Sunday’s game against the San Francisco Giants marks the third game in a row and fifth in the last six that power hitting Braves catcher/left fielder/first baseman Evan Gattis did not start. During the Braves four game losing streak that ended Saturday night, Gattis started only one game.
Gattis didn’t start Saturday night’s game against the Giants, but came in and was instrumental in the come from behind victory. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, with the Braves behind 5-4, Gattis drew a walk on five pitches. Reed Johnson pinch ran for him and scored the tying run.
Has Gattis been benched? When a guy gets one start in six games and sits three in a row, what do you call it if not benched?
When the Giants had tricky lefthander Madison Baumgarner on the mound Friday night against the Braves, Gattis wasn’t in the line-up despite hitting .317 on the season against lefties, with a .396 on-base-percentage and .683 slugging percentage. Baumgarner shut down the Braves on two hits in seven innings while striking out ten.
When you look at what Gattis has done the first 2.5 months of the season, it is a real head scratcher as to why he isn’t getting more starts and more at bats. I understand that there are other guys on the team who are good players and have to get their at bats. But why has Gattis only gotten one start in a week?
A couple weeks ago after Gattis won yet another game, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was emphatic that he had to get Gattis into the line-up. That he had to find ways to get Gattis more at bats.
Gonzalez stood true to that statement for a while, but has obviously backed off that commitment in the past week. Yet when the game is on the line, who does Gonzalez keep calling on? Who is the guy who has been the Braves best clutch hitter this season?
If Gattis started and got more at bats throughout the game, is there a good chance that the Braves wouldn’t need late game heroics? I think so…
It is nice to have a guy like Gattis who is a true clutch hitter. Some of the guys in the Braves line-up have not only been poor in the clutch, they have been poor with runners in scoring position as well…yet they keep getting put into the starting line-up.
Some things in life are harder to understand than others and Gattis not getting more at bats and more starts is a hard one for me to explain or figure out. Just what does the guy have to do?