Apr 19, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Jose Valverde (47) watches as Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) rounds first base after hitting a three run home run during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Strange Case of Dr. Justin and Mr. Hyde


Apr 21, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Justin Upton (8) reacts to striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh inning against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

 

…but that in case of Dr. Jekyll’s “disappearance or unexplained absence for any period exceeding three calendar [days],” the said Edward Hyde should step into the said Henry Jekyll’s shoes without further delay and free from any burthen or obligation, beyond the payment of a few small sums to the members of the doctor’s household.

It is a season of some curious interest, that of Dr. Justin Upton.  Most typically he can been seen three days in the office, and three days away.  When ‘away’, a hideous beast of a hitter – one Mr. Hyde – conducts business in his stead.  This consists of huge strikeout totals and generally functioning as a huge hole in the middle of the lineup.  When the good Doctor is present, hits are a-plenty as it seems he can hardly make an out.

 

Let us observe the data:

  • First 4 games:  1 for 16, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts.  [Mr. Hyde]
  • 3 games:  5 for 13, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts.  [Dr. Justin]
  • 1 game: 0 for 4, strikeout. [Mr. Hyde]
  • 4 games: 11 for 18, 4 homers, 3 walks, 1 strikeout.  [Dr. Justin]
  • 3 games:  0 for 13, 1 walks, 7 strikeouts.  [Mr. Hyde]
  • 2 games:  4 for 10, 1 homers, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts.  [Dr. Justin]
  • 3 games:  2 for 15, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts [Mr. Hyde]
  • 3 games:  6 for 12, 2 homers, 1 walk, no strikeouts [Dr. Justin]

That is his entire season thus far – no gaps, no missing games.  He hits in bunches… and he flails in bunches.  There’s truly not much in between.

 

In total, we have this:

  • The Dr. Justin games:  26 for 53 (.490) with 8 walks, 7 strikeouts, and 7 home runs.  Yes – just as many homers as strikeouts.
  • The Mr. Hyde games: 3 for 48 (.063) with 3 walks, 25 strikeouts.
  • Overall:  .330 with a 31.7% strikeout rate to go with a .406 OBP and 1.031 OPS.  Both the doctor and the beast show up prominently in those numbers.

 

The bad news?  He’s probably due to go cold again for the Miami series… which he also did April 21-23.  In fact, I’d expect the Miami pitching to dominate (again) this week as the braves try to scratch out a couple of runs here and there.

The good news?  There seems to be no real correlation between the Braves’ won-loss record and Justin’s hitting, oddly enough:  4 of the 7 team losses have occurred while Dr. Justin was in the office – going 9 for 17 in those games.  Actually, I’ve not entirely sure that IS good news the Braves are not really taking advantage of the offense that Justin generates when he goes into that ‘nobody-can-get-him-out’ mode.

This is a strange case indeed.

________

 

Mr. Utterson sighed deeply but said never a word; and the young man presently resumed. “Here is another lesson to say nothing,” said he. “I am ashamed of my long tongue. Let us make a bargain never to refer to this again.” “With all my heart,” said the lawyer. “I shake hands on that, Richard.”

 

Apologies to Robert Louis Stevenson.

 

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Tags: Atlanta Braves Justin Upton

  • fireboss

    So do we consider that Jason has the same disease but his lasts a year at a time?

  • http://www.tomahawktake.com/ Chris Headrick

    Frankly, consistency could be said to be catching at times in the Atlanta clubhouse. Some seem to have more virulent strains :) I do think Justin is started to get into a different groove though. There’s something about his swing, more short and compact, that my eye sees. I cannot fully quantify that yet, but I’m seeing something different with Justin’s approach.