Found August 16, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
ATLANTA The Braves are learning how to live with Dan Ugglas streaks.
After wandering through a vast and arid wasteland of at-bats for two months, Uggla is beginning to do what the Braves are paying him to do.
And that is hit the ball immeasurable distances.
Road & Track magazine should have been at the Braves 6-1 victory over the Padres on Wednesday because Uggla crushed a ball that went zero to 150 mph in about 2.6 seconds.
It was fast and it was far, going several rows deep in the left-field stands before nearly ripping the hands off a fan who somehow managed to catch it.
It was also Ugglas third home run in 18 at-bats, meaning that it appears he has returned to the land of milk and homers after going deep only twice in his previous 173 at-bats.
Dannys heating up. Hes heating up, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. That ball that he hit (Wednesday) was gone in a heartbeat. He hit that ball hard. We saw it last year. This a good time for him to get hot and drive in some runs.
Ugglas numbers are beginning to trend upward for the first time since his summer swoon started six days into June.
He has homered in consecutive games for the first time this season, although he hit two in a game on June 5. He has eight extra-base hits and 16 RBIs in his past 16 games.
Compare that to the 42 games that covered most of June and July, a span in which Uggla hit .110 with four extra-base hits and only nine RBIs.
Maybe Ray Stevens needs to rewrite his famous song The Streak with lyrics about Ugglas time with the Braves.
Hes been either extremely hot or extremely cold at the plate, although he hasnt carried his hitting woes into the field or on the bases.
Timing is everything in hitting, he said after the game. You can get your foot down, but you still have to be on time. Hitting is so complicated. It can be so easy at times and it can be so hard at times. When youre on time and everythings clicking, its pretty fun.
Ugglas latest home run came at the expense of San Diego starter Edinson Volquez, who tried to sneak a letter-high fastball past him.
Perhaps initially surprised at the location of the pitch, Uggla recovered by staying with the pitch and the muscling it out of Turner Field with his quick, concise and powerful swing.
I dont know, I guess it felt a little up, he said. But thats what happens when youre on time. When Im on time, my bats as quick as anybodys. I was able to get on top of one finally. Man, it felt good.
It was his 15th home run of the season and increased his RBI total to 62, his average to .215.
Hes looking really dangerous at the plate, Jason Heyward said.
Homers will have to come in bunches if Uggla hopes to extend his streak of 30-home run seasons to six.
The Braves have 45 games left, and if Uggla gets on one of his ultra hot streaks, he can probably do it, although it seems to be a lost cause at this point.
Uggla has never hit more than 12 home runs in a month in his MLB career that was with the Marlins in May 2008 and the most hes hit with the Braves was the 10 he hit last August. His monthly high this season is the five home runs he hit in May.
Yeah, (it feels good to) just to get on base, get some hits, drive some runners in, score some runs, Uggla said. Thats when you know youre getting back on track, when youre creating some run production. Thats the only thing I really care about, scoring runs and driving in runs. Once you get to this level, thats all its about.
And now that hes hitting again, thats what he wants to keep doing.
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