A strong throw by Garrett Jones gets Brad Hawpe at the plate in San Diego

The Road Warrior In Garrett Jones

Garrett Jones is in the middle of a 16-for-46 stretch of awesomeness. He has only three hits at PNC Park while slugging just .304, but when GFJ and the Pirates put PNC Park in the rearview, watch the production needle from BamBam spike. The slugging jumps to .654 and the OPS veers from just .564 in PNC to a sexy 1.105 thanks in large part to ten walks.

In 2010, GI Jones had an OPS that was 50 points higher on the road as well.

During his current hot streak, Jones has hit five bombs and his two-run shot last night at Petco Park was a thing of beauty. But most of us have seen the impressive power before from Jones.

Jones flashed some fielding gems with his outfield play in San Diego last night that were keys to the Pirates securing a 4-3 victory.

Pirates starter James McDonald has a pet peeve and he’s called Brad Hawpe who has had solid success against the right hander. Hawpe ripped a double and moved to third on a fielders choice groudout. Then it happened, that moment when Pirates fans slide up to the edge of their seat.  Eric Patterson had lifted a fly ball to right field toward Jones.

The worst mistake Hawpe would make last night was going back to tag.   Jones played it perfectly, quickly snatching the ball with his glove hand and with all of his six foot four, 240 pound body providing the momentum, Jones fired a strike from his left hand toward Chris Snyder. The Bucs catcher did the rest by taking a step behind home plate, where he waited for the quick hop, grabbed the ball, and then lunged forward to tag out Hawpe on his arrival at the plate.

We’re pretty sure we heard Jones scream “OHHHHH WHAT A RUSH” from right field as Snyder got back to his feet.

When asked about the throw after the game by everyone’s favorite ROOT Sports announcer Lacee Collins, Chris Snyder said,

It was huge….I got the good hop, I just sold out…bang-bang play and we came out on the winning end of it.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said this about his left fielder.

“He’s got an arm, and he made an important play for us there. If we don’t get that out, we could still be playing right now.”

Although the gun job at the plate was a fist pumper for those of us watching from home, the grab that robbed shortstop Jason Bartlett of a sure double in the fourth inning was yet another example of the improvement Jones has shown in playing right field.

Now with his success away from PNC Park yet again this year, his OPS was fifty points higher on the road in 2010 as well, could we add yet another nickname to the man who seems to have a million of them?

Road Warrior might be one Jones likes even better.

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