Can you believe it was just seven weeks ago when many angry Braves fans were calling for Dan Uggla to be benched and Larry Parrish to be fired?

OK, some still suggest Parrish should be fired. But it's safe to assume that's not going to happen in the foreseeable future. Because whether or not some care to acknowledge it, the Braves have been one of the league's best-hitting teams since midseason.

And Uggla? He's had an in-season, flip-a-switch turnaround so extreme that we aren't likely to see anything quite like it again.

By the way, for those who might not have noticed, the Braves' wild-card lead has increased to eight games over San Francisco. That's 1-1/2 games larger than the Phillies' lead over the Braves in the NL East.

The Braves (76-52) haven't been this many games over .500 since Oct. 3, 2004, when they finished 96-66. Right now they're on pace for 96 wins again, but that pace keeps climbing (it was a 94-win pace under a week ago) because the Braves are rollin'.