The Atlanta Braves boast two players with the longest active
hitting streaks in the majors and a starting pitcher who has
excelled over the past six weeks. All that, however, hasn’t helped
them win consistently of late.
With help from Dan Uggla and Freddie Freeman, the Braves’ Tim
Hudson will try to earn his sixth win in seven decisions Friday
night against the slumping New York Mets.
Uggla’s 25-game hit streak is the fourth-longest in franchise
history and Freeman is climbing up that list with an 18-game run.
Atlanta, though, is 10-10 since the All-Star break and seen its
wild-card lead shrink to 2 1/2 games over Arizona.
The Braves (64-48) avoided getting swept by last-place
Washington when they opened a nine-game road trip earlier this
week. Uggla hit a key three-run homer and Freeman drove in a pair
of runs to help their team hold on for a 6-4 victory Wednesday.
Uggla is hitting .354 (34 for 96) with 11 homers and 23 RBIs
during his career-best streak, while Freeman is batting .411 (30
for 73) during his.
“(Uggla) and Freeman are both hot as firecrackers,” manager
Fredi Gonzalez said.
The duo will try to add to those runs while backing Hudson
(10-7, 3.31 ERA), who is 5-1 with a 2.11 ERA in his last eight
starts. Hudson bounced back from the only loss over that stretch –
July 25 against Pittsburgh – by giving up one run over seven
innings in a 5-1 victory over Florida on Saturday.
“I’ve been feeling good physically,” Hudson told the Braves’
official website. “That’s the key for any pitcher, is to physically
feel like you’re able to go out there and do what you want to
The right-hander might get even more support if Chipper Jones
returns from a strained right quad, which has limited him to
pinch-hit duties since July 25.
Hudson might need all the help he can get as he’s 0-2 with a
7.88 ERA in two outings against the Mets (55-55) this season, but
he’ll face a lineup that’s produced eight runs during its four
Hudson allowed five runs over four innings in a 6-4 defeat at
Citi Field on June 5 and gave up three runs in four rain-shortened
frames during a 4-0 home loss June 15.
R.A. Dickey (5-9, 3.77) gave up one run over eight innings to
earn the victory in the June 5 matchup, but the knuckleballer
enters this start with two wins in his last 10 outings.
Dickey earned one of those wins in Cincinnati on July 25 but
lost 3-0 to Washington on Saturday, giving up three runs over six
innings. He has thrown at least six innings in 17 of his 22
“There’s no question R.A. has deserved to win more games than he
has,” manager Terry Collins told his team’s official website.
Dickey is 1-2 with a 4.11 ERA in five career starts against the
Braves. He didn’t receive a decision after giving up six runs over
four innings during a 9-8 loss June 16.
The right-hander, though, has proved successful against
Atlanta’s two hottest hitters. Uggla is 0 for 15 and Freeman is 1
Uggla is a career .223 hitter versus New York and is batting
.147 in nine meetings this season. Freeman is hitting .364 in his