The last two seasons Dan Uggla played for the Braves were disastrous at-best. Tuesday night, Uggla returned to Turner Field as a member of the Washington Nationals and helped Washington come back from the biggest deficit in franchise history and get a much-needed win.
Uggla is batting just .190 on the season, which is under the Mendoza Line. He entered the game with one home run and two RBIs. He left Turner Field on Tuesday night with another home run and five more RBIs added to his less-than-stellar stat line.
Washington trailed 10-2 after four innings of play before the comeback ensued. Jason Werth hit a sacrifice fly to make the score 10-3 before catcher Jose Lobaton hit a three-run home run to make it a 10-6 affair. The Nationals chipped away with another run in the 6th on a Denard Span solo home run to make the score 10-7. The Braves also got another run in the 6th when AJ Pierzynski doubled home Freddie Freeman to make the score 11-7.
The top of the 7th inning is when Uggla started to haunt his former team. Uggla had a two-run triple before scoring on a RBI ground-rule-double by pinch-hitter Reed Johnson. The Nats made it an 11-10 game before Pierzynski had an RBI single scoring Andrelton Simmons in what was supposed to be an insurance run for the Braves.
Neither team scored in the 8th inning, setting up for the late-game heroics from Uggla. Atlanta closer Jason Grilli came in to close out the game with Atlanta ahead 12-10. When Uggla came to the plate, he smacked a three-run home run that would put his team on top for good. Drew Storen came in to shut the Braves down, thus competing the comeback.
Washington entered Tuesday’s game on a six-game losing streak before the come-from-behind victory. The Nats currently are tied for last in the NL East with a record of 8-13. It is still early in the season, but a win like that could finally get this team – who many think can win the World Series this year – out of the cellar and playing like many project them to. If the Nationals can start stringing together some wins, April 28, 2015 will be the night they look back on to see what was the catalyst.
For Atlanta, it’s never good to see a former player come back to beat you, but what’s even worse for the Braves is that they still pay Uggla from his tenure in Atlanta. Talk about adding insult to injury.