Dan Uggla, the Streak, and His Place in History

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Dan Uggla, up until July 5, nearly 100 games into the season, was having an awful spring and early summer. How bad? His batting average was .173 (career – .258), his OBP was .241 (career – .341), his Slugging was .327 (career – .480) and OPS at .568, with his career numbers above the .800. Then came the Colorado series, and a month later, Uggla is carrying a 29 game hitting streak with him, getting number 29 yesterday against the Florida Marlins.

The all time home run leader for the Marlins needs one more hit to become the 55th player in Major league history with a hitting streak of at least 30 games. Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers who carried his streak into this year, was stopped at 30.

Since his streak began, Uggla has had 8 multiple hits games, bombed 12 home runs (24 for the season, hitting the first 12 over 3 months) and 27 RBIs, with his season total at 56. The most important number, the one under W in the standing, is 16 since his streak began. The Braves were doing actually better, a bit better, when Uggla was struggling.

Chances of making it 31? Uggla has had 8 at bats against tonight’s starter for the Florida Marlins Clay Hensley (1-4, 4.46 ERA), getting two hits and one home run.

Anytime a streak like this begins, you look up at the best – Joe DiMaggio’s 56. The most incredible thing about DiMaggio isn’t just the 56. He went on another streak of 16, making it 72 hits in 73 games back in 1941. The closest anyone has ever gotten since was Pete Rose in 1978 with 44 hits. Of active players, Jimmy Rollins made it to 38, stretching over two seasons, back in 2006. A special year, with Willy Taveras going for 30 that season and Chase Utley, Rollins’ teammate on the Phillies, was stopped at 35.

In local terms, Uggla is very close to becoming the best. Since the Braves moved back to Atlanta in 1966, Rico Carty’s 31 has been the longest hitting streak for the franchise. Uggla is two hits away against his former team from reaching Carty. Tommy Holmes, who played for the franchise during its Boston Braves era (1941-1952, the second era), hold the franchise record with 37 in 1945.

And one final thing about Uggla – His batting average was the worst in the Majors when his streak began – .173, as we’ve already mentioned. It’s .220 now – He’s been hitting .256 since the streak began. Not that great, despite his overall “hotness”.