How do you compensate for a middle infielder who is having problems hitting the ball? You bring in a middle infielder who is struggling even more with making contact with the ball, to back him up. This is how the 2015 Washington Nationals chose to deal with the decline of Danny Espinosa. By bringing in Dan Uggla. While said experiment didn’t work out the way most had hoped, Uggla did provide a bright spot or two (I think literally two bright spots was it) in his time with the Nationals.
April 28th was the date of the first one. The Nationals trailed the Atlanta Braves (Uggla’s former employer) 9-1 after two innings and were well on their way to defeat, when Danny U decided he wasn’t going to allow it.
Dan Uggla provided a memorable moment for the Washington Nationals one April evening, by blasting a former employer.
The Nationals chipped away at the eight run deficit by hanging crooked numbers in a handful of innings leading up to the ninth. Atlanta was clinging to a 12-10 lead with their closer on the mound. With one out, two on, and facing an 0-2 count, Uggla dashed Jason Grilli’s dreams with one swing of the bat.
Uggla had hit thirty or more home runs five times in his career to that point, yet had hit .179 and .149 in the two years leading up to signing with the Nationals. He was hitting .135 entering this game against the Braves.
His three run home run sent the Nationals home winners, and sent a message to Nationals fans, this one-time slugger still had something left in the gas tank.
On a day where Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond combined for zero hits, Uggla tallied eight total bases with three hits. He drove in five runs and score two, leading the Nationals to a remarkable 13-12 comeback win against a divisional foe.
The Nationals season fizzled, and ended in a second place finish. Uggla’s stat line fizzled as well, after the late April Braves game where he provided heroics. Uggla had two hits in July, spent most of August on the Injured List with back issues, and had one hit in September.
Dan Uggla may not have left us with much, though he did leave us with the exclamation point on a comeback win.