Saturday, August 1, 2009

July in Review

The Twins played their fifth extra inning game of their July schedule last night, and it ended in a disappointing manner. Despite leading 5-2, the Twins lost to the Angels 11-5 in 11 innings. Bobby Keppel and Jesse Crain were the bullpen culprits, combining to allow the first 8 batters to reach in the final inning. It was an ugly loss, so let's hope the Twins can start August on a better foot.

Record: 12-12
Best record at any point (games above .500): 47-44
Worst record at any point (games below .500): 48-50
Days in first (and biggest lead): 0 (2.0 GB)
Days in last (and furthest out of first): 0 (5.0 GB)
Longest win streak: 4 games
Longest losing streak: 4 games
Runs scored/runs against: 128/140
Most runs scored/most runs allowed: 13/16
Shutouts/times shut out: 0/0
Extra inning games: 5
Longest game: 16 innings

Hitter of the month: Justin Morneau (93 AB, 16 R, 7 HR, 19 RBI, 15 BB:19 K, .280/.380/.559)
Despite hitting worse than he has for the year as a whole, Morneau finally managed to earn hitter of the month honors in 2009. Yet again it was a close contest between he and Jason Kubel, but Morneau's extra playing time was what pushed me in his favor. In the month, Morneau had two 2-homer games and set a career high with 7 RBIs in one game. He didn't end the month well, though, going 0 for his last 12 and striking out 5 times.

Bizarro World hitter of the month: Brendan Harris (75 AB, 8 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB:17 K, .187/.218/.307)
The whole middle infield was pretty awful this July (as with the entire year), so I could have chosen Nick Punto or Alexi Casilla pretty easily. Punto, though, had slightly better numbers than Harris, and Casilla's 7-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 5 stolen bases, combined with his less time in the lineup, made Harris the choice. While many people, myself included, aren't sure how much of an upgrade Orlando Cabrera will be, it's pretty clear from looking at their July stats that a move of some kind was necessary.

Pitcher of the month: Matt Guerrier (2-0, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 9 K, 0.49/0.55)
Guerrier was magnificent this month, and only in his final outing did he allow a run--unfortunately it was a game-tying homer from Mike Napoli. But enough with the negative, as Guerrier allowed less than a baserunner every other inning. It's all part of an excellent year for Guerrier, who's quietly accumulated an ERA of 2.09 and a WHIP of 0.79. Jose Mijares and Joe Nathan, who combine with Guerrier to be the only legitimate relief options, also had very good months.

Bizarro World pitcher of the month: R.A. Dickey (0-1, 17 IP, 28 H, 9 BB, 9 K, 7.94/2.18)
While the few good relievers the Twins have were pitching very well, the rest of the bullpen was lobbing batting practice to opposing hitters. Dickey, Jesse Crain, Bobby Keppel, Kevin Mulvey, and Brian Duensing combined to throw 57 innings and give up 76 hits and 44 runs, while also walking 29 batters, the same number they struck out. Dickey was the worst of the bunch, allowing more than 2 baserunners per inning and giving up more than 3 runs on four different occasions.

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