Chipper Shredder

Chipper Jones’ season-long flirtation with the most hallowed of numbers in a sport full of them — that would be a batting average of .400, a figure rounder and more solid than even the ball itself — should make a nice side note as the Marlins cream the visiting Braves.

Seriously, can the Braves win a road game? A few days before the All-Star break, the Braves had lost 23 of their previous 31 away from Turner Field, and were third in the National League in runs scored at home while last in runs scored on the road. The team that went to the playoffs every season between 1991 and 2005 has now gone a couple of years without a postseason appearance — which is a bit like Gene Simmons not getting laid for an entire weekend — and is showing few signs of suddenly joining the top-heavy NL chase.

Still, it’s nice to see that a fellow not named Barry Bonds (or named in a ’roids bust subpoena) can at age 36 enjoy a career year. Mark Teixeira notwithstanding, Jones is the only bat in the Braves’ lineup who should concern Florida’s mishmash of a pitching staff. Let him go 2-for-3, 3-for-5 — hell, get the Marlins on SportsCenter by serving him 4-for-4, inching that average up closer to the big dot-four-oh-oh. Then watch the Marlins trounce the Braves anyway on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Dolphin Stadium (2269 NW 199th St., Miami). Tickets start at $9. Visit florida.marlins.mlb.com, or call 954-523-3309.
Mon., July 21, 7 p.m.; Tue., July 22, 7 p.m.; Wed., July 23, 7 p.m., 2008

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Sam Eifling
Contact: Sam Eifling