Uggla: ‘I’m going to get hot again…rather it be sooner’

BOSTON – Dan Uggla’s past month has been a bit like the Braves’ season, shifting from two-week power surge to two-week slump without any middle ground.

After hitting .316 with five homers, 16 RBIs and a .789 slugging percentage in 12 games from May 26 to June 9, the second baseman hit .125 with no homers, one RBI and a .150 slugging percentage in his past 12 games before Sunday, including 3-for-31 with 13 strikeouts and no extra-base hits or RBI in his last nine games.

Mets_Braves_Baseball_Carr_t618

It's been hitting feast or famine for Dan Uggla, who went from torrid to his current two-week slump.

“It sucks,” he said, then explained the feeling of quickly going from streak to skid. “You’re rolling, you’re rolling, you’re rolling, then all of a sudden you have a game where you’re just locked in and you feel great for the next couple of days and get nothing out of it. Then the next thing you know, you’re battling.

“You’re getting pitched tough, and the one mistake you might get you foul it back instead of hitting it over the fence. Just one of those things you’ve got to battle through.”

If it were another hitter, such a sudden swing in production might be a mental drain. But hot and cold streaks are nothing new to Uggla, as Braves fans learned in his crazy first season with the Braves in 2011: He hit .173 with 12 homers and a .568 OPS in 86 games through July 4, and .301 with 24 homers and a .982 OPS in 75 games the rest of the way.

Even by Uggla’s standards, that was a dramatic shift.

This latest reversal of fortunes has been a blip by comparison, at least so far. Neither Uggla nor manager Fredi Gonzalez is the least bit concerned that he’ll snap out of it before much longer.

“He’ll come out today and get four hits,” Gonzalez said, not predicting a four-hit game so much as indicating how quickly things can change with Uggla. “I don’t worry about him anymore. I’ve been with him so long, and everybody saw what he did last year. I don’t worry about him.”

Uggla disputed the “no middle ground” part of my assertion regarding his recent surge-to-slump stretch of games. He noted that during the last homestand, he was on base a lot, albeit with walks.

“The first six games of the homestand, I probably got on base more then just from walks,” said Uggla, who drew 12 walks during the first eight games of the Braves’ nine-game homestand that ended last Sunday (he had three hits and 11 strikeouts in nine games on that homestand).

“I walked four times one game,” he said. “Then it was just like, oh God, where are the hits at?”

Gonzalez said, “At the end of the year, all those [typical Uggla] numbers will be there.”

Uggla is having an unusual season in that he’s walking and whiffing at the highest rates of his career, with 50 walks and 82 strikeouts, leading the Braves in both of those statistics as well as home runs (11) and RBIs (42) before Sunday. He began Sunday tied for third in NL in strikeouts, only two behind leaders Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks.

He was hitting .244 (13 points below his career average) with a .372 on-base percentage that would be the highest of his career, and Uggla was on pace for 114 walks and 187 strikeouts, which would easily surpass his career highs of 92 walks and 171 strikeouts.

He’s also on pace for 25 homers, after totaling more than 30 each of the past five seasons, and 96 RBI, about five above his career average.

For now, he’ll keep trying to bust out of his recent slump and at least keep getting on base via walks until he starts getting hits.

“Yeah. I mean, [drawing walks] is not near as much fun,” he said, “and it’s still frustrating when you’re not getting those base hits, or you might draw a walk to set up a double play…. It’s just one of those things, man. You battle through, keep working. I’m going to get hot again. I’d just rather it be sooner than later.”

• Cook today, not Buchholz: In case you missed it yesterday, the Red Sox recalled Aaron Cook from Triple-A to start today’s series finale against the Braves in place of Clay Buchholz (8-2, 5.53 ERA), who went on the DL with a gastrointestinal illness.

Former Rockies right-hander Cook will face Braves lefty Mike Minor. Cook gave up eight hits and seven runs (six earned) in 2-2/3 innings of his only major league game this season, a May 5 loss to Baltimore. He was spiked in the third inning of that game and went on the disabled list. Cook is 1-2 with a 5.18 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) against the Braves, though most of those came were before many current Braves were on the team. His only start against them in past two years was in July, when he gave up 10 hits and seven runs in five innings of a loss at Atlanta.

Brian McCann is 6-for-20 against Cook.

• Chipper out of lineup: Against Cook, Chipper Jones is 9-for-26 with two homers. However, Chipper’s out of the lineup today. Body’s aching and Fredi was going to rest him today anyway, unless he felt great and said he wanted to play.

Farewell tour continued with Chipper being honored at New York and Boston, but this trip will end with him on bench resting Sunday.

