August 14, 2011

Dan Uggla: "But What If He Did Do It?"

Dan Uggla is only the 21st player in baseball history -- and only the 16th player since 1900 -- to have a hitting streak of at least 33 games.

     Year     Name               Team            Games
 1   1941     Joe DiMaggio       New York (AL)      56
 2   1896-97  Willie Keeler      Baltimore (NL)     45
 3   1978     Pete Rose          Cincinnati         44
 4   1894     Bill Dahlen        Chicago (NL)       42
 5   1922     George Sisler      St. Louis (AL)     41
 6   1911     Ty Cobb            Detroit            40
 7   1987     Paul Molitor       Milwaukee          39
 8   2005-06  Jimmy Rollins      Philadelphia (NL)  38
 9   1945     Tommy Holmes       Boston (NL)        37
10   1896-97  Gene DeMontreville Washington (NL)    36
11   1895     Fred Clarke        Louisville (NL)    35
11   1917     Ty Cobb            Detroit            35
11   2002     Luis Castillo      Florida            35
11   2006     Chase Utley        Philadelphia (NL)  35
11   1925     George Sisler      St. Louis (AL)     35
16   1938     George McQuinn     St. Louis (AL)     34
16   1949     Dom DiMaggio       Boston (AL)        34
16   1987     Benito Santiago    San Diego          34
19   1893     George Davis       New York (NL)      33
19   1907     Hal Chase          New York (AL)      33
19   1922     Rogers Hornsby     St. Louis (NL)     33
19   1933     Heinie Manush      Washington         33
19   2011     Dan Uggla          Atlanta            33
Uggla has raised his batting average from .173 (!) to .232 during the streak.
                     GMS    AVG   OBP   SLG    OPS
March 31 - July 4     86   .173  .241  .327   .568 	
July 5 - August 13    33   .377  .438  .762  1.200
Joe Posnanski, "Why Hitting Streaks Matter (Sort Of)":
Tom Tango unveiled a fascinating tidbit the other day -- Dan Uggla actually hit about the same over a 40-game stretch last July and August as he has been hitting during this hitting streak.

During the hitting streak: .355/.409/.685
40-game stretch last year: .354/.440/.660

Tom's point -- and it's fair -- is nobody cared about Uggla's 40-game stretch last year. But this year, because he has spread out his hits so that he's had at least one every game, it might be the most talked about story in the game.

And I understand his frustration. There is no intrinsic value in a hit streak. ... Tommy Agee [had] a 20-game hitting streak where he hit .288. There's no reason I know to believe that 10 hits spread out evenly over 10 games is worth any more than 10 hits spread out any other way over 10 games. ...

One more thought: There's no way, of course, that Dan Uggla will hit in 56 straight games. We know that. ... If you put together the least likely every day players to break DiMaggio's record, he would be in the photograph. ...

But what if he did do it? What if the impossible happened? What if after all the books, all the odes, all the mathematical formulas, all the theories about DiMaggio's streak being the most unbreakable feat in sports ... what if after all that the streak was not only broken, but broken by DAN UGGLA.


Michael Holloway said...

That wouldn't be pretty.

Faces of Dan Uggla


andy said...

To answer your question: shadenfreude.

Anonymous said...

As a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I would say the Italian-American community would never allow this streak to be broken.

Case-in-point: Garrett Wittels

tim said...

7 1987 Paul Molitor Milwaukee

No "Milwaukee (AL)" ? ;)

allan said...

Good point.
I just copied it from MLB.

tim said...

Yeah, after making the comment I clicked through and saw that it was the same on the article.


Jere said...

re: AL/NL specification: I don't know where they're going with this at all! You could look at the Milwaukee '87 thing and say, "okay, they only specify if it was a year when that city had teams in both leagues. But then they go and specify for Philly in the 2000s. But then they've got an unspecified Washington, too.

tim said...

Freddy Garcia - lol.

allan said...

From Tim's link: The Rays are travelling to Boston by train!

Zenslinger said...

Uggla's 0 for 2 with a sacrifice fly. Cubs just tied it at 4 -- maybe he'll get two more chances at a hit.