Andruw may be making what Bill Simmons calls The Leap. He’s only hitting .268, but with a .376 OBP and big-time power. He now has 12 homers — tied for third in the league (and the majors) –and 26 RBI — tied for seventh. I’ve always said that with his defense he doesn’t have to hit like Barry Bonds to be one of the best players in the game. If he keeps the power and walks up and hits .270 he’s an all-star. If he hits .300 (and he’s raised his average about 100 points already) he’s a viable MVP candidate.
Andruw hit homers 11 and 12 last night, driving in five of the the seven runs the Braves got in their 7-3 win. He also doubled. The Braves are getting offensive production from five players — the Joneses, Furcal, Giles, and now Sheffield — which would be more than enough if the bottom of the order were doing anything. But they’re not. Last night, Bobby tried something, inserting Julio Franco into the lineup, hitting second and playing first, moving Marcus Giles to the seventh spot. Franco had a hit and two walks. Keeping him there might pay off, though I’d rather they benched Castilla than Helms.
But Bobby did something incredibly boneheaded later on, pinch-hitting — with the bases loaded and two out — for Giles with Keith Lockhart; this is roughly equivalent to Mr. Burns hitting Homer Simpson for Darryl Strawberry. Unfortunately, Lockhart wasn’t hit on the head and instead hit his usual grounder to first base. He did homer later on, after the Braves had the lead. Pinch-hitting there was completely inexplicable. Pat Corrales was actually running the team because Bobby had been ejected, but I’m sure Bobby was making the decisions.
Entries for today’s and Sunday’s games should be posted Monday morning.