Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, May 13 through Sunday, May 19. 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
Matt Cain got the victory despite getting shelled for six runs in six and a third in Denver. He allowed home runs to Todd Helton, Nolan Arenado, and Wilin Rosario. Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin was punished to the tune of eight runs in five and a third.
Wade Davis got the win despite allowing four runs in five and a third on nine hits and three walks, striking out only two of the 26 Angels he faced. He won despite his 33 game score as Barry Enright and Mark Lowe were bashed badly enough by the Royals bats that Enright was designated for assignment after the game.
Burch Smith was let off the hook with Rafael Soriano’s blown save. Smith was beaten and bruised by the Nats to the tune of five runs in five and a third. He allowed a pair of home runs to Adam LaRoche and another to Ryan Zimmerman.
Bad luck division
James Shields continued to put up solid performances, only to get betrayed by his teammates’ inability to score runs. He dropped to 2-4 with a loss in Oakland. Shields allowed only two runs in eight innings on six hits and one walk, striking out nine. He now has four losses and three no-decisions in quality starts. This was his second loss in a game in which he posted a game score of 70 or higher.
The other starter in the James Shields game, Jarrod Parker, tossed seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. He played no role in the final outcome according to the scorer.
Andrew Cashner and Chris Tillman combined to throw 14 and a third, allowing three runs on nine hits and three walks, striking out 10. Neither got the win. Tillman was in line for the victory until Jim Johnson blew the lead in the ninth.
Jordan Zimmerman allowed two runs in eight innings of work and took the loss. He was touched up with seven hits, walked nobody, and struck out six but Eric Stults and the Padres held the District of Columbia Nationals to one run in the game.
Mat Latos tossed eight and a third, yielding two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four. One of the two runs was charged to Latos as it was left to closer Aroldis Chapman, who then allowed a sacrifice fly to blow the save. The other starter in the game, Jose Fernandez also posted a line that would normally deserve consideration for the category, going seven, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks.
Clay Buchholz gave the Red Sox seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks, striking out nine. The Red Sox didn’t score their third run against the Twins until the 10th inning, which was too late for Buchholz.
When Aroldis blew the save for Mat Latos, the Reds offense charged back to hand him the victory.
Wes Littleton Award
Despite pitching the last four innings in a game his team won by seven runs, Adam Warren did not get his save via the three-inning provision. He entered the game with the score at 1-0. It wasn’t until after Warren was on the mound that the Yankees scored the other six runs off Trevor Bauer and his Cleveland friends.
Please hold the applause
Scott Rice was brought in to retire David DeJesus with a runner on second. He instead allowed a single. But he was bailed out when Marlon Byrd threw out Darwin Barney at home. Rice goes in the book with a hold when HE didn’t retire a batter but was rewarded when the runner got greedy. Good job, I suppose? Kind of? Maybe?
In Sunday’s game, Kenley Jansen recorded a loss in the same game where he was credited with a hold. He did this with the help of Brandon League as Jansen entered the game in the eighth protecting a one run lead. He allowed the first two batters to reach base safely before being pulled. With the save situation still active, the hold was granted. League allowed both inherited runners to score, ending the game. The losing run was credited to Jansen, and Jansen was given the loss and League got the blown save.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Robinson Cano and Jason Kipnis drove in eight runs each. Cano did that while accumulating 13 total bases and reaching base safely seven times in 29 plate appearances. Kipnis ended up with 22 total bases and reached base 13 times in 27 PA.
Chris Denorfia reached base via hit five times in 16 at bats. Unfortunately none of his six hits ended with him advancing past first base before the next batter stepped to the plate. He also drew no walks, yielding a .313/.294/.313 line.
Nick Markakis went .304/.304/.391 in 23 PA.
The withered husk of Paul Konerko threw up a .286/.318/.286 in his 22 PA this week.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Brandon Moss amassed only four hits in his 20 PA, but one of the four was a triple, another was a home run, and he walked three times, leading to a nice .235/.381/.529 line.
Mark Trumbo rode four doubles and four walks to a .231/.333/.500 line in 30 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Danny Espinosa had a rotten week. He struck out in half of his 24 PA. He hit .042/.042/.042. And his Nationals went 3-4 against the Dodgers and Padres, who currently stand as the fourth and fifth place teams in the National League West and have collectively allowed 50 more runs than they have scored.
Rickie Weeks fanned 10 times in 22 PA and ended the week with a .095/.136/.238 line.
Michael Saunders whiffed 10 times in 24 PA and batted .130/.167/.217.
Matt Dominguez didn’t lead the Astros in strikeouts this week. That honor went to Chris Carter, who hit a punchless .238/.333/.238. But Dominguez did go down on strikes seven times in 23 PA and wind up with an ugly .045/.043/.182 line.
Three true outcomes
Adam LaRoche smacked four home runs, walked three times, and struck out 10 times in 24 PA.
Adam Dunn went four-three-nine in 28 PA.
Mike Trout threw up a two-seven-eight TTO line in 28 PA.
Carlos Gonzalez went three-eight-six in 32 PA.
And Justin Upton posted a two-five-seven in 28 PA.
Starlin Castro posted a zero-one-two TTO line in 26 PA.
Erick Aybar put up the same line in 25 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: American League Central rivals Jason Kipnis and Miguel Cabrera share the award for the week. Kipnis went .417/.481/.917 in 27 PA with three doubles and three home runs. Cabrera went .429/.484/.964 with three doubles and four home runs.
NL: Joey Votto had a very Joey Votto week, walking five times against only one strikeout in 29 PA. He also hit pretty well, going .583/.655/.917.