Like we did in April and May, Talking Chop will be bringing you the hitting and pitching MVPs and LVPs for each month. June has been a murderous month for the Braves in recent history, but this year's Braves team is special and didn't fall into the trap. They went 17-11 against very some very tough opponents, and faced the Dodgers, DBacks and White Sox on a 10-game road trip.
More importantly, the Braves entered June with a 1/2 game lead in the NL East. They ended June with a 3 game lead.
Martin Prado was an animal in June, and the award wasn't even close to being close. The NL's starting 2nd baseman in the Mid-Summer classic put up a stellar .353/.386/.552 line in the month and basically carried the team offensively. In a month when Jason Heyward had a busted thumb and Troy Glaus battled nag ging injuries, Marteeen continued to be a force in our lineup. Besides Prado, Gregor Blanco had a very solid month in limited action and Omar Infante continued to be the best utility man in the business. All-in-all though, Martin Prado is the hitting MVP for June.
#14 / Second Base / Atlanta Braves
Oct 27, 1983
|2010 - Martin Prado||84||360||61||121||25||2||10||39||24||50||4||3||.336||.375||.500|
Don't freak out. I never thought I'd pick Jason Heyward for an LVP "award" either, but it's true. Jason showed a ton of heart by trying to play through his thumb injury, but he really hindered the lineup when he was out there. Heyward injured his thumb on a head-first slide in late May and hasn't been the same since then. After being the MVP of May, Heyward put up a dismal line of .181/.287/.245 in the month of June. Hopefully J-Hey will be back to his normal out-of-this-world self once he returns from his injury. Our lineup isn't the same without him.
#22 / Right Field / Atlanta Braves
Aug 09, 1989
|2010 - Jason Heyward||71||255||41||64||13||3||11||45||42||68||5||4||.251||.366||.455|
This one is really close. It'll be Tim Hudson (May's MVP) vs. Billy Wagner. Hudson was one again great as our ace in the month of June and went 3-2 with a 2.57ERA. He shouldn't have lost two games, but the offense failed to score for him multiple times. He also out-dualed Stephen Strasburg, in one of the more enjoyable games in the past few seasons. Billy Wagner was just a little bit better though, in my opinion. Wags pitched in 12 games and was a perfect 9/9 in save opportunites. Opponents "hit" .157 against him in the month and Billy's WHIP was below 1.00. 17 strikeouts in only 11.2 innings is ridiculous, especially with only 5 walks. Billy Wagner is the pitching MVP of June, with Huddy being an honorable mention.
#13 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Jul 25, 1971
|2010 - Billy Wagner||5-0||36||0||0||0||19||3||35.1||20||5||5||3||12||55||1.27||.91|
This is so dang awesome. For the 2nd month in a row, there's really no LVP for the Braves pitchers. In May, Jesse Chavez was the LVP, but he barely pitched. This month's LVP was injured for a few weeks, but still wasn't horrible. Takashi Saito had an ERA of 6.75, despite being one of our best relievers this season. He only worked 5.1 innings, but somehow allowed 4 earned runs in those innings. He also gave up 2 HRs to opponents in the month of June, including an 0-2 fastball down the middle to Paul Konerko that lost us the game in Chicago. Despite the struggles, Saito still wasn't horrible though. He's our pitching LVP for the month of June.
#40 / Pitcher / Atlanta Braves
Feb 14, 1970
|2010 - Takashi Saito||1-3||33||0||0||0||0||1||32.0||25||14||13||3||11||40||3.66||1.13|