THT Awardsby John Barten
June 25, 2013
Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, June 17 through Sunday, June 23. 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
Jon Lester allowed five runs in five and two thirds on nine hits and three walks, striking out three. Despite a 31 game score, he was granted his seventh win of the season.
CC Sabathia allowed five runs to the Rays in seven frames, striking out the same number of batters as he allowed to homer. He got the win as he outlasted Alex Colome and the Rays bullpen’s ability to prevent more runs. It didn’t hurt that David Robertson and Mariano Rivera threw scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
Paul Maholm went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out three. He posted a 37 game score and took the win. The Atlanta lineup scored seven runs in the game, six off Brewers starter Alfredo Figaro.
Dan Straily and Nick Tepesch combined to allow 12 runs in eight and a third innings of work. They were peppered with 14 hits between them, walked two, and struck out only one batter. They both avoided the loss.
Dylan Axelrod was saved from the loss by way of the Twins bullpen blowing the lead. Axelrod had allowed five runs in six innings.
Scott Diamond took the win despite allowing four runs in five and a third. John Danks was shelled by the Twins for six runs in five frames, giving Diamond the win.
Felix Hernandez and Tommy Hanson were destroyed on Thursday to the tune of 14 runs in seven innings on 18 hits and two walks. The Mariners bullpen didn’t stop at one blown save, blowing a second save, ensuring that neither pitcher factored in the decision.
R.A. Dickey was smacked around for six runs in six innings on seven hits and two walks. He allowed home runs to Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, and Ryan Flaherty. A Tommy Hunter blown hold took him off the hook for the loss.
Dillon Gee’s second start of the week resulted in six runs in five innings, but he escaped with a no-decision thanks to a Phillies blown save.
Bad luck division
James Shields and Carlos Carrasco combined to toss 13 and a third innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and five walks, striking out nine. Neither took the win.
Jorge de la Rosa and Josh Johnson pitched seven and seven and a third scoreless innings respectively. Johnson in particular was dominant, striking out 10 Rockies, walking two, and only allowing five hits. The only pitcher in the game who allowed a run was Matt Belisle, who was tagged for two runs by the Jays. Neither starter ended up with the win, which went to Brett Cecil.
Gee pitched eight and a third, allowing only two runs to Atlanta and he took the loss. The opposing starter, Tim Hudson went seven, allowed one run, and walked away with a no decision.
Pat Corbin went eight solid innings, allowing two runs on two hits and one walk, striking out seven. Both of his runs allowed were on a Giancarlo Stanton home run. Stanton hit another home run off Heath Bell, which turned into the game winner. Turner didn’t get the win.
Ervin Santana gave the Royals seven innings of one-run baseball, allowing only three hits, walking two, striking out six Cleveland hitters. The bullpen blew the lead, which was made easier by the fact that the Kansas City offense scored only three runs against Ubaldo Jimenez and three Indians relievers. Santana’s 71 game score was wasted.
Maholm took the loss when he went seven innings, allowing two runs on nine hits, walking none, striking out seven. Zack Wheeler and the Mets bullpen limited the Atlanta offense to one run in the game.
Felix Doubront shut out the Rays for eight innings, posting an 82 game score along the way. He took a no-decision as Andrew Bailey blew the save in the ninth inning.
Randall Delgado held the Marlins to two runs in seven frames. But the Snakes could only manage two runs off opposing starter Nate Eovaldi and the win went to the bullpen.
A Jeremy Affeldt blown hold kept Matt Cain from getting the win after the Giants starter held the Padres to two runs in seven innings, striking out 10.
Jose Fernandez threw seven and a third for the Fish, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. He took the loss. After Trevor Cahill left the game upon getting hit by a comebacker, Josh Collmenter held Miami scoreless for six innings, allowing only one hit and one walk, striking out seven. Collmenter didn’t get the win either.
Gio Gonzalez and Kyle Kendrick combined to pitch 14 and two thirds, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out 17 batters. Neither of them ended up with the win.
Jeff Locke and Bronson Arroyo combined to throw 14 innings, allowing one run on 11 hits and six walks. A Jason Grilli blown hold kept Locke from the win and took Arroyo off the hook for the loss.
