THT Awardsby John Barten
June 11, 2013
Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, June 3 through Sunday, June 9. Please see the week one column for category explanations.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an archaic practice that must stop
Good luck division
Edinson Volquez was rocked for nine runs in two and a third on 11 hits and two walks, striking out only one Rockies batter. But because of Jorge de la Rosa, Rob Scahill, and Josh Outman, Volquez escaped with one of the ugliest no-decisions you will ever see.
Andy Pettitte failed to make it out of the fifth inning, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking three, striking out three in four and two thirds. He was spared the loss as the Yankees lineup battered Justin Masterson for seven runs.
Tyler Skaggs and Michael Wacha were both shelled, combing to allow 11 runs on 16 hits in 10 and a third. Neither took the loss in a game that went 14 innings. Their bullpens combined to allow two runs in 17 and two thirds.
Clayton Richard and Ted Lilly combined to allow 11 runs in eight and a third on 11 hits and four walks. They allowed two home runs each and dodged the loss, which went instead to Tyson Ross.
Jason Vargas avoided the loss despite getting roughed up by the Cubs at home for five runs in five frames on 11 hits and two walks.
A Dale Thayer blown hold took Jhoulys Chacin off the hook after the Rockies starter yielded five runs in five and a third to San Diego.
Nathan Karns managed to make it through only three innings, having been charged with four runs on five hits and three walks. But Anthony Swarzak blew the lead and Karns was off the hook.
Bad luck division
In the ridiculous 20-inning Marlins/Mets game, Matt Harvey left with a back problem, having thrown seven innings, allowing one run on six hits, walking none, striking out eight. Obviously he didn’t receive a decision. But the really weird thing is that he wasn’t the toughest luck pitcher on his staff that night. Shaun Marcum pitched a full eight innings, allowing one run on five hits, walking none, striking out seven. He took the loss as the Mets could muster only one run in 20 innings off eight Marlins pitchers.
Joe Blanton picked up his ninth loss of the season in one of his best-pitched games. Well, given that he was facing the Astros, it might not have been his best pitched, but at least it was among the more effective starts he produced this year. Blanton went eight frames, allowing two runs on three hits, walking none, striking out 11 for a 79 game score. But the Angels lineup was held to one run at home against Erik Bedard.
Tim Hudson took the loss in a game in which he posted a game score of 70. He allowed one run in seven innings on four hits, walking none, striking out five. But Zack Greinke and the Dodgers shut out Hudson’s teammates, dooming Hudson’s chances at the victory.
Eric Stults gave the Padres seven innings, allowing only two runs on six hits, walking none, striking out three. He took the loss as Der Vaters’ lineup could muster only one run in the game against Stephen Fife and the Dodgers.
Alex Cobb and Doug Fister each had a tough time of it in the decision department on Wednesday. Cobb threw seven and two thirds shutout innings against the very tough Tigers lineup. He took a no-decision. Fister left the game with one out in the top of the ninth, having allowed two runs in the contest, leaving behind a runner on first. Drew Smyly let that base runner score and Fister took the loss, having been betrayed by his offense and his bullpen.
A Ryan Cook blown hold removed A.J. Griffin from the decision despite the Oakland starter’s seven solid innings of work in which he held the Brewers scoreless in Milwaukee, yielding only three hits, walking one, striking out five.
Lucas Harrell managed to hold the Orioles to two runs in seven frames on five hits, walking none, striking out six. The problem is that this is the 2013 Astros we are talking about and they managed only one run against Chris Tillman and the Birds. Harrell took the loss.
Josh Johnson went seven innings, allowed two runs on six hits, walked none, struck out six, and took the loss in San Francisco.
Neither Jordan Lyles nor James Shields factored into the decision on Friday when they combined to pitch 14 innings, allowing four runs on 15 hits and four walks, striking out nine.
Matt Cain and Pat Corbin combined to allow two runs in 14 and a third innings of work. They allowed 11 hits, walked three, and struck out eight. Cain was in line for the win until Jeremy Affeldt blew the lead. Neither starter took the victory.
Paul Maholm and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven and a third and seven and two thirds respectively. They allowed one run each, allowed less than a base runner per inning, and posted game scores of 67 and 68. They each walked away with a no-decision.
Mark Buehrle was the starter in Saturday’s 18-inning Rangers/Blue Jays marathon that on almost any other night would have been the longest game of the day. He allowed one run in seven innings and left with a pitch count of 92. He was the victim of Casey Janssen’s blown save.
Tommy Milone held the White Sox to one run in seven innings. Charley Comiskey’s boys managed only four hits off Milone, who struck out seven. But he received no decision in the game. The Oakland lineup scored only one run in the contest.
