Not that Atlanta's recent run of injuries has bordered on the absurd, but a baseball came zooming out of the sky to knock slugger Chipper Jones out of the lineup Friday night in Anaheim.
Just like a meteor or something.
Actually, what happened was this: Jones, leading the majors with a .414 batting average, took a cut during batting practice, drilled the ball skyward ... but it slammed into one of the batting cage poles and ricocheted straight down, slamming into his left eye. Fortunately, the Braves announced late Saturday that X-rays were negative and are listing Jones as day-to-day.
For any other team, it might have been a freak thing.
For the Braves, who took a six-game losing streak into the weekend and were an embarrassing 7-24 on the road, it was business as usual.
Then there's reliever Rafael Soriano, who was just activated on June 2 but still can't (or won't) pitch on consecutive days.
And then there's Jair Jurrjens, who was scratched from Wednesday's start in Chicago when he turned an ankle falling down the stairs outside of the Wrigley Field visting clubhouse.
"We've had tough luck," said Tim Hudson, the rare member of the opening day rotation still standing, was saying not long before Jones took the ball off of his coconut and was lost Friday night. "Smoltz, Soriano ... nagging injuries throughout the year.
"Glavine's down. It's tough. We're not going to throw a pity party. It seems like every team is going through it. But we've been hit with some tough ones."
Even before Jones was taken for precautionary X-rays Friday night, the Braves put Smoltz on a conference call at midday to discuss his shoulder surgery. The legendary right-hander, though finished for the season, was optimistic on the call that he will come back.
Meantime, the Braves announced that tests revealed a small tear in Glavine's elbow but that he won't need surgery and should be back around the All-Star break.
It's not good at the back end of the bullpen, either, where Moylan last year developed into one of manager Bobby Cox's most trusted set-up men. Moylan had Tommy John ligament transfer surgery earlier this season.
"His stuff was as dirty as anyone's in the game," Hudson said.
Entering this weekend, 17 disabled list moves had cost the Braves 507 games.
Likes: The Iowa Boy Scouts. Now those are scouts. ... The halo on the Big A outside Angels Stadium being lit on nights following a victory but remaining dark on nights following a loss. ... David Letterman's Top Ten Signs an NBA Game is Fixed the other night, which included: 10. Game begins 20 minutes before visiting team arrives. 7. Missed three-pointers count for two points if they're "pretty close." 3. The team loses even though it led in points, delegates and the popular vote. ... The cab that Dave O'Brien, beat man for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Mark Bowman, of MLB.com, was involved in an accident on the Dan Ryan Freeway in Chicago on Friday morning as the pair were attempting to travel to Southern California. Good news is, it was a minor fender-bender and everyone was OK. But O'Brien, vice-president of the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America, and Bowman were forced to unload their bags from the cab and frantically hail another mode of transportation right there on the freeway. A Super Shuttle picked them up.
Dislikes: Sad, sad day when Tim Russert suddenly passes away at the far-too-young age of 58. Prayers for his family.
Rock 'N' Roll Lyric of the Day:
"Mama, take this badge off of me
"I can't use it anymore.
"It's gettin' dark, too dark for me to see
"I feel like I'm knockin' on heaven's door."
-- Bob Dylan, Knockin' on Heaven's Door