Uggla’s early homer sends Braves, Maholm past Padres

Paul Maholm wasn’t dominant like he’d been five days before against the Mets, but he was plenty sharp Wednesday on a night when the Braves broke out the big bats for a couple of innings and hammered the San Diego Padres.

Dan Uggla’s three-run homer highlighted a six-run scoring flurry in the third and fourth innings that propelled Maholm and the Braves to a 6-1 win against the Padres at Turner Field, where the Braves collected their 16th win 21 games but remained 4-1/2 games behind equally hot National League East leader Washington.

“It’s good to keep winning, bottom line,” said Heyward, who went 2-for-2 with two doubles and two walks.

After throwing a three-hit shutout against the Mets on Sunday, Maholm (11-7) allowed five hits and one run in seven innings and improved to 7-1 with a 1.19 ERA in his past nine starts, including 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in three since being traded from the Cubs.

The veteran left-hander didn’t get too excited about surpassing his previous best single-season wins total.

“We’ve got a long way to go the rest of the season, so I’m just going to keep doing my routine, keep expecting to win every time out,” he said. “When you’ve got a club that’s playing well it’s fun to come in every day and it’s fun to go out there for your start days.”

Maholm had three walks and seven strikeouts, including two strikeouts after the Padres loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning.

Logan Forsythe’s two-out homer in the third was the only run against Maholm and gave the Padres a 1-0 lead, before the Braves blitzed Edinson Volquez (7-9) for three runs in the third and three more in the fourth before a crowd of 16,302, the second-smallest of the season at Turner Field. Two of the three smallest  have come in the past two nights.

Martin Prado added three hits for the Braves have a 26-10 record since July 5, but have gained only 1-1/2 games in that torrid stretch against the Nationals (26-13).

Five of six Braves runs came with two outs, on Uggla’s homer and Jason Heyward’s two-run double in the fourth that chased Volquez from the game.

Volquez has lasted fewer than four innings in three consecutive starts, and the former Cincinnati right-hander has allowed 21 earned runs, 22 hits and five homers in 13-2/3 innings over his past four starts.

He threw a letters-high 95-mph fastball to Uggla with two out in the third, and the thick-armed second baseman somehow got on top of the pitch and uncoiled, pulling the ball to the left-field seats for his 15th homer and second in as many nights against the Padres. The ball tore through the air and into the stands on a low trajectory, giving the Braves a 3-1 lead.

“He’s heating up,” Gonzalez said. “That ball that he hit today was gone in a heartbeat. He hit the ball hard, and Jason got some good hits and drove in some runs and Prado had a three-hit night.

The Braves hope they’re seeing a long-awaited turnaround for Uggla, who also walked twice Wednesday and is 9-for-26 with three homers and nine RBIs in his past eight games.

“I guess it felt a little up,” Uggla said of the pitch he drove to the seats. “But that’s what happens when you’re on time. When I’m on time, my bat’s as quick as anybody’s. I was able to get on top of one finally. Man, it felt good.”

He has eight extra-base hits and 16 RBIs in past 16 games, after hitting just .110 with four extra-base hits and nine RBIs in his previous 42 games.

“Just to get on base, get some hits, drive some runners in, score some runs — that’s when you know you’re getting back on track, when you’re creating some run production,” Uggla said. “That’s the only thing I really care about, scoring runs and driving in runs. Once you get to this level, that’s all it’s about.”

In the first five innings, the Padres went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left two or more runners on in three innings.

“He wiggled out of some jams,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Maholm. “He wasn’t as sharp as he was in New York obviously, but he kept us in the ballgame. I’ll talk to him tomorrow about it, but I think sometimes he’s not afraid to walk a guy to get to a guy he wants.”

Gonzalez wondered if Maholm intended to walk Everth  Cabrera to load the bases with one out in the fourth, bringing up Nick Hundley and Volquez. Gonzalez joked that if so, it would help to know in the future for the health of he and pitching coach Roger McDowell, who were getting a bit worried on the bench.

“I looked like from sitting in the dugout, he wanted to face those two guys,” said Gonzalez, who planned to ask the pitcher about it later. “He didn’t want to walk the shortstop [Cabrera] but he didn’t want to give him something to hit.”