Farewell tour continued with Chipper being honored at New York and Boston, but this trip will end with him on bench resting Sunday.

When I asked him this morning, Chipper said, “I’m hurting today. [Gonzalez] was going to give me the day off, regardless.”

BRAVES LINEUP

  1. Bourn CF
  2. Prado LF
  3. McCann C
  4. Uggla 2B
  5. Freeman 1B
  6. Heyward RF
  7. Simmons SS
  8. Hinske DH
  9. Francisco 3B

• Etc.

Michael Bourn had three hits Saturday and collected his 19th and 20th stolen bases, putting him on pace for his fifth consecutive season with more than 40 stolen bases. Since the beginning of the 2008 season, Bourn leads the majors with 235 stolen bases. When leading off innings,

Bourn has hit a sizzling .349 (44-for-126) with 12 extra-base hits (3 HR) and a .901 OPS….

Jason Heyward enters Sunday with a nine-game hitting streak, during which he was 14-for-33 (.424) with five doubles, one triple, two homers and an .818 slugging percentage. Heyward’s .369 June average before Sunday was third in the NL, and Bourn’s 349 was sixth. Uggla’s .175 was fifth-lowest….

Martin Prado had just his third multi-walk game of the season on Saturday and his first since April 30 (he had two walks in each of those games). In his past 41 games, Prado has hit .349 (58-for-166) with 18 extra-base hits, 24 runs, 12 RBI, 14 walks, 15 strikeouts, six steals (no caught stealings) and a .401 OBP and .506 slugging percentage….

Rookie Andrelton Simmons’ past 10 games before Sunday: .412/.432/.588 with six RBIs, four extra-base hits. Yeah, I’d say kid’s a keeper….

Against today’s Braves starter Mike Minor, Marlon Byrd is 4-for-8 and Cody Ross is 2-for-3, the only Red Sox who’ve faced him….

Let’s close with Van Morrison’s gem “And It Stoned Me,” which you can hear by clicking here. And play ball.

Van-Morrison-V

“AND IT STONED ME” by Van Morrison

Half a mile from the county fair
And the rain keep pourin’ down
Me and Billy standin’ there
With a silver half a crown

Hands are full of a fishin’ rod
And the tackle on our backs
We just stood there gettin’ wet
With our backs against the fence

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water

Hope it don’t rain all day
And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like Jelly Roll
And it stoned me

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me

Then the rain let up and the sun came up
And we were gettin’ dry
Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by
So we jumped right in and the driver grinned

And he dropped us up the road
We looked at the swim and we jumped right in
Not to mention fishing poles

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Let it run all over me

And it stoned me to my soul
Stoned me just like goin’ home
And it stoned me

On the way back home we sang a song
But our throats were getting dry
Then we saw the man from across the road
With the sunshine in his eyes

Well he lived all alone in his own little home
With a great big gallon jar
There were bottles too, one for me and you
And he said Hey! There you are

Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Oh, the water
Get it myself from the mountain stream

— David O’Brien, Braves/MIB blog

2,476 comments Add your comment

BFChris27

June 24th, 2012
1:47 pm

nolie

June 24th, 2012
1:51 pm

Nava having a helluva year so far

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
1:51 pm

Same ol’ Mac….worthless.

BFChris27

June 24th, 2012
1:52 pm

Lets go Braves!!!!

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
1:53 pm

Same ol’ Mac….worthless.

Oh good…I was scared this new blog would be different from the last one.

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

Why is the bat boy hitting 2nd and playing 2nd for the Red Sox?

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

jeffrey d

Eff off.

tvsportscaster

June 24th, 2012
1:54 pm

Glad Marlon Byrd is 4 for 8 against Minor, but considering he is no longer a member of the Red Sox it probably doesn’t mean much.

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

You got it, chief!

nolie

June 24th, 2012
1:56 pm

not to worry about that Jeffrey

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
1:57 pm

Mixxo, jeffrey clowned your ass, son! Very funny jeffrey.

VaBravesFan

June 24th, 2012
1:57 pm

Red Sox have the rook batting 3rd.

Ryan Braun and David Wright both were called up to the bigs and plugged in the 3 hole as rookies from the get go. Just to note.

Del

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

When oh when is McOut going to moved out of the 3 hole? It’s absolutly insane to keep him there!
Doesn’t our so called mgr ever look at stats for heavens sake? With McOut squinting and blinking at home plate constantly I wonder about his sight. His lack of good results would indicate something like that is wrong.

Efrim

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

a month ago most would be raising hell at the thought of extending Heyward ….

