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824-battle-of-the-batting-race | August | 2008 Articles

2008 Archives

8/24: Battle of the Batting Race

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Chipper and Pujols’s BASo it comes to this. Chipper Jones has been leading the major leagues in batting average nearly the entire year, leads Albert Pujols by only 4 points. This is the closest they've been since April 12, when Pujols actually led, .390 to .386. As you can see from the chart, Chipper's average has been steadily plummeting since June, while Albert's has remained basically constant around .350 all year. Albert has feasted on Braves pitching the last few days, going 6-8 with a walk, a homer, and 6 RBI in the two games; Chipper has been a more modest 3-9. It was almost inevitable these two would meet. Today could be the day their paths cross once and for all. An interesting fact of Chipper Jones's career is that while he's often near the top of the league in any number of things -- BA, OBP, SLG, runs, RBI, homers, etc. -- he's never actually led the league in anything. Last year he had a shot but narrowly lost out. This year may be his last best chance. The pitching matchups may not help, though. The recently hapless Jo-Jo Reyes will return from the minors to try to regain his command of the major league strike zone. They'll start the resolutely average Braden Looper, in his second full year as a starter. Against Looper, Chipper has hit .333/.360/.500 in 25 at-bats, a wonderful tally but not quite good enough to boost his average this year. But Pujols has done slightly better against Reyes -- 2-5 with a double, good for .400/.500/.600, though that was all last year. He did strike out twice, however. Of course, this is also the rubber match of the series, so it'd be nice to win to get a series win over them. Off day tomorrow, then we face the Marlins. Go Chipper!

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