THT Awardsby John Barten
July 26, 2008
Welcome to the awards.
For award definitions and background on the column itself, please consult the Primer.
All weekly stats are for the period of Friday, July 18 through Thursday, July 24. All season totals are through the 24th.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an idiotic practice that must stop
Good Luck Division:
Tim Hudson allowed five runs in 6.2 innings, striking out two, allowing nine hits. He got the win thanks to Tim Redding getting shredded by the Braves lineup.
Odalis Perez yielded five runs on nine hits, including two bombs in five innings and the Nats offense still managed to get him a win.
Greg Maddux and Braden Looper handed out 12 runs in seven frames for matching no decisions.
Todd Wellemeyer got knocked around for five runs in 6.1 innings while picking up the win over the normally anemic Padres offense.
Daniel Cabrera and Nate Robertson were both useless, but they had good timing as they were let off the hook.
Shaun Marcum and Garrett Olson were awful. But they were awful together.
I won’t blast John Lackey too much. When you’re as consistently good as he is, you deserve a lucky break every now and again.
Bad Luck Division:
Ted Lilly and Brian Moehler! threw 14 innings where they gave up a solo home run each before passing the ball off to relievers. As you might expect if you’ve been reading the column in the past, they walked away with no decisions.
Tim Redding, when he wasn’t getting pasted by the Braves, actually got the short end of the stick in a duel with Matt Cain. Both pitchers went the distance. Redding allowed a single run and got the loss.
Vulture alert! Vulture alert!
Ramon Ramirez has been very good this season, but he blew a lead for the Royals and lucked into Matt Thornton giving the lead right back in the next half inning.
Salomon Torres had a blown save and a win.
The Wes Littleton Award
Francisco Cordero came in and cleaned up Todd Coffey’s mess, but the Reds owned a five-run advantage when he entered the game and he himself walked the leadoff hitter, scoring a run. He only needed one out with a five-run lead. And he got save for that?
Mariano Rivera didn’t have quite that large a cushion, but he did have a four-run lead and only had to strike out Jason Kubel to end the game.
Brandon Lyon had a rough outing, giving up two runs to the Dodgers in the ninth inning. His inning went like this: solo home run, fly out to center, infield single, RBI double, groundout, walk, fly out to right. He was lucky enough to be protecting a three-run lead.
Please hold the applause
Jason Isringhausen was very ineffective, yielding three hits, including an RBI double, and only recording one out before being mercifully removed. He still got a hold because he handed the reigns over to Brad Thompson, who then blew the lead by allowing one of the runners he inherited from Isringhausen to score. Thompson was also a vulture as Aaron Miles saved Thompson and Isringhausen’s collective bacon, launching a walkoff home run off the overmatched Bryan Corey.
Everyday Eddie Guardado tallied a loss and a hold in the same game.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Josh Fogg struck out one in six innings and yielded one run on eight hits, one which was a home run. So he had quite a bit of good luck on balls in play. Scott Feldman pulled the same trick, only with four hits, and in a hitter’s park, US Cellular Field.
That’s what I call efficient
Carlos Villanueva got four outs on 10 pitches in relief to pick up the win versus the Giants.
The Joe Carter Award
Derrek Lee was credited with five RBI while hitting .172/.200/.310.
Garrett Atkins drove in six in 25 at-bats while hitting a pedestrian .240/.286/.320.
And Ryan Doumit had six RBI with an odd .296/.286/.481 line.
Season: Jose Guillen is tied for 19th in all of baseball with 66 RBI, but his OBP is an anemic .290, thanks to his 10 walks in 381 at-bats. The rest of his game hasn’t exactly been award-worthy either, as he’s hitting .262/.290/.446.
Oh, and Melvin Mora has 63 RBI while hitting .254/.320/.436. And while we’re here talking about him, he’s stolen two bases in nine attempts. Can we get him to stop that? He’s really not good at it anymore.
The Rey Sanchez Batting Average is all I’ve Got Award
AJ Pierzynski collected six singles and one double with no walks in 22 at-bats. For those of you who aren’t able to instantly do the math in your head, that’s .318/.318/.364.
Miguel Tejada went .273/.273/.318.
Season: Mark Kotsay hit .313/.313/.313 this week in a 16 at-bat sample. He’s hitting .281/.328/.388 this season and not really helping the Braves much.
Tejada himself is at .275/.313/.417. That’s not what the Astros were hoping for when they decided to trade for his $13 million 2008 salary, though maybe they should have since he had been declining for several years prior to the deal. Hey Phil, instead of picking on a guy who is actually playing well, how about Miggy?
This week’s dumbest thing ever
Most fights in sports are a result of adrenalin, righteous indignation and stupidity. This is one of the dumber examples I can remember. What was Julio Castillo trying to accomplish here? To be the second coming of Ben Christensen?
The Harmon Killebrew Batting Average is for Wussies Award
Nick Swisher had two singles, two home runs and seven walks in 18 at-bats for a .222/.440/.556 line.
Mike Cameron did OK for himself as well with a .222/.344/.444 line, featuring two singles, two doubles and a home run.
And Nick Markakis went .231/.355/.423.
But how about Justin Morneau and his .200/.360/.450?
Season: Adam Dunn retains the top spot with his .237/.389/.554 season.
The Steve Balboni Award
Dan Uggla’s only hit was a home run and he walked three times but struck out eight times in 22 at-bats and it wasn’t enough to save him from a nightmare .045/.160/.182 week.
Season: Ryan Howard is back with his .234/.322/.501 line, punctuated with 135 strikeouts in 389 at-bats.
3 true outcomes alert!!!
Edwin Encarnacion hit three long balls, drew six walks and struck out three times in his .278/.480/.778 week.
This Week’s MVP
AL: Robinson Cano was the man this week. .519/.519/.815 is pretty impressive. Any time you rap out 10 singles in a week, it’s bound to be a good one. Add in four extra-base hits and it’ll start to make a dent in the kind of awful start that Cano has had in 2008.
Season: Ian Kinsler retains the lead and is currently hitting .325/.383/.526.
NL: Ryan Braun doesn’t have a huge hole to dig out of like Cano, but if he did, his .469/.514/1.000 week would go a long way towards making up for it. He was a stat-sheet stuffer with two doubles, three triples and three home runs in 32 at-bats.
Season: Lance Berkman has been in this spot for a long time. He’s still here. And he’s still slugging .625.
That is this week’s awards. I’m afraid due to scheduling conflicts, there will be no awards next week. But join us here on Aug. 9 when we will return.
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