Maholm told reporters later that yes, he’d been careful with Cabrera, an approach he learned while growing up watching his idol Tom Glavine pitch for the Braves.

“Whenever you have guys that aren’t have the years that they’re capable of, obviously I’m not going to give in to Cabrera when I’ve got Hundley and the pitcher coming up,” Maholm said.  “I threw some close pitches [to Cabrera] and he laid off of them. You just kind of move on and go after the next guy.”

“[Glavine] is a Hall of Famer, so I’m not going to compare myself to him. But I think I try and keep the same mindset no matter what, and not give in. Like I said when I got here, my mindset is to not give in and not allow the other team know whether you’ve got your good stuff. No matter what the score is, I’m  going to go and compete and just try to keep it calm and compete and just make pitches.”

The Braves wasted a scoring opportunity in the second inning after Uggla’s leadoff walk and a Juan Francisco double put two in scoring position with none out. Uggla was thrown out at home trying to scoring on McCann’s grounder to first base and Paul Janish popped out before Maholm struck out to end the inning.

In the third, the Braves had two runners in scoring position again, after a Prado one-out single followed by a Heyward double. Freddie Freeman hit a comebacker and Prado was caught in a rundown between third and home for the second out.

Just when some in the crowd might’ve been thinking it could be night of wasted opportunities, Uggla brought everyone to attention with his laser to the seats.

“It’s just huge to see him staying with it like we know he can,” Heyward said of Uggla. “I’m really happy for him to put together a lot of good ABs in the last few weeks. He looked really dangerous at the plate.”

In the fourth, the Braves put two on with one out. Michael Bourn drove in the first run with a groundout that tipped off Volquez glove to the second baseman. Prado followed with a single and Heyward lined a double deep to the right-center gap that rolled to the wall and brought in both runners for a 6-1 lead.

Volquez fell to 1-3 in five starts against Atlanta, who allowed only one fewer earned run in 3-2/3 innings than had allowed in 22 innings of his previous games against the Braves. The Braves batted .169 with 29 strikeouts against him in those starts, but it was an entirely different story Wednesday – except for the part where Volquez gets no run support. That part was repeated.

“You don’t want to get behind 0-2, 1-2 on a guy like that, who has such good stuff,” Uggla said. “He’s got a lot of things he can make you swing and miss with, and he’s got a fastball he can blow by you. So it’s just a matter of not missing that mistake, and if you do get behind in the count you’ve got to stick your nose in there and just grind until you get something you can handle.”

49 comments Add your comment


August 15th, 2012
10:02 pm

Matthew 19:30


August 15th, 2012
10:02 pm

Great game tonight and a chance tomorrow to gain a half game on the Nats. I love our chances with Meds on the mound


August 15th, 2012
10:02 pm

Uggla’s swinging’ it!


August 15th, 2012
10:03 pm

Very fitting verse Matt, I like it.

Ken Stallings

August 15th, 2012
10:12 pm

Uggla with the big three-run blast and Maholm scatters 6 hits over 7 complete with 3 walks and 7 K’s. The Braves are really on a roll and the Padres came into town playing good baseball. Heyward also is swigging the bat very well and he hit an RBI producing double. The player who is a pleasant surprise and doesn’t get much recognition is Ben Francisco, who spelled Chipper again and produced at the plate and in the field again. He’s looking like a more than merely capable replacement for Chipper next season.

ESPN puts the D in ouche

August 15th, 2012
10:15 pm

Suck it Melkey.


August 15th, 2012
10:18 pm

Great game, BRAVOS!!! :)

Good to see Uggla performing closer to his career numbers…at least in August. He deserves it. He works extremely hard.

DOB, you know someone that has been a little under the radar for August?

Juan Francisco. What’s he batting now, .260ish? Been great lately.


August 15th, 2012
10:20 pm

I remember when Juan was batting under .200 not that long ago…at least I believe so!

Rick Mahler

August 15th, 2012
10:38 pm

Maybe the Roids made Melky act like such an ass when the Giants were in town. Wish they would also punish teams when players get in trouble like this

Rick Mahler

August 15th, 2012
10:39 pm

Definitely glad we got maholm instead of Dumpster, look at what both have done since they have left the cubs


August 15th, 2012
10:45 pm


David O'Brien

August 15th, 2012
10:49 pm

Uggla homering on high-and-a-little-in pitch: “I don’t know, I guess it felt a little up. But that’s what happens when you’re on time. When I’m on time, my bat’s as quick as anybody’s.”


