Gopher Holes for July

From Monty Python via YouTube

As we enter the home stretch of the 2018 I-75 season, the Gophers are taking their cues from the unmatched bravery shown by Monty Python’s battle-scarred Black Knight.  Despite suffering four substantial wounds during a bloody July, the Gophers fully intend to patch themselves back together and fight on to experience a glorious return to the playoffs and (dare we say) the Holy Grail of a league championship this fall.  While lesser teams might be tempted to retrench when their limbs start flying, the Gophers will stay true to their oft-repeated motto:  “Never surrender; never retreat.”

After such a nightmarish July, the valiant Black Knight himself would be proud.

A 2-3 series vs. Applegate?  “Tis but a scratch.”

Matching 1-4 series vs. Bismarck and SGP?  “I’ve had worse.”

An almost incomprehensible 0-5 sweep vs. once-powerful Savannah?  “Just a flesh wound.”

Admittedly, the Gophers’ bleeding was profuse during that 4-16 ordeal, coming on the heels of a successful 48-32 first half.  And some observers may view continuing the fight vs. a foe as formidable as the newly fortified Volcanoes as foolhardy and an exercise in futility.  But the Gophers stubbornly refuse to run and hide.

As for July highlights, we can sum them up quickly.  There was a tense 2-1 victory in the opener vs. Bismarck (followed by four tough losses).  There was a 19-1 laugher vs. SGP (sandwiched by four more tough losses), and there were actually two wins vs. Applegate (one of which included a seven-run ninth-inning rally featuring three homers — the last of which was a walkoff by Scooter Gennett that looked like a real momentum-changer at the time but was actually nothing of the sort.

That’s it for the highlights, aside from newcomer Josh Reddick hitting .377 in his Bushwood debut.  As for lowlights, we can offer a near-complete lack of offense, no timely hitting whatsoever, spotty work from a normally reliable rotation and consistently rotten luck on split rolls all month long.

And then there was Joey Gallo, the Gophers’ all-or-nothing slugger who was pretty much nothing in July.  Check out these putrid numbers:

  • Vs. Savannah: 0-for 16 with 9 Ks.
  • Vs. SPG:  0 for 9 with 4 Ks.
  • Vs. Applegate:  1 for 11 with 7 Ks.
  • Vs. Bismarck:  2 for 10 with 3 Ks.

July totals:  3 for 46 (.065 average) with 23 Ks.  (To be fair, all three of his hits were homers, which is nice.)

For the season, Joey’s average has bottomed out at .157 with 123 Ks and 18 homers in 267 at-bats.

Which brings us to Monday’s trading deadline.  Suffice to say that Gallo is available.  He is, despite his many faults, only 24 and possesses the strength of a dozen knights.

Other Gophers with tangible future value who might interest rebuilding clubs include Nomar Mazara, Nick Castellanos, Teoscar Hernandez, Jesse Winker, Paul DeJong,  Kyle Seager and Asdrubal Cabrera.

Frankly, the only Gophers who are untouchable at this point are probably Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom and Trevor Bauer, so if you are a buyer, have a look at the Gophers roster and see what appeals to you.  We are looking to upgrade our current roster, with upgrades at third base, outfield and in the bullpen preferred.

That’s all for now.

So long from Bushwood.

And remember, The Black Knight always prevails.  If not, “I’ll bite your legs off.”

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