The Braves logged a losing record in June at 11-and-15, and seemed to struggle with every team, good and bad. They didn't win a series the entire month, unless you count the split series (because of a rain-postponed game) with Chicago. This team is still waiting to put it together, but as you'll see below with the two MVPs, they are finally adding some new contributors to the few guys who continue to perform.
Hitting MVP: There were several hitters who had good June's. Garret Anderson hit pretty well at .306, and slugged a very respectable .471, even though his on-base percentage was pedestrian at .333. Brian McCann also had a good month. Hey, he hit another triple. Nate McLouth had a decent showing in his first month as the Braves center fielder, even Chipper Jones had decent numbers, despite a low batting average. The Braves MVP for June goes to the guy who is still hot, Martin Prado. He filled in at first baseman while Kotchman was on the DL, and he hit well enough after that to take the everyday second base job away from...
|2009 - Martin Prado||56||158||23||52||19||0||4||15||16||13||0||1||.329||.391||.525|
Hitting LVP: Poor Kelly Johnson. We all had such high hopes for him this year, but his numbers have declined faster than Jeff Francoeur can swing at the first pitch. Even before he went on the DL with one of those "we-need-to-get-him-out-of-the-lineup" injuries, it was clear he was lost at the plate. We all hope he comes back, but if Prado keeps plugging away, Johnson may not get a chance this year with the Braves. Runner up is Casey Kotchman.
Pitching MVP: As there have been all season, there are a lot of contenders for this award. The back end of the bullpen duo of Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano both had ERAs under 2.00, saved 4 games, and collected 4 holds between them. Of the next two guys, the one I don't pick is certainly the guy with the better peripheral stats, but bear with me. Javier Vazquez could easily win this award this month, he probably should. He had a 1.98 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, and more than a strikeout an inning, but this is not the guy I'm choosing for the June pitching MVP. Before Tommy Hanson took over the fifth spot in the rotation, the combination of Jo-Jo Reyes and Kris Medlen were 1-and-4 in 8 starts with ERAs over 6.00. Hanson came in and not only solidified the fifth spot, he turned it into another number-1, with a 4-and-0 record, a 2.48 ERA, and an ability to work his way out of jams with the strikeout. His ERA and record probably look a little better than they should, but he executed when others could not, and he gave us the luxury of having 5 starters who can win a ballgame any time they take the mound. Feel free to disagree.
|2009 - Tommy Hanson||4-0||6||6||0||0||0||0||36.0||27||10||9||4||18||23||2.25||1.25|
Pitching LVP: As good as our number-5 starter was in June, our supposed number-1 starter, Derek Lowe, pitched like a scared rookie. He was way too hittable and way too horrible. Jeff Bennett and Eric O'Flaherty also had troubled months.
|2009 - Derek Lowe||7-7||18||18||0||0||0||0||106.2||117||58||54||5||36||56||4.56||1.43|