August 15th, 2012
11:18 pm

you may have two good dogs, but you have zero good comments.. would you like some cheese to go with your whine?

man and dog

August 15th, 2012
11:23 pm

Uggla – it’s called balance. And you have stoppped the toe-tapping thing. Funny how you hit better.


August 15th, 2012
11:24 pm

Uggla blasting us to victory at .215 … yay popeye…yay

lee maye

August 15th, 2012
11:49 pm

When you are on time. Problem is he is seldom on time. Stopping that toe dance must have helped. Now, leveling the swing might help more. Or, not swinging one handed. I am sure that the batting coach can’t help Uggla. No one else swings like this. Still on target for 186 K’s, which would be a Braves record. Heyward and Bourn are also on target to break Andruw Jones’ record.

Teddy B

August 16th, 2012
12:27 am

Way to break out of it Uggla! So glad he’s woke up. I don’t think he could’ve picked a better time to start producing. We need all we can get right now, and with Uggla starting to punish the ball again we’re in better shape than ever. I like our chances going forward b/c Washington is shutting down their ace soon and our guys are just starting to click and produce at a higher level. Next 2 months should be interesting if we can keep this up!

My dude Heyward is heating up again, I called it earlier this week that he looked tired and needed a day off to get his head straight and get some rest. We need him healthy, he’s been the difference that has won us quite a few games this year. He was 2-2 today and smoked that double something fierce! I thought it was another HR at first. I think by 2013 Heyward will be our main offensive threat with Freeman and Uggla right behind him, all those guys will hopefully be knocking in Bourn(IF we can keep him) and Prado regularly and scoring lots of runs.

I really think Heyward is going to meet and exceed those high expectations from his rookie year and go on to be something incredible. We need to lock him up long term while he is affordable, I fear that he’s going to get so good over the next couple years we may not have the cash to extend him unless he takes a DEEP hometown discount and these days you just can’t expect everyone to be Chipper Jones.

Even with Chipper, last year he was out so much I was seriously questioning if he was worth all that money but this season he’s been solid and I don’t have much to complain about him so far he looks like younger Chipper. Those days off for rest do him wonders. A true HOF 1st Ballot guy can’t wait to see him inducted!

Once we get Simmons back, we have the making of a team that could win it all. The Braves Dream Team. Every single guy is capable of breaking out and scoring runs at any moment, and that is amazing. Props to Wren for grabbing Maholm instead of Dumpster and signing Sheets, I think once Sheets gets in the routine he’ll be nasty every single start like he used to be!

I love this team! This is our year.

Teddy B

August 16th, 2012
12:38 am

Speaking of Melky, I took my best friend to a game in 2010 and he saw Melky hit a HR and thought he was a great player…mind you my friend knows very little about baseball he’s a MMA fighter…so this season he wasn’t surprised when Melky was actually putting up good numbers, I told him something wasn’t right about that because he NEVER played this good before. Lo and behold, it was the Testosterone.

I just wish they would’ve caught him earlier before he did so much damage to other teams, its a shame. Think of how many games he won for the Giants and getting a spot on the All-Star squad. Someone who doesn’t cheat would’ve appreciated that roster spot VERY MUCH.

I just wish they would’ve tested him as soon as he broke out and was hitting .100 points better than his career average. I personally knew something devious was going on with him all season he looked cut for once and not fatty Melky like he always was. Nobodies don’t go from bench player to MVP runner-up type of numbers overnight. They use drugs to get any edge they can, and when they get caught its a good thing because nobody needs to compete with a drug user who has an unfair edge in today’s baseball. That sends the message to the younger guys that they have to juice to make it, or put up superstar type numbers. Totally wrong, but glad he DID get caught even if half a season too late!

Melky and Manny, two worthless punks

August 16th, 2012
1:26 am

Neither was/is worth a half eaten varsity dog when they are not juiced. Couldn’t happen to a bigger jerk.


