After Dan Uggla reached the 30-homer mark for the fifth consecutive season last night, some fans wondered, what his season would have been had he not struggled to find consistency during its first three months.
It’s understood it would be quite unrealistic to assume Uggla could maintain the pace he has produced over the past seven weeks over the course of an entire season. But just for fun, we’ll glance at what might have been.
Dating back to July 5, the start of his 33-game hitting streak, Uggla has batted .348 with 18 homers, 37 RBIs, a .412 on-base percentage and a .727 slugging percentage. He has homered once every 8.9 at-bats during this span.
Had he carried this pace throughout the entire season, Uggla would have already hit 53 homers and compiled 110 RBIs. In other words, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Justin Upton would not currently stand as the favorites to win the National League MVP Award and the Braves would likely feel even better about their odds to clinch a postseason berth.
Before the start of the hitting streak, Uggla hit .173 with 12 homers, 29 RBIs, a .241 on-base percentage and .327 slugging percentage. He homered once every 26.5 at-bats and his BAbip was .187.
Had he maintained the pace he carried through July 4, Uggla would currently have 18 homers, or the same amount he has totaled since July 5.
Simply pointing out Uggla leads the Majors in homers and slugging percentage since July 5 provides just a fraction of the overall picture. He has hit four more homers than any other Major Leaguer during his span and his .727 slugging percentage is .043 points better than Mike Napoli, who ranks second during this stretch. Troy Tulowitzki ranks third with a .634 mark.
Last year Uggla became the first second baseman in Major League history with four 30-homer seasons. Now he’s got five straight 30-homer seasons
Rogers Hornsby, Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Kent and Chase Utley are the only other Major Leaguers to have totaled three different 30 homer seasons as a second baseman. This has nothing to do with consecutive seasons.
Uggla has reached the 30-homer mark earlier (not necessarily faster) than he did in any of the previous four seasons. This year, his 30th came in his 478th at-bat and in his team’s 129th game of the season. He had never previously reached this mark before his team’s 142nd game of the season. But in 2008, it took him just 461 ABs to hit No. 30
Here’s a look at when Uggla reached has 30 HRs:
2007 — 596 ABs and team’s 152nd game
2008 — 461 ABs and team’s 142nd game
2009 — 527 ABs and team’s 152nd game
2010 — 520 ABs and team’s 143rd game
2011 — 478 ABs and team’s 129th game
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Uggla joins Wally Berger (1930), Davey Johnson (1973), Jeff Burroghs (1977), Andres Galarraga (1998) and J.D. Drew (2004) as the only players in franchise history to hit 30 homers in their first season with the Braves.
This was just one of the early nuggets provided this morning by Braves media relations coordinator Jim Misudek. He also pointed out that the Braves have gone 18-1 since June 1 in games in which Eric O’Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel have each made an appearance.
During these 19 games, the trio has totaled 54.1 innings, allowed just nine runs (1.49 ERA) issued 19 walks and registered 81 strikeouts.
Kimbrel has not allowed a run in his past 30 2/ innings and Venters has held opponents scoreless in his past 22 2/3 innings. These stand as the longest current scoreless streaks in the Majors. Phillies left-handed starter Cliff Lee posted this year’s longest scoreless streak when he did not allow a run over 34 innings from June 11-July 3.
Odds and ends: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the club has not discussed monitoring Brandon Beachy’s workload as he nears the end of the first full season of his life as a starting pitcher. Beachy totaled professional highs with 134 1/3 innings and 16 starts last year. This year he has worked 108 1/3 innings in 19 starts. He did have the benefit of resting for a month after straining his oblique muscle in June.
Peter Moylan threw 18 pitches while allowing a hit and issuing a walk in a scoreless inning for Triple-A Gwinnett Monday night. Pitching in a game for the first time since April 14, he sent a text saying, “it wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.”
I thought he was referring to his brief rehab appearance. But by the end of the night, I was wondering if he was just giving a line to describe Jair Jurrjens’ performance last night.