After going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts in his second All-Star Game, Harrison did not hit the ground running in the second half. Harrison did not manage a hit in nine plate appearances over the weekend, although he did score as a pinch runner on Sunday. Although Harrison was a more than deserving All Star, and clearly the most consistent player of the first half for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he has been really struggling in July. Since the month began he is slashing a miserable .119/.178/.190 with a home run and four runs scored. He has also struck out 20 percent of the time while walking at just a 2.2 percent rate.
As for Happ, July has been solid, as he’s posted a .935 OPS in 48 plate appearances, launching three home runs and six extra-base hits, scoring eight times and stealing a pair of bases. He’s also walked at a 10.4 percent clip, while cutting his strikeout rate down to 16.7 percent in the month. During the three games since the All-Star break, Happ slashed .250/.357/.333 in 14 plate appearances. He didn’t do much in terms of power (.083 ISO), but didn’t strike out much (7.1 percent) and was patient at the plate.
The Birmingham Barons right-hander was in action twice since our last update and he did well in both appearances. He tossed one shutout inning, striking out two and allowing just one hit in a 6-2 win on July 10. He followed that up with his first save of the season in a 3-1 victory on July 14 when he once again allowed no runs, struck out two batters and let up a hit in one inning of relief work. Over the last 10 games, Walsh has been excellent, with a 0.54 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 17 innings. He is 2-2 with a 3.49 ERA and 46 strikeouts across 38 2⁄3 total innings this season.
Atkinson struck out nine batters for the third straight time in his last start. In a six-inning effort against the Dayton Dragons, the right-hander limited the opposing lineup to one earned run on two hits and three walks to go with the heaping of punchouts. He had struck out nine batters five days earlier, but had a less than ideal result in that start, surrendering two hits and seven hits to take his eighth loss of the season overall and sixth in his last 10 starts. Atkinson has a 3.19 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 59 1⁄3 innings during that stretch, making him a walking billboard for why the win is not the best statistic to measure pitching performance.