August 16th, 2012
1:53 am

Wow. Fans in Atlanta are angry these days. We won another ballgame and 75% of the comments on here are negative. Damn, I hate to see how happy you guys are on a losing streak…

john r smith

August 16th, 2012
2:00 am


Angry? Not to mention we can’t even get fans to the stadium. 16000—geeze , pathetic.


August 16th, 2012
5:41 am

16,000……Really? No excuses in the middle of a pennant race. Where is Braves Country?


August 16th, 2012
5:47 am

I miss the 90s at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium when there was more was more fan support. That place was rocking.


August 16th, 2012
6:51 am

I went to a Braves game once when there were less than a thousand people in the stands. Atlanta fans are fair-weather.

Rick in Macon

August 16th, 2012
7:14 am

SanFran is the home of steroids…guess Melky got his from the guy who supplied Barry Bonds…the King of Cheaters.


August 16th, 2012
7:22 am

I think the Phillies just broke the consecutive sellout streak a week ago despite the free fall that their team is in…how many do THEY average a game ? Their kids are in school too…Their economy is no better than ours.. What’s the excuse? I get angry & disappointed every time I see the disproportionate #’s of empty’s when I look around we’re even getting the coolest weather we’ve had all summer! NO EXCUSE BRAVES COUNTRY! GET WITH IT !


August 16th, 2012
7:36 am

Well, going to a game isn’t cheap…..and school’s also back in.


August 16th, 2012
7:48 am

We’ve had this discussion about attendance before. The problem is that Turner Field is a pain in the butt to get to during the week and the neighborhood around the stadium is such that there is nothing to do before or after the game (unless you want to get mugged). To get to Turner Field, you either end up sitting on the connector forever in rush hour traffic, or you have to leave 3 hours before the game begins – but then you get to the stadium too early with nothing to do. Back in the 90s, I went to about 1/3 of the games every year. I’d still do that if it wasn’t such a hassle getting to the games and if there was something to do near the stadium before or after the games while traffic clears. I have honestly been to more Mets games since 2007 than I have Braves games (train drops you off at the front entrance – NO TRAFFIC).

Good Grief Charlie Brown

August 16th, 2012
7:58 am

@Rick in Macon, 7:14am: and i believe that supplier is/was BALCO founder Victor Conte.

not sure if you caught any of the Nats/Giants game on MLB network yesterday afternoon; it was the Giants local broadcast. towards the end, they were talking about the postgame show and what’s coming up: “including reaction to Cabrera’s suspension from Victor Conte”. you feature THAT on the Giants postgame show guys? really?! where’s Barry when you need him. ;-)

Buzz 2011

August 16th, 2012
8:00 am

When are the Braves moving Uggla out? Great running by Uggs last night. huh?
He is not hitting his weight and isn’t very smart, duh??/

A True Fan

August 16th, 2012
8:08 am

I agree with LewisD. The area around Turner Field needs to be revitalized. There’s nothing there but parking structures and crime. It needs to be a part of something bigger so that we have better and quicker access to it and there’s more to do before and after the game. It truly is a drive 2 hours to get there, watch the game, and head straight home type of destination.


August 16th, 2012
8:31 am

I hear it every year. Atlanta knows how the Braves disappoint them year after year. That memory keeps fans out of the seats. The Braves are playing good ball right now, but we still remember last year’s swan dive.


August 16th, 2012
8:34 am

Amazing! Braves playing great baseball and the depressives can only negatively focus on one player who also happened to hit a 3 run homer. Anybody see an issue there? Do you guys NOT want to see Uggla do well? Did he steal your girlfriend? Did somebody with big muscles kick your bu** in high school?
Fourth best record in MLB
First in NL Fielding
Third In NL Batting(runs scored)
Fourth in NL Pitching
Most balanced club
Best Bullpen in NL
All of that to talk about and the best you can do is rag on a guy that won the game with a 3 run home run. Really? C’mon Dudes, get some perspective.

Carl Farvman

August 16th, 2012
8:39 am

“I agree with LewisD. The area around Turner Field needs to be revitalized.”

Yeah,the location is horrible. I’ve been a fan of the sport most of my life and have gone to 2 games in the 5 years I’ve lived in ATL. Nothing but concrete and barricades. No character to the area.


August 16th, 2012
9:16 am

I agree with the posts about the location of Turner Field. I don’t go to games anymore because I spend more time driving to and from the game than I do watching the game, and I live in Sandy Springs.

