It was only his twelfth start of the 2006 season, but Pete Orr made his Saturday game against the Brewers count. He was 3-5 with a double, triple, and a RBI. For a player usually coming off the bench, the contribution was important to the Braves' versatile utility man.
"When you get to play an entire game, like I did today, in my first at bat I grounded out to short but I felt okay," Orr explained. "When you pinch hit and ground out to short and feel okay it doesn't really matter cause that's all you get. So I felt good today to take what I learned in my first at bat into my next at bat."
Orr has the unenviable task of being called on to make spot starts when the Braves need help at a certain position. With Willy Aybar hurt and Chipper Jones finishing his rehab in Mississippi, the team needed a starting third baseman. So they called on the man they've counted on to be a top pinch hitter. The ability to come off the bench and start about three times a month is not as easy as many would think.
"It's hard, but it's my job," Orr said. "It's something I've tried to take pride in the last couple of years. This year has been a frustrating year because I haven't done as well as I did last year doing it. But it's my job, and it's a tough thing. It's something I've got to do."
The second-year player leads the Braves team with twelve pinch hits. You can count Orr as one of the many Braves not giving up on this season, despite the huge deficit in the standings.
"No chance," he stressed. "If you look at how much Bobby means to all of us, giving up would be giving up on him. I don't think anyone in this locker room would ever do that. You've just got to keep fighting. Yeah, we've got to win and put together a big streak, but we can't look at it like that. We've got to look at it as ‘today we've got to win.' We've got to get this game and worry about the next game later."
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Orr knows his job on the Braves' team
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