It was a pleasure not watching Uggla flail about at the plate and in the field last night, but Fredi doesn’t like it when we’re happy. The Albatross is back in the line-up, hitting 7th. Meanwhile, the gap between his numbers and Tommy LaStella’s continues to widen. LaStella, at 25, deserves the chance; by the time Uggla’s contract expires, 20-year-old Jose Peraza (.346 with 13 steals at High-A Lynchburg) might be ready for the majors. .
Not that Uggla is solely to blame for the Braves’ offensive woes. They left two runners on base in six separate innings last night — par for the course, though I guess we should be happy for the baserunners. The Braves .298 OBP ranks next-to-last in the NL, and though it’s hard to quantify what role a hitting instructor plays in performance, the White Sox consistently ranked near the bottom in OBP during Greg Walker’s tenure.
Office reader NahaGomez points out that, in Terry Pendleton’s last year as hitting coach, the Braves led the NL in OBP. Just saying.
Heyward 9 BUpton 8 Freeman 3 JUpton 7 Gattis 2 Johnson 5 Uggla 4 Simmons 6 Teheran 1
A loss tonight and a Nats win would displace the Braves from first place, but it could be worse. St. Louis, widely regarded as the class of the NL, is now a game under .500, 6.5 games behind the Brewers.