals. Gil Meche 3-8 took the loss and has a combined 12-21 record since signing a $55 million contract for five years in 2006.
Jim Thome hit his 12th homer and 519th of his career. Orlando Cabrera who was 0 for 7 last night was 2 for 4 and drove in 2 runs. Paul Konerko's average dipped below the Uecker line to .199 after going 0 for 3. The White Sox host the Twins for a four game series starting today.
Phillies 5 Reds 0
Cole Hamels 6-4 pitched a complete game shutout as the Phillies defeated the Reds 5-0 on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia. Homer Bailey 0-1 took the loss for the Reds but only gave up 2 earned runs in 6 1/3 innings. Geoff Jenkins hit his 6th homer of the season in the win. Ryan Howard drove in his 44th run of the season. Howard has not hit above .209 since the 5th of April when he finished that game with a .235 average but then went 0 for 3 in the next game lowering his average to .200. Hamels had a bad day at the plate going 0 for 2 lowering his batting average to .333.
The Phillies travel to Atlanta to play the Braves in a crucial series for the Braves. If the Braves are swept they will be 6 1/2 games behind the Phillies. Since losing three games in a row for the only time this season and posting 24-22 record the Phillies are now 36-26 while winning 12 of their last 16 games.
Cardinals 4 Nationals 1 (First Game)
Todd Wellemeyer 7-1 who hasn't lost since the 28th of April defeated the Nationals 4-1 in the first game of a doubleheader. Albert Pujols hit his 15th homer in a pinch hit role while Troy Glaus hit his 5th of the season. Despite Pujols having ten more homers than Glaus he is only four RBI's ahead with 40 to the 36 of Glaus. The listless Nationals offense could only manage seven singles in the game.
Nationals 10 Cardinals 9 (Second Game)
The Nationals were leading this game by a 7-0 score after three innings but let the Cardinals tie it 8-8 in the ninth inning. Cardinals pitchers Mike Parisi and Mark Worrell combined to drive in 5 runs for the Cardinals with a two rundouble by Parisi and a three run homer in his first major league at bat by Worrell. This could never have happened in the American League thanks to the designated hitter rule.
Cristian Guzman and Elijah Dukes were both 4 for 6 in the game with Dukes driving in 4 runs. The Cardinals took a 9-8 lead in the top of the tenth inning but the Nationals countered with two more runs in the bottom of the tenth when Dukes hit a walkoff homer to win the game 10-9.
Pirates 4 Astros 3
Paul Maholm 4-5 allowed 2 earned runs in 8 innings as the Pirates posted a 4-3 win over the Astros. Freddie Sanchez was the only Pirate who started the game who didn't garner a hit in the contest. Pirates had nine hits and the starters had one hit each except for Jack Wilson who got an extra hit for himself since Sanchez didn't have any.
Both starting pitchers had a hit in the game showing again why I am thankful that the NL lets hitters hit. Seven NL pitchers had hits yesterday.
Padres 2 Mets 1
Mike Pelfrey of the Mets and Josh Banks of the Padres both pitched six innings and allowed one run but neither was around for the decision. Banks is a pitcher to watch. He is 2-0 and has a 0.39 ERA after 23 innings this season.
The game ended in dramatic fashion when Scott Schoeneweis hit Paul McAnulty with a pitch forcing in the winning run in the ninth inning and giving the Padres a 2-1 victory.
Cubs 5 Dodgers 4
The Cubs were ahead 4-0 after 4 innings and then hung on to win in the top of the ninth inning when Kosuke Fukudome singled in the winning run giving the Cubs a 5-4 win. Jim Edmonds picked up two more hits and is now hitting .279 while with the Cubs and is hitting .400 for the month of June.
Jeff Kent hit his 7th and 8th homers for the Dodgers in a losing cause. Kerry Wood posted his 17th save of the season.