Atlanta Braves: Chipper Jones’ least favorite pitchers
Atlanta Braves Hall of Famer Chipper Jones had a lifetime batting average of .303. As you can imagine, though, he was better against some pitchers than others.
This week, Chipper Jones conducted a Q&A chat on the MLB Trade Rumors site, answering a lot of questions about himself, his career, and his teammates with the Atlanta Braves through the years.
The entire interview’s transcript can be read here, but I wanted to focus on just one question for today: this involved his list of least favorite pitchers to hit against:
"Whew, that list is lonnngggg. One of the more uncomfortable at bats was Kevin Brown. I had decent numbers but it was not comfortable being in the box. Numbers wise, Hideo Nomo, Woody Williams and Danny Jackson had my number. Yep, Danny Jackson! Look him up…nasty."
As it turns out, Jones only faced Jackson 3 times… but with an 0-for-3 result with 2 strikeouts. Oddly enough, he had some mixed results with some other pitchers named “Jackson”:
- Edwin Jackson: 1 for 8 with 1 walk (no strikeouts)
- Michael Jackson: 2 for 4 with a homer, 3 RBI and 2 walks
- Steven Jackson: 0 for 1
His memory is on point about Hideo Nomo: in 42 trips to the plate, Chipper only managed an .057 rate off his pitches with 2 hits, 6 walks, 1 RBI, and 9 punchouts.
He fared a bit better against Kevin Brown: .250 average in 46 trips with a homer, 10 hits, and 6 walks. But the “uncomfortable” part that Jones might be remembering involves the 12 strikeouts that Brown registered against him.
Woody Williams isn’t exactly a household name to most Braves fans, but he pitched for 4 different teams over a solid 15-year career (1993-2007) as a starter, enjoying a 132-116 record with a lifetime 4.19 ERA over 2216 innings.
Chipper faced Williams 28 times for a .115 average, getting only 3 hits — one of those a home run — while walking twice and striking out 3 times.
Jones might have forgotten about Terry Adams (mostly Cubs/Dodgers/Phillies), who struck him out 12 times in 34 trips to the plate… though giving up 1 homer among 5 total hits for a .167 average overall.
Then there was Nationals reliever Saul Rivera, who sat Jones down to a .100 clip (2 for 20 with 5K) during his 5-year career. Interesting that he’s listed as a switch-hitting pitcher, though with 1 lifetime hit in 12 attempts!
Turns out there were a lot of pitchers who never gave up a hit to Jones. The ones with the most chances to do so were these:
- Craig Stammen (8 AB, 1 K)
- Jack Taschner (8 AB, 4K)
- Ian Kennedy (7 AB, 2K)
- Rick van den Hurk (7 AB, 3BB, 4K)
- Rich Hill (6 AB)
- Ugueth Urbina (6 AB, 1BB)
- Jose Valverde (6AB, 4BB, 1K)
- John Burkett (6 AB, 1 RBI, 2K)
Chipper, of course, really did a number on several other pitchers, among those…
- Manny Parra (8AB, 6 hits/.750; with a triple, 2 homers, and 5 RBI)
- Julian Tavarez (23PA, 10 hits/.588 with 4 walks besides that)
- Jeff Suppan (12AB, 7 hits, 3RBI, 4 walks)
- Clayton Richard (14AB, 8 hits (including a double), but just 1 RBI and 1 walk)
- Zach Duke (26AB, 13 hits; 1 homer with 5 RBI and a walk)
- Roy Halladay (21AB, 11 hits; 3 doubles, 3 homers, 3 RBI, 2 walks, 3K)
- Kevin Millwood (11AB, 6 hits, 4 walks)
- Sean Burnett (15AB, 8 hits, 3RBI and 3 walks)
- A.J. Burnett (15 for 41, with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 5 walks, 8 punchouts)
Some other names you might be curious about:
- Billy Wagner: 21AB, 3 hits (.143). 12 strikeouts.
- Jason Marquis: 8 for 17 with 5 homers, 6 RBI, 5 walks… a 2.003 OPS
- Tim Hudson: 1 for 3 with a walk
- Tom Glavine: 6 for 32 (.188) with a homer, 2 RBI, 5 walks, 2K
- Randy Johnson: 13 for 36 (.361) with 6 home runs, 8 RBI, 3 walks… and 14 strikeouts
- Chipper also whacked 6 homers off Shane Reynolds (.400 overall)
- Greg Maddux: 3 for 8 (.375) with a walk (!) and 1 strikeout.
- Cole Hamels: 13 for 43 (.302 with a .981 OPS)
Sure: with a long and glorious career, you’ll have a lot of ups and downs when facing 1300+ pitchers… but while Chipper is remembering most of the bad outings he had… let’s not forget the kind of success he had against… well… most everybody else!