Which is why he should want to sign a contract that provides him with security. I don’t see him going year to year, and I don’t see the people around him giving him that sort of advice. Wren should want an extension too, hope that’s a top priority this winter.

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

ChattTqlownBrian -

Anytime Big boy. ;)

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

jeffrey d Oh good…I was scared this new blog would be different from the last one.

Yeah. THere’s always that concern that those little nuggets will get buried at the end of the old Blog…Big load off my mind, for sure…

brian

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

Love to see heyward keep up his good hitting today. But first what does uggla have for us

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
1:58 pm

Thanks DOB. If I’m shopping for talent in the outfield, I’d check in with Boston once their injured players get healthy. If you could get a kid for four or five years before free agency kicks in, with our ownership that maybe the way to go.

McFann's date

June 24th, 2012
1:59 pm

You were wonderful last night Fanny.

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:00 pm

Thanks for the blog, DOB…great work as always. No bear writer from NY or Boston could’ve ever done that good.

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
2:00 pm

First pitch Freddie right on cue!

Jerry

June 24th, 2012
2:00 pm

Great! A new blog with an article about Uggla gonna get hot again, and as soon as I see the headline, Uggla grounds out to short. Way to hang in there Uggla! At least he didn’t strikeout again.

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
2:00 pm

Announcers just need to push a button that says “first pitch swinging by Freeman” after that first pitch. Why waste precious oxygen saying it.

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

Yay, Heyward!

George Stein

June 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

That’ll work, Jason. Love seeing him go to left.

brian

June 24th, 2012
2:01 pm

Thank you Jason!!!

Stayed on the baseball and hit it the other way with authority

Efrim

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

He’s awesome. Go Jason! When are they going to start walking the kid?

DAM

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

Heyward third, McCann fifth. Do it.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

It’s okay….we’ve got Hinske and Francisco coming up next inning

VaBravesFan

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

pathetic hit by Simmons there lol, would like to see the kid have a little more patience.

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
2:02 pm

Lot of young players on the team. Too many ya think?

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:03 pm

DAM

Is this a petition? Where do I sign??…

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:04 pm

Heyward 3rd, McCant traded….

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:05 pm

That’s not such a good idea…

Efrim

June 24th, 2012
2:05 pm

BenBadler Definitely. Great sign by the Braves RT @Jaypers413 Your thoughts on LHP Luis Merejo? One to watch?

I’ve read a lot of good things about the Braves international signings that they have made the last two years. They have spent close to Top 10 money wise on that market. Very different to their approach in the Rule 4 draft. Gotta tip your cap to Johnny Almaraz.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:05 pm

count_schemula

June 24th, 2012
2:05 pm

Uggla: ‘I’m going to get hot again”

Well, that’s good to hear.

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:06 pm

Does that mean Uggla is going to set himself on fire? I have a match…

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:07 pm

….I kinda like that nickname though, McCant….

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:07 pm

How often do they have to use a 10 on the scoreboard?

George Stein

June 24th, 2012
2:08 pm

I tend to think Heyward should be hitting higher in the order, but I do have to say that I like Fredi not overreacting to 20 games of data.

No way Freeman should be hitting higher than 8th, though, until he improves his approach at the plate.

Efrim

June 24th, 2012
2:10 pm

I agree. I have no problem with Heyward hitting lower in the order.

Jerry

June 24th, 2012
2:11 pm

Loved the standing O for Youkilis.

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:12 pm

Attaboy Mike.

ncbravesfan90

June 24th, 2012
2:12 pm

That standing O for Youkilis just shows what a class act he is.

VaBravesFan

June 24th, 2012
2:13 pm

Heyward should bat 6th every game.

brian

June 24th, 2012
2:13 pm

Not exactly ready to field right there

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
2:14 pm

Chatt- If they’re good young players, then go for it. It should cost you less in talent in return and salary. You’ve got to remember who writes the checks around here and what’s important to them. And it sure ain’t throwing down a boat load Benjamins for a player.

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:14 pm

You’re ok with hitting Freeman 8th….then I hope you’re also OK with McCann hitting 7th, 9th or benched….so much for him “finding the flaw in his swing”…he’s hitting .222 in June with…wait for it….4 RBI. Awesome.

brian

June 24th, 2012
2:14 pm

Nice strikeout

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:15 pm

JNick -

Yeah man, Mac’s tearin’ it up ain’t he? :D

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:15 pm

I wonder what Alex Gonzalez is up to

thetalkingmonkey

June 24th, 2012
2:15 pm

Don’t the braves have better bench players than the likes of Eric the Blob Hinske?

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:15 pm

JNick ….I kinda like that nickname though, McCant….

