Phils' pitchers hope to cool off Chipper
Braves third baseman enters June series wielding a red-hot bat
ATLANTA -- When Chipper Jones went 5-for-8 against Philadelphia in mid-May to raise his average to .418, the Phillies were sure that the lofty average would drop by the time they faced the Braves again.
As the Phillies opened a three-game series against the Braves on Friday, Jones' amazing average was at an identical .418 -- thanks to a four-hit game the night before against Florida.
"It amazes me," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It amazes me because he is getting up around 250 at-bats."
That means the Phillies are in for quite a challenge this weekend: trying to stop a hitter that hasn't been stopped for more than two months.
"We've got to keep him in the yard, because his homers are starting to come, too," Manuel said.
Jones hit his 400th career home run on Thursday against Florida, becoming just the third switch-hitter to reach that milestone.
During the series with the Marlins, the Braves third baseman was 8-for-13 with two homers and four RBIs.
Jones went into the series against the Phillies batting .442 as a right-handed hitter and .404 from the left side. But 13 of his 14 home runs have come as a left-handed hitter, which means that he may be even more dangerous from that side.
"He got two hits off me in Philadelphia, and he sure hasn't cooled off any," said Kyle Kendrick, who will start the middle game of the series on Saturday. "I can't believe he's hitting .418 and it's June. Even if you make a perfect pitch against him, he might hit it. He's been that hot."
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.