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Bearcats in the Big Leagues: August Rush

In this week’s episode, Josh Harrison celebrates August and Connor Walsh dominates.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Harrison

Many a baseball scribe bemoans the use of small sample sizes to make any meaningful observation. With that put aside, Josh Harrison is killing it in August. In 10 games (nine starts) since the month began, Harrison has posted a slash line of .350/.381/.475. Most of that production has come via the single-base increment, with just three of his 14 hits in the month going for extra bases. Still, getting on base at such a prodigious rate is a nice return to form for Harrison, who languished throughout June and July.

The Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman has historically performed well in the eighth month of the season. His .319 career batting average in August is higher than any other month. He also has hit eight home runs in the month, another personal best.

On Sunday, Harrison had one of his best games of the season, going 4-for-6 with two runs and two RBI in an 11-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was his fourth multi-hit game of the month and 23rd of the season. He had all of two multi-hit games in July for comparison. Harrison’s last four-hit game occurred on Sept. 12 of last year when he went 4-for-4 in a 10-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Ian Happ

Harrison has found the stroke once again and so has Happ, at least to a degree. Despite batting just .182 in his last 10 games, the former Bearcat has gone 6-for-22 (.272) since last week’s episode. Along the way, he launched his fourth home run for the Tennessee Smokies and 11th overall in 2016 after hitting seven in Single A before being called up. Happ now has a slash line of .266/.313/.395 at the Double A level and has recorded 15 extra base hits in 177 at-bats.

Tony Campana

On Sunday, Campana went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, ending a dismal week in which the veteran outfielder managed to record just a single hit in 11 at-bats. Since joining the Charlotte Knights, the Triple A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, Campana is batting just .181.

Connor Walsh

Although he only appeared in one game during the last week, Walsh got in plenty of work, throwing two innings of effective relief in a 6-2 win over the Carolina Mudcats. The Winstom-Salem Dash reliever entered the game in the top of the fifth with runners on second and third and no outs. Although he did let up a run-scoring single, he managed to escape the frame with just that one run across. He followed up that effort with a dominant top of the sixth, striking out all three batters he faced. Walsh has a 3.26 ERA in 24 games for the Dash.

Ryan Atkinson

After almost a month of sitting out, Atkinson finally got to work for the AZL D-Backs. He made two appearances in the last week. First, he spun a shutout inning of relief in a 5-0 loss to the AZL White Sox. Then, he made a start against the AZL Padres and allowed just one run over three innings, striking out five along the way. The right-hander has a 2.25 ERA with the AZL D-Backs and a 4.38 ERA in four total appearances in the minor leagues since signing with the Diamondbacks.