Gil in Mechanicsville

August 16th, 2012
9:19 am

Good morning folks, RBIs not withstanding, the kid who is impressing me the most right now is Juan Francisco. He has really turned things things around this season. After his first week with the Braves, I was thinking the Reds knew exactly what they were doing when they unloaded this guy on the Braves. Goes to show how little I really know. The kid can play a mean third base and has become a much more accomplished batter by cutting down on that long loopy swing of his and staying on the ball and taking pitches the other way.

I am hoping he continues to improve and can lose another ten pounds or so and not bulk up during the off season. Muscle tone and not muscle bulk is what it takes to play baseball.

Davey Sprocket

August 16th, 2012
9:42 am

Wow. Teddy B, why should any other team even put 9 guys out there, against the juggernaut Braves? They should just give up, right now! Does anything apear to be a weak spot to you? Are ALL of the young guys destined for unfathomable heights? You worry about the NEXT contracts already?!? You are the definition of a fan(atic). You fail to see that the same thing, only better is happening in Washington, right now. They actually have MORE young players approaching their primes, both hitting and pitching. They are a scrappy team up there, with the best manager in baseball, to boot. The Braves are going to lose the face of the franchise next year, their All-Star CF (most likely), and you all seem to wish your slugging 2B would get traded. You have these touted arms, yet have to go searching for injured guys or journeymen to even fill the starting rotation. The best starter is 36, and the hot shots in the minors are not showing so much anymore – Teheran and Delgado are getting hit pretty good in AAA, even. But I app;aud your truly blind faith in the face of contrary indications. (If you are only 14 years old, I can understand).
@longtimefan – you frequently post the “stats”, but either misread them, misconstrue them, or are otherwise incorrect. The Braves are NOT the most balanced club – the Nationals are. They are number ONE in all of baseball in pitching (they even have the most wins to prove it). They have the best era, among the top 2 or 3 in Ks, near the top in saves (with their closer missing 3 months), and they are even batting over .300 as a staff. Hitting-wise, the Nats have a higher batting average, sugging%, more doubles, and more HRs than the Braves. Theywere decimated by injury early in the year when they struggled to score a lot of runs (talking elbow surgery, cortisone shots, broken wrists, torn ACLs – not “dry eye”). They are the highest scoring team in the Majors since July 5th, coinciding with a few guys coming back There is still the All-Star SS rehabbing and on his way back. In fielding, Washington is tied for 2nd behing the Braves in fielding percentage (which only takes into account the number of errors): Braves at 0.986% and Nats at 0.985%. But the Braves have far less range, especially in the infield (Chipper, Uggla and Freeman are practically statues, and al the SS’s except Simmons are dreadful). So in THAT analysis, the Braves are 10th in Assists, 10th in total chances, 9th in putouts – and that is just in the National league. They will make an occasional nice catch in the outfield, granted, as all teams do. You recall that catch at the wall the Nats’ Bernadina made to save that game in Houston, I’m sure? Nationals are number one in total chances, and top 2 or 3 in putouts, Assists, as well at 0.001% behind the leader in percentage. And that is with a ton of Ks by the pitchers, which give even fewer opportunities. I’d say that overall, I can rest my case about the most balanced team. Be a fan, but do occasionally give your opponents credit too.


August 16th, 2012
10:33 am

Nationals are an excellent team. I look forward to exciting pennant races against them in the years to come. They have great pitching-I am glad to see Strasberg come back from medial collateral ligament replacement so well. However, the Braves future is bright as well. Freeman, Heyward, Simmons, Prado and the arms of Beachy, Teheran, Minor, Delgado, Kimbrel, Venters etc. The Braves have some money to spend and FW will invest it wisely this off season. And if you want to quote partial year stats-look up the Braves pitching the last month or so; they have climbed from middle of the pack to 4th in team ERA. To do that this late in the season you have to be dealing! And as far as the offensive stats go, the only thing that really matters is runs scored. It’s like golf-they have this little box on the scorecard to put your #, no room for commentary, just how many shots did it take to put it in the hole.


August 16th, 2012
10:36 am

Masterful moves by Frank Wren. Getting Sheets and Malholm. If he can get 10 wins out of them this season he should run for president. Just as masterful, as mentioned above, is not getting Dempster who has always been mediocre.


