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Fourth Month in Review

It might be the middle of August, but I still haven't gotten to my review of July - I'm a slacker sometimes. Anyway, this will be an abbreviated version of the MVP and LVP awards for July - I feel compelled to keep this series going. On the offensive side, here are the winners and losers:

Offensive MVP & LVP for July:

MVP: Chipper Jones - apologies to Kelly Johnson, Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Edgar Renteria, Matt Diaz, and Yunel Escobar

LVP: Scott Thorman - apologies to Chris Woodward and Willie Harris

It's about time Chipper won this, and July was his month. He put up a .364 average, drove in 19 runs and scored 19 runs. There were also a bunch of other worthy nominees as July was a great month to be a Braves batter. Kelly Johnson hit .356, Renteria hit .365, Frenchy hit .330, Yuney put up a .328 average, and Diaz posted a .321 average. Even Andruw Jones got in on the offensive feast by hitting a team-high eight homeruns and driving in a team-high 23 RBIs. Brian McCann was right behind him with five homeruns and 22 RBI. The entire offense drove in 152 RBI - good enough for second best in the NL in July (the Phillies were first).

On the LVP side, Scott Thorman didn't muster much offense, hitting just .182, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia and then Julio Franco stole most of his playing time. Some consideration for LVP actually went to Salty, who hit just .228 in July with no power and has continued that downward trend for Texas (he's hitting .189 in August). Perhaps that's why the Braves held him out of games as the trade deadline approached - he made just two starts the last 10 days of the month. He avoided LVP status, as his value was more on the trade market than it was on the field.

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Pitching MVP & LVP for July:

MVP: Buddy Carlyle - apologies to Peter Moylan, Chad Paronto, Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, and Chuck James

LVP: Tyler Yates - apologies to Kyle Davies, Jo-Jo Reyes, and Wil Ledezma

Other starters had better ERAs than Buddy Carlyle, but I'm giving him the MVP of the month because he has finally stabilized the fourth spot in the rotation (last night not withstanding). The last two slots in the pitching rotation have been sore spots for the Braves all year, and getting at least one of them sorted out is a big deal. Buddy posted a 3.23 ERA and went 3-and-1 in five starts - very good for a minor league scrap heap off-season find. Our other top-three starters also fared well, with all of them sporting ERAs for the month under 3.00.

The bullpen was a story of good and bad. On the good end, Chad Paronto and Peter Moylan had great success in the middle innings of games. On the other end, last month's pitching MVP Tyler Yates lost all semblance of control. He put up a 12.60 ERA while appearing in 14 games. He was 0-and-3 and had a WHIP of just under 3.00.

Until next month...