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Aug 9, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) hits a three run home run in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Morning Chop: Atlanta Braves News 8/20

Sports On Earth

SURPRISING KEY TO THE BRAVES’ SUCCESS

Aug 11, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson (23) hits an RBI double in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Of the seven players involved in the trade, Johnson might have been the least remarked upon. All anyone cared about was what the Braves gave up for Upton — All-Star third baseman Martin Prado and several prospects. The Associated Press storyfrom that day is typical. Johnson’s name is mentioned just once, as a parenthetical note. He was an afterthought, addendum.

No, worse than that — he was a throw-in, one of the most odious terms in the sporting lexicon.

That throw-in happens to be leading the National League with a .336 batting average, to go along with nine homers and 53 RBIs (prior to Saturday night’s action).

“Obviously it’s a surprise,” Johnson says of his lofty perch atop the charts. “Every kid dreams of growing up to become a baseball player, and then goes past that to dream of leading the league in hitting. But even the kid knows it’s not a reality. It’s a shock for me when I look up at the scoreboard and see myself up there.”

Atlanta Braves’ Jason Heyward Not Your Typical Leadoff Hitter

Gonzalez placed Heyward in the leadoff spot on July 27 for only the second time all year. Heyward went 0-3 in the game, but he was right back at the top of the order the following night and went 2-4. It seems since then Heyward has truly found his role on the team.

He is now the hitter everyone thought he would be, but many began to doubt he’d ever become. He has had a blistering August, hitting .383 with three home runs in his last five games. The team is 18-3 since Heyward solidified himself at the top of the lineup.

At 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds, Heyward is anything but your prototypical leadoff hitter. But he’s more than getting the job done. With his power, speed and rising OBP, the Braves lineup looks set to dictate the offensive flow of the game for the rest of the year.

 

Braves 101

Washington Nationals’ Bryce Harper Compliments Atlanta Braves Fans After Verbal Altercation

Atlanta Braves fans simply don’t like Bryce Harper. It’s a fact. Since his over the top reaction after getting beaned by Julio Teheran” href=”http://www.sportsmedia101.com/atlantabraves/tag/julio-teheran/” rel=”tag nofollow”>Julio Teheran and later saying he could have put Teheran “six feet under” on Aug. 6, the Braves have hit him twice more. Still, that didn’t stop Harper from having a verbal altercation with a fan at Turner Fieldafter striking out for the last out of the Braves’ 2-1 win Sunday.

Bryce Harper on ATL this weekend: “I love these fans. I really do. They’re absolutely unbelievable for their team”

Bryce Harper: “if I was playing for a team like this and had a crowd like that, I’d be stoked to play here every night too”

 

Gondeee

Minor league Braves scores from Saturday and Sunday

The yips continue for Leonard: Gwinnett won 4-2 and 7-3. Third baseman Joe Leonard made 2 more errors Saturday and another error on Sunday. That gave him 8 errors in the past 4 games, after only committing 1 error in his first 101 games this season. Wow! I really feel bad for the kid, it sounds like he’s fighting some serious yips. Ernesto Mejia paced the offense this weekend with 3 doubles. New Braves infielder Tyler Greene went 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in his Gwinnett debut on Sunday.

 

 

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