Felix Hernandez threw seven frames, yielding only one run to the Yankees on five hits and two walks, striking out seven. He would not factor into the decision.
In Wednesday’s 16-inning White Sox/Mariners affair, Addison Reed began his stint by blowing a five-run lead in the 14th, allowing four consecutive singles and a Kyle Seager grand slam. He went on to win the game after his teammates scored two runs off Hector Noesi in the 16th.
Wes Littleton Award
Jose Valverde's seventh save of the season came with a three-run lead. He faced Luke Scott, Jose Lobaton and Yunel Escobar.
Please hold the applause
Kelvin Herrera’s fifth hold of the season came as he recorded a one-two-three inning, retiring Aaron Hicks, Pedro Florimon and Eduardo Escobar in order. Woo hoo.
In the course of defending a three-run lead against the Pirates, Carlos Marmol didn’t face the all-around threat of Andrew McCutchen or the power threats that are Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones. He retired Clint Barmes, Alex Presley and Starling Marte for a 0.03 WPA.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
On Sunday, Harrell and Luis Mendoza combined to strike out four of the 51 batters they faced. They were touched up for only six hits in 14 innings and neither allowed a run.
Bedard struck out two of the 26 Anaheim batters he faced yet was punished with only one run on five hits.
Joe Carter Award
Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Teixeira drove in 12 and eight runs respectively. They hit for power; Goldschmidt tapped out two doubles and two home runs while Teixeira gave the Yankees one double and three home runs. But their batting averages undercut the rest of their production, ending the week at .207/.233/.483 and .185/.267/.556 in 30 PA each.
Desmond Jennings plated five, but batted a putrid .150/.182/.400 in 21 PA.
Allen Craig collected six ribbies while going .281/.303/.406.
After enjoying a splendid couple of months, James Loney had a very James Loney week, going .318/.318/.364 in 22 PA.
It never fails that I try to put an extra “e” on the end of Michael Bourn’s name. Bourn could have used an extra something, preferably a walk or an extra base hit. The Cleveland outfielder went .308/.308/.346 in 26 PA.
And Endy Chavez posted a limp .286/.318/.286 line in 22 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Adam Dunn rode seven walks and a pair of home runs to a very Adam Dunnian .200/.375/.480 line in 32 PA.
Brian McCann went .200/.333/.400 in 18 PA. He reached base three times via hit and three times via walk.
B.J. Upton kept on struggling to make contact this week, but of his meager three hits in 24 PA, one was a home run. And he chipped in seven walks for a .176/.417/.353 line.
Chris Carter walked and broomsticked his way to a very odd looking but effective .176/.364/.529 line.
Lastly, there must have been something about a .176 batting average because Russell Martin joined Upton and Carter and gave the Pirates a .176/.333/.412 line.
Steve Balboni Award
Just as James Loney had a week reminiscent of the old James Loney, Chris Davis had an old school Rangers era Chris Davis week, striking out 11 times in 26 PA and scuffling to the tune of .192/.192/.231.
Mark Reynolds just does this sometimes. He went down on strikes 10 times in 24 PA and batted .095/.208/.095.
Kelly Shoppach fanned nine times in 17 PA, posting a putrid .200/.316/.267 line.
Mike Napoli also struck out nine times, going .143/.321/.143 in 27 PA.
B.J. may have had a good week despite some contact problems, but Justin Upton couldn’t overcome his issues, posting a .136/.296/.136 line with nine Ks in 27 PA.
Three true outcomes
Dan Uggla could be counted among the usual suspects for this award. This week he homered three times, walked seven times, and struck out eight times in 29 PA.
Dunn went two-seven-eight in 32 PA.
Matt Holliday posted a two-seven-six in 34 PA.
Jedd Gyorko went two-two-10 in 33 PA.
And Teixeira went three-three-nine in 30 PA.
Dexter Fowler didn’t homer or walk and struck out only three times in 25 PA.
Michael Young went zero-one-two in 26 PA.
And Andrelton Simmons went zero-one-three in 35 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Brett Gardner rode batting average this week, but batting average was a horse that took him a long way. The Yankees outfielder went .520/.556/.840 with seven singles, five doubles, a home run, and two walks in 27 PA.
NL: Yasiel Puig owned the public’s attention this week but he is sharing this award with more established division rival Troy Tulowitzki. In Puig’s first exposure to the major leagues, he smacked 13 hits, four of which were home runs for a .464/.483/.964 line in 29 PA.
Tulo went .429/.515/.929 with 12 hits, four homers, and four walks in 32 PA.
John Barten writes the THT Awards weekly feature. Please send suggestions, comments, corrections, and input to his email address. Follow him on Twitter at JohnMBarten