August 16th, 2012
10:43 am

No reason to go overboard. The Braves may be the third best team in the NL after the Nats and Reds.
But I will take it. At least they’re not the Phillies. We all heard at the beginning of the season how the Marlins had made the best trades in baseball during the off-season, blah, blah and look at them. Also, thankfully, the Mets are still the Mets.

Kendell Jones

August 16th, 2012
11:05 am

From watching the game, and I watch everytime I have the opportunity, my thoughts about the best player on the team is now Jannish. He is one good shortstop, maybe even better than the one he has replaced. All he needs now is for the batting coach to work with him on his hitting. He was one of the best acquisitions the Braves has made this year.


August 16th, 2012
11:15 am

@Davey Sprocket – I’m not saying that this is the only stat that matters, but FanGraphs has the Braves with the highest UZR/150 (which accounts for how many games a player plays).


August 16th, 2012
11:25 am

The Melky with the Braves was the real Melky!


August 16th, 2012
11:32 am

Dan UGGLA Gets The GO-AHEAD HomeRun, on a pitch he could’ve gotten a BB… Good for DAN.. Good for Braves, Good for Maholm… Reading about Felix Hernandez’ Perfect Game yesterday… Amazing.. This guy does not throw 100 mph, but he Knows how to Pitch… Get a Pitching Coach who can Help this Staff… Hernandez says” He comes out to the mound-in the first Inning- and Thinks about Pitching a Perfect Game”…. What does McDowell contribute … Pitching is 90% Mental Preparation, just like Hernandez exhibits… Maholm did an Excellent job, and Thanks to Uggla for Proving the Psychological Mental Boost of Run-Support, so that Every Braves Pitcher is Not Required to Pitch Perfect, but can make Improvements along the way… Hernandez doesn’t look like Verlander, throwing 100 mph Heat all night long… Hernandez is a Finesse Battler…. Let’s get some more Positive Encouraging Coaching from the Guy whose Supposed to Supply his Pitchers with the Mentality that is Unbreakable.
Perfect Games are Rareities, for certain, but the Mentality that is a Required Ingredient for That Level of Pitching is Missing in Atlanta, Except for a Couple Pitchers who have to Supply that on their Own. Thanks Again Dan for Making The WIN possible last night, maybe Others will Catch-on…

Brave New World

August 16th, 2012
11:58 am

Dan Uggla would like to thank the loyal Braves fans who have stuck with him during his slump and supported him. He also sends his best to some bloggers on the Brave blogs.

Brave New World

August 16th, 2012
12:00 pm

Now ask yourself: How many second basemen will score between 90-100 runs and drive in between 80-90 runs? May I introduce starting all star second baseman, Mr. Dan Uggla.

Ted Striker

August 16th, 2012
12:41 pm

Kendall Jones, Umm you obviousley have not watched enough Braves games if you think Jannish is better then the player he replaced (Simmons)…That’s crazy…..But with that being said, Jannish has done a good job and it allows the Braves to bring Simmons back slowly instead of trying to rush him back.

Davey Sprocket

August 16th, 2012
3:31 pm

@longtimefan – I agree the Braves will be pretty good for a long time – they have some nice pieces. They should battle Washington for several years, and both should be ahead of the rest of the division. It’s all good. I was a fan of the Senators when they left in 1971 ( I was 10), and am thrilled at the job the Nate regime has done. A fabulous roster of young up-and-comers, mixed with some cagey vets, a ton of power arms (with Meyer, Gioliito and others in the pipeline), the best manager in baseball – they were expected to be serious threats in 2013, but have sped up the timetable by a year. The Braves have a couple of more holes – Jones gone, Uggla being Uggla, and maybe Bourn leaving. The arms in the minors (Delgado, Teheran principally) have not developed as Braves fan would have liked, with sketchy performances even in AAA, and their top guys have already arrived. They really need to spend more (they are still $20M more than the Nats roster, which is so young).
Good luck in the one-game playoff – which pitcher should get the start in that? Maybe we can meet in the playoffs.


August 16th, 2012
7:46 pm

Two-good-dogs: Actually the Third grade I/Q you mentioned is obviously Way above your pay-scale.

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