Dan Uggla went 2 for 4 and hit a three run homer in Wednesday’s 6-4 win over the Washington Nationals, ending Atlanta’s three game losing skid. Uggla improved his hitting streak to 25 games and has been on a tear since July started.
With injuries to heart-of-the-order hitters Chipper Jones and Brian McCann, Atlanta’s lineup was hurting. Dan Uggla has moved up to the cleanup spot since he’s been on this tear and is swinging with more power and confidence. In July, Uggla hit .293 with 8 home runs and 19 RBI’s. In August’s three games, Uggla is 6 for 12 with 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s.
This is the same Dan Uggla that was heavily scrutinized in the first half because of his poor play and lucrative 5 year, $62 million deal he signed at the beginning of the season. In the second half, Uggla has been stepping up when the Braves need him most.
As a team, the Braves have been falling in the standings over the past two weeks and now sit 8 games back of the division leading Philadelphia Phillies and only 2.5 games ahead of the surging Arizona Diamondbacks. Their pitching just hasn’t looked as sharp as they did at the season’s start, but with the bullpen’s heavy workload in 2011, it’s understandable they if they are tired. The starting pitchers just haven’t been going as deep into games lately.
The Braves open up a three game road series against the New York Mets before heading to Florida to face the Marlins. Both series are very winnable and can give the Braves some much-needed breathing room in the standings. If the Braves can steal some games before Jones and McCann return to provide relief, the playoffs will look like a lock for Atlanta’s young team.
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