August was a strange month. They barely kept their streak of winning months alive, going 15-14. They also coughed up first place in the IL North for good after leading the way for a good portion of the year. It didn't appear that any one player or pitcher stood out during August. Hitters went in and out of slumps and pitchers were inconsistent. Boof Bonser, Scott Baker and Mike Smith all made trips to Minnesota. Bonser stayed and now Baker is going up. Smith came back and has been very ineffective.
But a closer look at the stats revealed that one Red Wing actually did stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Red Wings Player of the Month:
Garrett Jones, 1B
No-one is more surprised to be saying that than me, being as I have been very critical of his performance for most of the season. However all Jones did in August was have his best month of the season. He hit .284 with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HR's and 25 RBI. His OPS for the month was .829. Jones finally reached the 20 HR plateau (he hit 24 last year) and has 91 RBI so far. He leads the Wings by a large margin in both categories. So a tip of the cap to Garrett Jones for a surprisingly excellent month.
Honorable Mention:My runner up is actually a tie between newcomer Quinton McCracken and the much improved Alexander Romero. McCracken batted over .300 with a HR and 10 RBI, and many of his hits were important game breaking hits. Many would even call them 'clutch' , although I'm finding that term isn't politically correct in some baseball circles anymore.
Romero batted .291 in August with 5 doubles and 10 RBI. He also played pretty good 'd' and was responsible for several key hits.
Congratulations to Jones, McCracken and Romero.
Red Wings Pitcher of the Month:
Robert Korecky, RP
Korecky turned in an excellent month of August. He appeared in 11 games, pitching 17 1/3 innings and allowing only 3 earned runs, 14 hits, winning 2 games, losing none and earning 4 saves. Although he hasn't quite got the consistency needed for a closer, he has looked better and more confident in his recent outings.
Honorable Mention:Scott Baker, who never had a bad start in the month of August. He was 2-2 with an excellent ERA of 2.31. He had 27 strikeouts in 35 innings and could have easily won every start he made. He will now be helping the Twins in their quest to make the AL post season playoffs.
That's it for August.
I'll be back at the end of the season for my final report card on the 2006 Red Wings.