Uribe had a double, a triple and a home run on the evening, giving Giants’ starter Matt Cain a serious headache. The Dominican third baseman’s near cycle gave the Dodgers the offensive boost they needed to claim game one of the series in San Francisco. The hype from the night’s events was so well spread that Uribe was trending on twitter and even MLB’s account got into the excitement:
Not. Done. Yet. @Dodgers 3B Juan Uribe ups RBI total to 7 on the night after 2-run homer in 7th – leaves him single shy of cycle.
— MLB (@MLB) July 6, 2013
But do not be fooled by last night’s performance. This is not a sign of things to come for Uribe.
The 33-year-old international journeyman is a career .251 hitter. The last time Uribe ended a season with a .300 average was his rookie season in 2001. Since coming to the Dodgers in 2011, he has steadily declined in both batting average and games played. Going on his 13th season in the majors, Uribe appears to be past his athletic prime.
When I looked up the stats, I was surprised to see that Uribe has played in as many games this season as he actually has (63 of Dodgers’ 85 games). The only reason he has continued to get playing time is his decent glove at the hot corner and the only other option for Don Mattingly was Luis Cruz. With Cruz optioned to the minors and signed by the Yankees, Uribe is all that remains.
On the season, Uribe only has five home runs, and 20 RBIs. His batting average rose to .282 after last night’s shenanigans, but I do not expect him to finish the season above .270.
History speaks for itself and what we learn from Uribe’s history is that he will cool off. Last night’s seven RBIs tied his career high, the last time occurring June 19, 2004. In his next seven games after that outstanding performance, Uribe totaled only one RBI and four hits.
Uribe is a solid defender who can never string together long periods of excellence. I encourage Dodgers fans to rejoice in the win and the excitement of his accomplishment. But they should also press on, knowing that the Dodgers cannot count on Uribe to lead them to the postseason.