(Getty)Chipper Jones has already long established he's not going away quietly in his final big league season. But just in case we'd forgotten or turned our attention elsewhere for a moment on Friday night, the 40 year old future of Hall of Famer reestablished that fact during the Braves 8-5 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The reminder came in the fourth inning with the Braves threatening to break through with a two-out rally. Jones was the lead runner at second base and attempted to score on a Paul Janish bloop a single to center field. John Mayberry Jr. came up with the ball in shallow center and immediately fired a strong throw to the plate that tailed slightly towards the third base line, putting catcher Eric Kratz directly in the path of the hard-charging Jones.
Naturally, ball and player arrived at the exact the same moment, which resulted in a violent collision that Jones loaded up for and clearly got the best of physically:
I thought the hit Josh Harrison laid on Yadier Molina earlier in the week (which knocked the all-star catcher out of a game) was vicious — believe me, it was — but I'd say Chipper's almost looked worse at full speed. Thankfully, though, it yielded a different result for Kratz as he was able to bounce right to his feet when he displayed the baseball to home plate umpire Mark Carlson.
Honestly, I have no idea how Kratz picked himself off the ground after being nearly removed from his cleats, let alone how he held on to the ball for the out. But he did, and he changed the game in the process.
And then, a few innings later, Kratz would change the game again by hitting a game-tying home run off Braves closer Craig Kimbral. That tied the game 5-5 in the ninth. One inning after that, the previously mentioned John Mayberry Jr. delivered a three-run homer off Cristhian Martinez to give Philadelphia the well deserved win.