Erik Bedard was victimized by a Hector Ambriz blown hold. Bedard had tossed seven and a third, allowing one run on four hits and two walks, striking out six Brewers along the way.
Joe Saunders took the loss when his Mariners were shut out by C.J. Wilson and the Angels. Saunders held the Angels to one run in his eight innings.
Wade Davis failed to get the win despite tossing seven innings, allowing one run on eight hits and two walks, striking out six. The White Sox held the Royals to two runs in the game and Davis ended up with the no-decision.
Corbin held the Reds to one run in eight innings and failed to take the win thanks to a Heath Bell blown save.
Good and bad luck division
In Sunday’s game between the Pirates and the Angels, Pirates starter Charlie Morton allowed six runs in five and two thirds. Angels starter Joe Blanton allowed three runs on six hits and no walks in seven and a third. Halos reliever Ernesto Frieri blew the save by allowing three runs in two thirds of an inning, taking Morton off the hook for the loss and taking the presumptive win from Blanton.
Jonathan Papelbon blew his first save of the year at home against the Nationals only to watch the Phillies lineup score off Fernando Abad to hand Papelbon the victory. Then his third blown save of the season (and the week) resulted in another win, this time against the Mets.
Andrew Bailey ruined Doubront’s outing by allowing a home run to Kelly Johnson. In the following half inning, Jonny Gomes smacked a two-run bomb off Joel Peralta turning Bailey into the winning pitcher.
Jared Burton blew his fourth hold of the season and was gifted his first win of the season as the Twins scored two runs off Ramon Troncoso.
In a game where neither starter makes it out of the fifth inning, strange things are possible when it comes to apportionment of the decisions. On Friday, Will Harris got the win when he threw five pitches in retiring Todd Frazier. If the Diamondbacks had left Wade Miley in there for one more batter, Miley would have gone the requisite five innings for the win and then in the next half inning would have been the beneficiary of the four runs the snakes scored to take a lead they would not relinquish. Instead it was Harris that got the win because he happened to be there at the exact right time.
Darren Oliver allowed a Taylor Teagarden home run to blow the hold. He ended up with the win as the Jays scored a run after that off Miguel Gonzalez.
Wes Littleton Award
When Heath Bell allowed a Justin Ruggiano solo home run, it was the second successful save in a row where he had allowed a run and third time this season. His last appearance where he didn’t allow a base runner was on May 26. Batters are hitting .278/.304/.481 in his successful saves and .324/.352/.574 in all save situations. He is 13 for 16 in saves but if the Diamondbacks aren’t complete lunatics, they are almost certainly looking for an alternative plan at closer.
In protecting a three run lead in the ninth inning, Glen Perkins retired the seven-eight-nine hitters for the White Sox; Dayan Viciedo, Gordon Beckham, and Tyler Flowers.
Grant Balfour was called upon with a three run lead in Seattle. The three batters he retired were Raul Ibanez, Michael Saunders, and Brendan Ryan. He allowed a hit to Justin Smoak. If he had somehow allowed another hit, he would have faced the leadoff hitter, Endy Chavez, who has an OBP under .300.
With a three run lead at Petco, Huston Street set down Skip Schumaker, pinch hitter Jerry Hairston Jr., and Nick Punto. It was his 15th save of the season.
Vinnie Pestano’s third save of the year happened despite allowing two runs on a walk and two hits, one of which was a home run.
Please hold the applause
Kelvin Herrera was credited with a hold and a loss on Tuesday with an assist from Tim Collins. Herrera entered the game with a two run lead, allowed a run and was replaced by Collins with two runners on base. Collins immediately allowed the inherited runners to score, which gave him the blown save but also put Herrera in line for the loss. Herrera had entered in a save situation and left with the save still intact. But the losing run was charged to him. Therefore he got the loss and the hold.
Joel Peralta also took the hold/loss combo on Saturday against the Yankees.
