Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nice Hitting Streak for an Uggla Season

Dan Uggla extended his consecutive-game hitting streak to 30 games last night, joining a rather exclusive group. According to a list at, there have been 53 hitting streaks of 30 or more games prior to Uggla's current run.

As one might expect, when a player fashions such a streak, he generally ends the season with an excellent batting average. Joe DiMaggio batted .357 in 1941 when he recorded his astounding 56-game hitting streak. And in 1897, Willie Keeler batted .424, beginning the season with hits in 44 straight games, the record prior to Joltin' Joe's 56.

Looking from the other end of the telescope, the player with the lowest batting average in a season in which he posted a 30-game hitting streak is Willy Taveras (top right), who batted just .278 in 2006 despite hitting in 30 straight games for Houston. But through August 9 (the date of his 30th straight game with a hit), Dan Uggla (top left) is batting just .220. In short, Uggla has an excellent chance of setting the mark for the lowest batting average in a season with a 30-game hitting streak. How excellent is that chance? Let's see:

In 116 games played this season, the Braves' second baseman has had 437 at bats, for an average of 3.78 at bats per game. Assuming Uggla plays in each of the remaining 45 games in Atlanta's schedule (so far he's only missed one game this year), he'll have nearly 170 at bats (more precisely 169.52) in which to get really hot. How hot? Some quick math provides the answer. He'll need 73 hits in those 170 at bats to pass Taveras's mark. If he does, his average would be .2784, just barely topping Taveras's .2779.

Can he do it? You decide. So far during his 30-game streak (from July 5 through August 9), Dan Uggla has batted .345. (He began his streak batting just .173!) But to get past Taveras's mark, Uggla would need to bat at a .429 clip … for seven weeks. Welcome to the record books, Mr. Uggla!

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