Dan Uggla wasted little time tonight against the Cubs, taking Carlos Zambrano deep for a solo shot in the bottom of the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 32 games.
Uggla is now tied with Ryan Howard and Mike Stanton for fifth in the National League with 25 home runs.
Not only does Uggla have the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, but he now owns the longest hitting streak in Atlanta Braves’ history. With tonight’s homer he passed Rico Carty, who hit safely in 31 consecutive games in 1970.
Uggla entered tonight’s action batting .355 (44-for-124) with 12 homers and 29 RBIs during the streak, raising his batting average from .173 to .224 in the process. He’ll go for 33 in a row tomorrow with Randy Wells on the hill for the Cubs.
Hunter Pence was thought to be on his way to retirement after a lackluster 2018 season with the Giants. As he entered his mid-30’s, Pence spent a considerable amount of time on the injured list, playing in 389 out of 648 possible regular season games with the Giants from 2015-18.
Pence, however, kept his career going, inking a minor league deal with the Rangers in February. He performed very well in spring training, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Pence hasn’t stopped hitting.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Mariners, Pence was batting .299/.358/.619 with eight home runs and 28 RBI in 109 plate appearances, mostly as a DH. Statcast agrees that Pence has been mashing the ball. He has an average exit velocity of 93.3 MPH this season, which would obliterate his marks in each of the previous four seasons since Statcast became a thing. His career average exit velocity is 89.8 MPH. He has “barreled” the ball 10.4 percent of the time, well above his 6.2 percent average.
What Pence did to a baseball in the seventh inning of Monday’s game, then, shouldn’t come as a surprise.
That’s No. 9 on the year for Pence. Statcast measured it at 449 feet and 108.3 MPH off the bat. Not only is Pence not retired, he may be a lucrative trade chip for the Rangers leading up to the trade deadline at the end of July.