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Heroes and Zeroes for August

BA .248 (12th in NL), OPS .322 (11th), SLG .424 (5th), OPS .746 (7th)

While Green took batting honors for the month (.308), and was the only player to pass the .300 mark, it was Troy Glaus who led the team in both RBIs (20) and strikeouts (29). However, his nine homeruns helped make the team #1 in the NL for homers in August, with 40 in total. Indeed, the G-Force by themselves had more than all of Florida or San Francisco managed as a team.

Clayton and Counsell were solid up the middle, though both faded towards the end - Counsell, especially, whose stamina seems to be running out as many predicted. But he still had more walks (16) than anyone else on the roster. Stinnett proved a significant upgrade offensively, with an OPS of .822, good enough for 7th among 18 NL catchers in August with 50+ PAs. A very pleasant change to have above-average production from that position.

Tracy, still adjusting to right field, had a decent month, with six home runs and a .274 average, but only 10 RBIs. However, Tony Clark's August (.256) was a sharp fall from previous months; his previous lowest was .319, and this is the closest he has come to expected levels of production so far this season. Gonzalez (.250, 12 RBI), too, will also want to get into September as quickly as possible.

Despite all the regulars hitting .250 or over, we hit only .248 for the month. The main reason the overall figure was so low was because our bench players (Terrero, Jackson, McCracken, Cintron and Snyder - he had less ABs than Kelly Stinnett) were a combined .175 during August (30-for-171). Especially bad were Jackson (.139), McCracken (.136) and Snyder (.103).

  • Heroes: Green, Glaus, Stinnett
  • Neutral: Counsell, Clayton, Tracy
  • Zeroes: Clark, Gonzalez, the bench

ERA 6.69 (16th), WHIP 1.64 (16th), OBA .299 (16th)

And then there's the pitching... If our hitting wasn't all that bad, our arms more than made up for it, and were, very obviously, the chief reason we went 9-19 for the month. To give you some idea how bad we were, our ERA was 1.88 runs - almost 40% worse - than the 15th-placed club. Our overall OPS was .897: put another way, in August, we made the average hitter look like Bobby Abreu or Gary Sheffield.

Virtually nobody got out unscathed, with the heroic exception of Brandon Webb, who kept his head when all about him were having theirs handed to them: 36.2 IP, 10 ER, 2.45 ERA. Medders came up again, and was as solidly effective as before, while Valverde held opposing hitters to a miniscule .121 average - but giving up more walks than hits hurt him.

Worrell kept his ERA under 4.00, largely thanks to four unearned runs. And Vargas won almost half our games in August, taking four of the nine victories on offer, despite a couple of sub-par performances. However, after the above-named, it got very nasty, very quickly - nobody else who pitched more than four innings had an ERA under 6.50.

And you know you've got trouble, when this includes 3/5 of our rotation. That'd be Vazquez (1-5, 7.09), Halsey (1-5, 7.16) and Ortiz (1-2, 10.80). Combined, they posted a 3-12 record with a 7.93 ERA. On the plus side, this did mean our bullpen was involved in only three of the 28 decisions this month - and lost them all, natch. Groom proved as effective as our other lefties, while Cormier continued to struggle. Bruney proved so bad, he was dispatched to Tucson, but worst of all was Lyon, who was more of a Lamb to the slaughter: 6.1 IP, 13 ER. This is a month pitchers and fans will want to forget.

  • Heroes: Webb, Medders, Valverde
  • Neutral: Worrell, Vargas.
  • Zeroes: Everyone else. Groom, Vazquez, Halsey, Aquino, Ortiz, Cormier, Bruney and Lyon