Dan Uggla is the latest player in the DiMaggio chase who falls short. It seemed he had a few more games to this streak in him – Uggla was hotter during the last week than this whole season and hitting streak, bombing home runs and finally getting some multiple hit games. Alas, the longest hitting streak in the Majors in five years is now over.
Uggla saw only nine pitches in the 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs, the Braves’ second in a row. He swung early, did get one RBI with a sacrifice fly and was close to a hit before a stretching out Darwin Barney caught it for the out with an impressive catch.
Speaking of Barney, he continued is impressive weekend with 3 hits. Carlos Pena was the game changer today with his two run bomb in the 7th, giving the Cubs the 6-5 lead after trailing all day. The Braves were 4-0 up till the sixth inning before Brandon Beachy started slipping away on the mound.
So how to summarize Uggla’s streak? Surprising, to say the least. Redeeming. The Braves made Uggla a very wealthy man with his 9.1 million dollars a year contract, the third highest on Atlanta’s roster behind Chipper Jones and Derek Lowe. He was also arguably the worst hitting player in the Majors heading into July – .173 batting average (the worst in the league), .568 OPS. He had only 12 home runs and 29 RBIs.
Uggla, the Florida Marlins’ all time leader in home runs came to Atlanta after a season with 33 home runs and 105 RBIs while batting .287. His career OPS never dropped under .805. But then came the series against the Rockies. The Braves won all four games, and Dan Uggla rediscovered his hitting. Since then? .350 batting average with 15 home runs (putting him among the NL’s best with 27) and 33 RBIs, the best for the Braves.
So where will his name be etched in the history books? This was the longest streak for an Atlanta Braves player and second longest for a Braves player behind Tommy Holmes with 37. His 33 is tied with Rogers Hornsby for longest ever by a second baseman. His 33 is the best since 2006 (Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley), and one of 23 players in MLB history to have a streak this long. DiMaggio? Still far far away with 56, a record 70 years old and aging well, like good wine.