Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 8/7/12
Dan Uggla is showing signs of life. He had a two-RBI game on July 30. There was another one on Aug. 4. And then there was his two-hit game on Monday. Uggla, to borrow an unflattering nickname from online commentators, is still Struggla, but he has a pulse. For Braves fans, there is hope that he is emerging from another one of his funks and will add another potent bat for the stretch drive. Hes beginning to display the hitting ability that proves hes more than an overpriced No. 7 hitter. Uggla has eight hits in his past nine games, including a double and a single in the Braves 6-1 victory over the Phillies on Monday. It was just his second two-hit game since his four-hit, two-homer game on June 5, and provides some evidence that he might be climbing out of a slump deeper than the Grand Canyon. Uggla is one of the most important pieces of the Braves lineup. Hes their main source of right-handed power and they need him to help maintain order to their batting order. Even though the Braves young left-handed hitters are proving that they are improving against lefty pitchers, Uggla provides the right-handed counterbalance, especially on those days when Chipper Jones needs to rest. Whats going with Uggla? His struggles the past two months are familiar to what happened during his first-half drought in 2011. Lets compare those slumps: 2012 Uggla was hitting .276 with 10 home runs and 37 RBIs on June 5, and appeared to have put last years troubles in the past, but he went just 8-for-69 (.116) the rest of the month. It got worse. He followed that by going 9-for-78 (.115) in July, and entered August at .208 with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs. 2011 The start of Ugglas first season with the Braves didnt start well. He hit .202 in April, .160 in May and .179 in June and was at .173 for the season when he went on his epic 33-game hitting streak, the second longest in franchise history. Uggla finished with power numbers typical of his time in the majors. He had 36 home runs, the most of his career, and 82 RBIs, but his epic streak could only lift his average to a career-worst .233. Uggla was acquired to be productive, but there have been times in the past two years when his presence in the lineup has been counter-productive. To his credit, Uggla never wants to sit, even when his stroke is MIA and hes got nothing but questions filling his brain. He wants to swing his way out of whatever is affecting him. He says hes just got to keep hacking, keep working, keep searching for the solution. Uggla missed only one game last year, even through the morass of last years start. And hes sat out only three times this season, and one of those came a day after he was beaned in the head. His hitting has never affected his fielding, and Uggla has made several spectacular plays of late. Hes also leading the NL with 66 walks BTW, hes second with 124 strikeouts but hes still doing the little things, like hustling from first to third, extending rallies, keeping a good attitude, whatever he can to help the Braves win. Uggla is showing some signs that he can still salvage this season. Hes 6-for-22 (.273) this month and he already has five RBIs in six August games. (He had six the entire month of July). Its not all happiness, though. Uggla hasnt homered in nearly a month since July 8 and doesnt appear to have a shot at extending his streak of 30-home run seasons to six. Fredi Gonzalez has faced a lot of flak by sticking with Uggla through his struggles, but it was the right move. Hes beginning to hit again.Which is a good thing, because the Braves will need him down the stretch.
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