MLB Monthly Pulse: Yankees and Phillies Dominate July

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MLB Monthly Pulse: Yankees and Phillies Dominate July
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Welcome to the MLB Monthly Pulse here at Bleacher Report.

The MLB Monthly Pulse is a new monthly survey taken by myself to get a consensus for many of the different awards and monthly topics.

If you missed out participating for July, you can still do so for August and September. Just be on the look out for a link in the Community Leader box on the MLB section of Bleacher Report about a week before the month ends.

A big thank you to this month's participants: Colin Means, Patrick Murray, Christian Karcole, Bret Bledsoe, John Parent, Daniel Abbas, Cameron Britt, Shanan H., Nick Rall, and Danny Penza.

The survey asks each participant for the basic MVP and Cy Young awards up to this point in both leagues, a team of the month in both league, a web gem from last month, a team that is about to get hot in the following month, and for a little bit of site flare, a MLB article that stood out to them here on Bleacher Report.

Here's what this month's results gave us.

 

American League MVP: 1B Justin Morneau, Minnesota

Votes: Morneau 3, Ichiro 2, Bobby Abreu 2, Mark Teixeira 1, Joe Mauer 1, Erick Aybar 1

The might have been some confusion as to this being a monthly award or a cumulative award.

Other than that slight mishap, all on my part for not specifying in a better way, Morneau edged out Ichiro.

Justin Morneau is the current leader in both runs batted in and home runs in the American League. While all the attention is on Joe Mauer and his relentless hitting, Morneau is the one producing a lot of offense.

 

National League MVP: 1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis

Votes: Pujols 6, Yunel Escobar 2, Derrek Lee 1, Jimmy Rollins 1

No confusion here, Albert Pujols runs away with things in the National League MVP vote.

Pujols leads the entire free world in home runs and is just one behind Prince Fielder in runs batted in. He's fallen into a slump, for him at least, in the past week or so with just five hits in his last seven games.

Still, what is a slump for Albert is a good week for many players, so I don't think he's too disappointed.

 

American League Cy Young: P Jarrod Washburn, Detroit

Votes: Washburn 3, Mark Buehrle 2, Josh Beckett 2, Brett Anderson 1, Zach Greinke 1, Roy Halladay 1

If Jarrod Washburn ends up winning the real Cy Young, then we would have seen what we didn't last year when CC Sabathia got movement to win the Cy Young award despite being traded to another league.

It won't be as hard for Washburn though as he gets to keep his statistics and now he's on a playoff contender.

Shanan H. said not to laugh at the pick, but no one's laughing as two others agreed, Washburn right now is right up there behind Zach Greinke in the lead for ERA in the American League.

 

National League Cy Young: P Tim Lincecum, San Francisco

Votes: Linececum 6, Dan Haren 1, Wandy Rodriguez 1, Matt Cain 1, Jason Marquis 1

As there was with Albert Pujols, no doubt about who everyone likes to win the NL Cy Young right now.

Tim Lincecum has as good as chance as anyone to win it and repeat. He trails teammate Matt Cain in ERA by just .06 points and it should surprise no one that he leads everyone in strikeouts.

And now that the Giants are in playoff contention and he's at 12 wins, a 20-win season isn't out of the realm of possibility.

AL Team of the Month: New York Yankees

Votes: New York 7, Texas 1, Boston 1, Los Angeles 1

When July started, the Yankees were two and a half games back of Boston and were in the midst of a seven game win-streak.

As we stand now, they are just a half game up on their division rivals, but thanks in large part to going 18-9 in the month of July, they've closed that gap and put a bit of a scare into Boston.

The Yankees had their biggest run output this year with 146 runs scored as well.

What's concerning is that the Yankees have started to cool off and Boston is starting to heat back up with the addition of All-Star slugger Victor Martinez.

Still, you'll be hard-pressed to find a team that played better ball last month, except for one.

 

NL Team of the Month: Philadelphia Phillies

Votes: Philadelphia 4, Chicago 2, Atlanta 1, Colorado 1, Houston, Los Angeles 1

Talk about putting up some distance.

The Phillies started the month just a half game up on the hard-charging Florida Marlins.

Now, they are five games up on the Fish and seven up on the Braves.

This was the team that played better than the Yankees in the month of July. The Phillies were virtually untouchable and the pounded their opponents in just about every way.

They laid 153 runs on their opponents and only let 97 cross the plate to lead them to a 20-7 month. That's a .741 winning percentage.

They had a 15 game stretch in which they lost just one game, a 4-3 nail-bitter that saw Brad Lidge give up a tie-game in the top of the 9th.

Can you blame them? This was one night after they put 22 runs up on the Reds, Cincinnati was angry and something had to give.

 

Web Gem of the Month: Dewayne Wise saves Mark Buehrle's Perfect Game

Honorable Mentions: Garrett Jones and Delwyn Young's kick and catch, Pablo Sandoval's series against the Rockies where he robbed Dexter Fowler, Daniel Murphy's diving stop

One of the highlights of July was the perfect game that was thrown by Mark Buehrle.

And there was a highlight within a highlight that will probably live on forever in terms of meaningful regular season catches.

It was the spectacular and heart-stopping grab made by Dewayne Wise.

The way Wise catches up to the ball is just something itself, then to bobble the ball around as a perfect game hangs in the balance. In Wise's mind, I'm sure that moment lasted longer than a second.

 

Where There's Smoke: San Francisco Giants and Tampa Bay Rays

Mentioned: Cubs, Yankees, Twins, Cardinals, Rangers

Two people agreed that both San Francisco and Tampa Bay were about to get hot.

Tampa Bay stands a few games back in the division lead and with that just a half game less for the Wild Card, so a big run would really help them right now. They need to be closer by the end of August, or the AL Champs probably won't get a chance to defend their crown.

The Giants meanwhile have been looking up at the Dodgers for the division lead all year. However they now find themselves in a stiff battle for the Wild Card spot with their division-mates in Colorado.

Don't forget about Florida and Atlanta though. With Philadelphia starting to run away from the rest of the East, the two teams still alive must set their sites on the Wild Card now.

The Giants though just added second baseman Freddy Sanchez and first baseman Ryan Garko for extra punch in the lineup, so maybe they're ready to make that run.

 

B/R MLB Article of the Month

Obviously, with 10 different voters and possibly more next month, and with infinitely more articles submitted, it's hard to get a consensus.

The majority decided to leave this blank, as I made this an optional field for everyone. But three people did submit links to MLB articles.

The first is a slide show by Joel Barker that gives five reasons that umpire Bill Hohn should be thrown out of baseball. His actions might be deserving of punishment, but his mustache deserves a promotion.

The next article is by Mike Kent, in which he picks a song for each MLB Team's first-half. Very cold with giving the Indians Heartbreak Hotel 56, Mike. Sadly though, I would have picked something that described more of a disaster. Yes, I'm even more cold.

The final article that was submitted was Daniel Abbas' NL Midseason Report Card. It really was the midseason report card to end all midseason report cards. Great work Danny.

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