Luke Gregerson was brought in with two out and one on in the eighth inning. He retired Juan Uribe to end the inning and was lifted for closer Huston Street for the ninth inning. So the only thing that could have ruined his day would have been allowing a home run to Uribe, who is slugging .315 with nine home runs in his last three seasons, 632 PA worth of data.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
In one of the reverse scenarios that I present from time to time, Roy Oswalt was the victim of terrible BABIP luck. He struck out 11 of the 24 Nats he faced and ended up allowing nine hits, resulting in four runs and a loss.
Jacob Turner tossed seven innings, allowing only one run on six hits despite only striking out two of the 26 Giants he faced.
Mike Leake struck out one of the 29 Diamondbacks he faced and enough balls in play found gloves to take him eight innings with only four hits allowed, resulting in two runs. One of those hits was a two-run home run.
Andrew Cashner struck out two of the 28 Dodgers he faced in eight innings of one run baseball. The Dodgers only managed five hits.
Joe Carter Award
Adam Jones collected seven runs batted in this week in 25 PA. He did this despite hitting .240/.240/.400 for the Orioles.
Allen Craig also plated seven runs. He had a very empty .304/.320/.348 line in 24 PA.
Among those who drove in six this week were Carlos Pena, who went .150/.190/.450, Victor Martinez, who went .160/.290/.320, and Kendrys Morales, who put up a .200/.286/.320 line.
I mentioned Craig above, going .304/.320/.348. In the details of his week, you have seven hits in 25 PA. Only one of those hits resulted in extra bases. He did not walk but he did get hit by a pitch (Sunday, Tepesch), ground into a double play, and hit a sacrifice fly.
Ben Revere smacked eight hits in 25 PA, but did not walk and all of his hits were singles. Even a four for four week on the base paths doesn’t make his .320/.320/.320 anything more than a marginal week.
Trevor Plouffe went .308/.308/.346 in 26 PA.
Steve Lombardozzi, Denard Span, and Anthony Rendon went.308/.333/.385, .286/.318/.333, and .276/.300/.345 for the Nats respectively.
Brett Gardner gave the Yankees a .292/.320/.333 in 25 PA.
Schumaker hit .280/.333/.280 in 27 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Brian Dozier came into this week with 30 career walks and 10 career home runs in 551 Major League plate appearances. This week he had seven walks and three home runs in 27 PA. This week he reached base safely by way of hit four times and by walk or HBP eight times for a .211/.444/.737 line.
Carlos Santana posted a .211/.400/.368 line for Cleveland in 25 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Yoenis Cespedes struck out 13 times in 31 PA. Given that he walked three times and that two of his three hits were home runs, he might have had a good week had he been able to make more contact. But as it stands, he went .107/.194/.357.
Tyler Colvin flailed his way to a .000/.056/.000 by way of 10 strikeouts in 18 PA.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia went .167/.250/.222 and was out on strikes in nine of his 20 PA.
Brandon Barnes led the Astros in strikeouts for the week with nine of them in 25 PA. He ended the week with a .167/.200/.167 line.
Among other batters who struggled to both make contact and post a respectable line were Stalin Castro, Carlos Gonzalez, Starling Marte, Garrett Jones, Mark Trumbo, Josh Hamilton, Kyle Blanks, Colby Rasmus, Brandon Phillips, and Manny Machado.
Three true outcomes
Pedro Alvarez smacked four home runs, walked twice, and struck out nine times in his 31 PA.
Cespedes went three-three-13 in 31 PA.
Ibanez posted a four-two-11 TTO line in 30 PA.
Shin-Soo Choo went one-five-nine in 30 PA.
Ryan Howard went three-three-eight in 24 PA.
Freddie Freeman went one-seven-nine in 35 PA.
Adam Dunn went two-five-six in 30 PA.
Evan Longoria went three-five-seven in 30 PA.
And although he didn’t strike out as much as you would expect given the category, Dozier’s three-seven-two in 27 PA deserves mention.
David Murphy did not homer or walk. He only struck out one time in his 27 PA.
Seth Smith posted a zero-two-one in 26 PA.
And Andrelton Simmons went zero-two-two in 33 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Miguel Cabrera rapped out 15 hits in 33 PA for the Tigers. Only four of those were extra base hits but .536/.606/.821 is outstanding.
NL: Ryan Howard had his best week in a long time, going yard three times and posting a .476/.538/1.095 in 24 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