After three miserable months to begin the 2011 season, Dan Uggla was arguably the best hitter in the National League during the second half of the season. Uggla has struggled mightily since June, but he has shown signs of life in recent days. It appears the Braves' slugging second baseman has finally awaken, propelling his club to a wild 12-6 victory over the Phillies.
Tim Hudson was given an early 6-1 lead, which was aided by a two-run double from Hudson himself in the second inning. Despite his near-perfect record when staked to a lead of 3+ runs, the veteran righty suddenly lost command in the middle innings. A three-run homer from Ryan Howard capped off a five-run fifth inning, which sent Hudson to the clubhouse.
With a tie score of 6-6, Uggla came to the plate with the bases loaded. After falling behind 0-2 in the count, he battled back and lined a ball down the left field line to clear the bases. He then came around to score on a throwing error to push the lead to 10-6.
Atlanta's bullpen continued their incredible work since the All-Star Break on Wednesday. Luis Avilan, Cory Gearrin, Chad Durbin, Eric O'Flaherty, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combined to toss 4.2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just one hit and one walk. They struck out six.
The Braves will have a much-needed off-day on Thursday before heading to New York for a three-game series with the Mets.