The Principality

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Uggla’s Hit Streak Ends at 33

Though the Braves second baseman has remained grounded throughout, the last month has been magical for Dan Uggla.  After enduring an abysmal start to the 2011 season, Uggla has written his name in the baseball record books with by becoming just the 23rd player in history to complete a hitting streak of at least 33 games. 

During his streak, Uggla broke the previous Atlanta record of 31, held by Rico Carty since 1970, though he fell just short of Tommy Holmes’ franchise record of 37, held since 1945.  "That's more games than I thought I would ever have," Uggla said. 

The streak came to an end on Sunday in a narrow 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs, a defeat that reduces the Braves’ Wild Card lead to four games, just as their closest rivals, the San Francisco Giants, come to town.  "The streak is one thing. I'm more disappointed in the loss," Uggla said. "It was a fun run but all things have got to come to an end sometime. I had fun with it. We had a nice, little roll as a team and we're looking to get back on track tomorrow."

During his streak, Uggla hasn’t just written his name into history, he has resurrected what was the worst season of his career, in fact many players careers.  Coming into the streak, which began on 5th July against the Rockies, Uggla was hitting just .173 with 12 home runs.  He has subsequently raised his batting average to .231 and added another 15 home runs and 32 RBIs to his season tally in the process.

For the Braves, Uggla’s streak could not have come at a better time.  All-stars Chipper Jones and Brian McCann have spent significant time on the disabled list, whilst other key players such as Jason Heyward and Martin Prado have struggled at the plate.  "For me, it's impressive," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. "It was a streak where at any given time Chipper wasn't in the lineup and Brian McCann wasn't in the lineup, and Uggla carried us. That was impressive."

Uggla’s streak was the longest in the Major Leagues all season, surpassing the 30 hit by the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier at the start of the season.  Braves fans will be hoping that despite the end of the streak, Uggla’s torrid form continues to carry them into October.

Andrew Bracegirdle

14th August 2011