The Braves are alone in first place, but it was a tough road getting there, and there were casualties. The Braves won 5-2 last night, but by the end of the game Jesse Garcia was playing right field and Wes Helms was in left, and Chipper Jones and Marcus Giles were in the clubhouse. Chipper fouled a ball off his leg in the first; it was later revealed to be a severe bruise. He expects to miss two or three games, but this is Chipper we’re talking about, a guy who can get hit in the chest with a thrown baseball from 15 feet away and not miss any time. I wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him tonight or tomorrow.
Marcus’ injury is more serious. He twisted his ankle trying to avoid a tag at first base, landing very awkwardly. Initial reports are that it is a severe sprain, with no ligament damage, but he will be re-evaluated today. Giles was placed on the DL, and Matt Franco was called up, which should make Alex R. happy, but the Braves really need to call up another player. The 12-man bullpen is tough enough to carry at the best of times. With two regulars on the bench with injuries (Gary Sheffield is still nursing a hamstring injury) and unavailable for more than pinch-hitting duties, the Braves’ bench is essentially Garcia, Franco, and Henry Blanco.