Thursday, April 11, 2013

Gattis: The Legend Grows

One seven-run outburst can do wonders for an offense. Hope it doesn’t make BJ press harder. When he and Gattis have a big night, the headline can be “BJ and the Bear”. Speaking of the bare-fisted rookie, I’ll have to check to see if he wears a batting glove while catching, under his mitt. I’m no expert, but Gattis’ swing looks short, but not sweet…almost a chop. He appeared to hit that 404 foot home run off the handle, but a photo taken just as he connected showed proper form, almost McGwire-like. The way El Oso Blanco has burst on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere, reminds me of another older rookie: Roy Hobbs. I wonder if his bat has “Wonder Boy” on it.

Even last year those in the know said Juan Francisco’s fielding was as good as Chipper’s. What a MAMMO he hit last night. Later Joe Simpson commended the third-baseman’s two-strike, shortened swing singles up the middle. Perhaps this year he can stay in a groove longer than last season. Chris Johnson is ripping the ball as well, and playing good defense at first.  

Comparison videos show how similar Andrelton’s swing is to Chippers. Nice to see the youngster work so hard at his craft. When Simmons becomes a perennial All-Star, my prediction is he will be known only by his first name, like LeBron, Kobe, Ichiro, Brooks, or Cal. Earlier in the Marlins series Simmons chopped a ball in front of the plate and was dangerously close to running to first in fair territory. When the throw sailed past the first baseman I wondered if the umpire would call Andrelton out on the same play that had gone the Braves way against the Phillies. But by the time the umpire had a chance to look, Simmons was right on top of the foul line. Close, but not completely in fair territory.

Interesting play last night in the top of the ninth. After collecting his fourth hit of the night, Jordan Schafer took second on a two-out infield grounder. By the time the throw made it to the first baseman, Schafer had already carelessly rounded second, incorrectly thinking the third out of the inning was being made at first. Soon Schafer was sitting in the dirt after being tagged out in a rundown. The look in his eyes hopefully tells me he had just learned a valuable lesson.

On the radio broadcast Don Sutton interrupted a story to report “That’s strike three to Uggla…” Then Uggla’s curse was clearly heard over the Braves Radio Network. Sutton continued “…and he is not pleased, as you may have heard.” Later in the game while watching on TV, I heard Uggla use the same word after another strike was called on him. He needs to expand his vocabulary. But not his strike zone.

Thursday off day, then the big series in Washington. It’s a 162 game marathon, for sure, but this weekend will be fun to watch.

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