Not exactly original…

VaBravesFan

June 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

Heyward has produced his best numbers over his career when batting 6th in the lineup. And to note that only 13 of those starts batting 6th came during his monster rookie season. Heyward has completely mashed the ball this season when batting 6th.

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

Mixxo –

Think Boston would take McCann for Salty? I can dream, can’t I?

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

What a bunch of drama queens

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

McFann – hi pot, meet kettle….

Blaze

June 24th, 2012
2:16 pm

I’ve been wondering all year and quoting “Why do we put McCann in the 3-hole”…..don’t need a strong double-play chance coming up to hit when speed is on the bases. I’d rather have Dan Uggla. His on- base percentage is good. He has speed; however, the obvious choice is the HOT HITTING JASON!! Let him have it, coach. Its time!

Don’t look any further than the opposing dugout……Who is hitting 3rd for the Red Sox? Answer: Coach Valentine has a hot hitting ROOKIE. Take a lesson from this!! Put Jason in the 3 hole!

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

I’m ok with Heyward batting 6th if he’s comfortable there….I’m NOT ok with the guy hitting .222 and 4RBI in June batting 3rd.

Bravefaninok

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:15 pm

I wonder what Alex Gonzalez is up to

Rehabbing ACL surgery…

Bat Masterson

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

Atta boy, Heavy

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

Think Boston would take McCann for Salty? I can dream, can’t I?

Salty’s hitting .211 in June and .246 in his career.

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

Hinske shaved and it brought him some luck.

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

keylargo

June 24th, 2012
2:18 pm

recovering from the torn ACL

T-Dawg

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Cook is throwing grapefruits up there. It better be 6-0 soon.

nolie

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Juans gonna come thru….

Efrim

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Minor looks good. Did last time though….

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Thanks Bravefaninok. The standing O made me think of him :)

Tomahawk Mafia

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Hinske better score in this situation. The hit was awesome too.

Blaze

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

I know Heyward has hit well in the 6th hole…..he more than likely would hit well any where at this time. Where you hit in the line-up is so over-rated to me. Its more about who hits behind you and how the pitcher’s approach will be.

David O'Brien

June 24th, 2012
2:19 pm

Hinske actually kinda crushed that ball….

Tomahawk Mafia

June 24th, 2012
2:20 pm

It is difficult to trust Francisco’s ability to move Hinske along in this at bat.

TNScott

June 24th, 2012
2:20 pm

Good AB, Juan. Boy, you can’t say that everyday!!

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

Hinske actually kinda crushed that ball….

And then Nava jumps against the wall like he’s in a bouncy castle

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

“Think Boston would take McCann for Salty? I can dream, can’t I?” – JNick

Indeed you can!

That would be nice.

Ralph

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

Need to do it today!

Ralph

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

Need to do it today!

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

So Salty would cost us like $10 mil less than McCann, with similar numbers, and probably better defense….

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

T-Dawg

June 24th, 2012
2:21 pm

Will this be a day Bourn is 5-5 or 0-5?

George Stein

June 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

Heyward did pretty well in the two hole, too. The issue is that his spot in the lineup is likely not the variable that is driving Heyward’s success.

David O'Brien

June 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

That was Hinske’s first extra-base hit since May 4, when he doubled and homered in 4-hit game at Colorado. Was 4-for-58 since then.

ncbravesfan90

June 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

He dropped it!!!!!!!

Tomahawk Mafia

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

This team has no luck at all.

jeffrey d

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

Will this be a day Bourn is 5-5 or 0-5?

Neither…he’s 1-2

VaBravesFan

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

Go back to the dugout Fredi! Don’t try arguing calls now. Just sit in there and tip your cap to everything that happens.

McFann :Ô: :Ô: :ô:

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

JNick hi pot, meet kettle….

Helloooooo…

Although I AM the first person to post on here as “McFann”, whereas bajillions of folks have used your little nickname there…

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

Salty has an .849 OPS for the season….

T-Dawg

June 24th, 2012
2:23 pm

Home cookin, Baby. Boston-style.

JNick

June 24th, 2012
2:24 pm

McFann, I just said I liked it…that’s all. It’s fitting. Never claimed that I invented it…Calm down, just b/c I’m doggin’ on your boy toy.

ncbravesfan90

June 24th, 2012
2:24 pm

Proud of you Fredi! That’s the fire power this team needs to see every night!

ChattTqlownBrian

June 24th, 2012
2:24 pm

Prado sure takes a lot of hittables

Ted

June 24th, 2012
2:24 pm

Poor video work.

Mixxo

June 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

Double wasted….typical.

ncbravesfan90

June 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

Looks like we need to get Youk real quick! He’s killing us haha

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