Dodgers third baseman Juan Uribe had arguably the two toughest years of his career with the Dodgers in 2011 and 2012. Uribe hit .204 and .191 the past two seasons with just six home runs combined.
However, 2013 was the complete opposite for Uribe as he’s been the regular third baseman and turned himself into a viable Gold Glove candidate at third base. With renewed confidence and the support of his teammates, Uribe clinched the Dodgers trip back to the NLCS with a two-run, eighth inning home run last night.
After the game, Paul Casella of MLB.com caught up with Clayton Kershaw and he talked about how Uribe is as a teammate:
Regardless of what Juan did the past two years, Juan has been — I think the consensus is he’s probably been the most liked teammate we have. He’s an incredible guy.He’s always the same, no matter what. You couldn’t tell if he’s 1-for-30 or 30-for-30. The way he plays, I just couldn’t be happier for him. I love him to death.
That seemed to be the sentiment from everyone as Don Mattingly talked about his tough two years with the Dodgers and even when he lost his job last season, he was always upbeat. Uribe and Luis Cruz came into the season in a timeshare, but Cruz was designated for assignment and Uribe took over full time.
During the regular season, the 34-year-old veteran hit .278 with 12 home runs and 50 RBI and hit more home runs in the NLDS than he did all of last season. When talking about the moment last night, Uribe said it was one of the greatest moments in his career:
This moment today — this is what I tell my teammates about. A lot of people want to be in the moment that we have right nowAnd this moment, we’ll never forget. Today, what we did today, I’ll never forget this moment.
Uribe and the Dodgers will have a couple days off before playing in the NLCS in St. Louis or hosting the Pirates for Game 1 of the series on Friday.
In case you missed it, here’s the home run that sent the Dodgers to the NLCS for the first time in 2009!