Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, May 21st through Sunday, May 27th. Please see the week one column for award definitions and explanations.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an arcane practice that must stop
Good luck division
Clay Buchholz and Tommy Hunter were both overmatched. The starters in Monday’s game combined to allow 10 runs in 11 and a third on 17 hits and four walks, striking out five. Neither received the loss.
The same night that DeVries was allowing Humber to get destroyed without getting a loss, Joe Blanton and Jake Westbrook were getting shelled by the Cards and Phillies lineups respectively. Blanton was crushed to the tune of seven runs in four and a third. Westbrook allowed six in three and two thirds of work. Neither of them received the loss.
Henderson Alvarez allowed five runs on nine hits in five and two thirds. Three of the hits were solo home runs. He only managed to strike out one Ranger. But the Jays lineup scored runs off Colby Lewis and Alvarez squeaked by without the loss.
Mat Latos was the beneficiary of Jamie Moyer’s ineffectiveness on the road in Cincinnati. Latos got the win despite being charged with five runs in seven and a third. Any time you give up five home runs and get the win, you’re having a ridiculously lucky day.
Bad luck division
Justin Verlander tossed eight frames, allowing two runs on six hits, walking one, striking out seven. Despite his 68 game score, he took the loss as Justin Masterson allowed only one run and his bullpen protected the lead against the Tigers bats.
James McDonald had little in the way of run support. He tossed seven innings for the Pirates, yielding only one run on four hits and two walks. But he walked away with a no-decision as the win went to R.A. Dickey.
Trevor Cahill tossed a nice six innings, allowing only one run. He handed it over to the bullpen and it took three different relievers each allowing multiple runs to blow the lead. But blow the lead they did. That gave Cahill a no-decision and did the same for Aaron Harang, though he was fortunate to get that as he had been shelled for five runs in four and a third by the Diamondbacks lineup.
David Price and Josh Beckett had nice games, holding their opponent’s offense in check. Neither saw the win. Combined they threw 14 frames, allowed three runs on 12 hits and three walks, striking out 10.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
Andrew Miller entered the game protecting a three run lead over the Orioles with one out in the sixth and the bases empty. He struck out Chris Davis, walked Wilson Betemit, allowed a Nick Johnson home run that drove in Betemit, and induced a Ryan Flaherty groundout. So in the span of two outs, he took a three run lead and turned it into a one run lead and still got the hold for his effort.
Protecting a three run lead, the first two batters Marc Rzepczynski faced were Everth Cabrera, owner of a .231 OPS at the end of the night, and pinch hitter Alexi Amarista, who ended the game with a .469 OPS.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Elvis Andrus plated five runs despite batting just .167/.286/.333 in 28 plate appearances.
Tony Gwynn collected six ribbies despite hitting .308/.308/.308 in 26 PA.
Alberto Callaspo drove in six runs in 23 plate appearances, but ended the week with a .200/.304/.400 line.
Adrian Gonzalez went .250/.240/.458 and still drove in five.
Everth Cabrera smacked six singles in 22 at bats. Unfortunately he only added to that with one double and failed to walk, leading to a .318/.318/.364 line.
I mentioned Gwynn the younger and his .308/.308/.308 line. That was eight singles, no extra bases, no walks, no hit by pitch.
A pair of Phillies contributed Sanchez lines. Polanco went .286/.310/.357 while Pierre went .286/.310/.333.
Joe Mather duplicated Pierre’s line in 22 PA.
Derek Jeter has misplaced his secondary skills as he went .286/.310/.321 in 29 PA.
Michael Young made Jeter look like a Killebrew candidate by comparison, posting a .296/.296/.333 line in 27 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Danny Espinosa only contributed five hits to the Nationals cause this week, but he did a lot that doesn’t show up in batting average. Two of the three hits were doubles. One was a home run. He walked three times. He was two for two stealing bases. .250/.400/.500.
Dan Uggla didn’t hit a single all week in 28 plate appearances. Oh, but I should tell you that he ended with a .211/.464/.632 line because he walked nine times and chipped in a pair of doubles and a pair of homers.
Wilson Betemit had a nice week, smacking a home run and drawing six walks. .235/.417/.412.
Daniel Nava had a similar story, going .235/.391/.412 in 17 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Eric Hinske struck out 10 times in 18 plate appearances, leading to .059/.111/.059 line.
Jay Bruce couldn’t pull off the three true outcomes heavy approach this week, riding eight whiffs in 23 PA to a .100/.217/.300 line.
Andy Parrino went .176/.300/.235 with eight strikeouts in 20 PA.
Ike Davis fanned seven times in 19 PA. .222/.263/.278.
Josh Willingham struck out 11 times in 27 PA on his way to a .136/.321/.182 line.
Robert Andino went .227/.320/.273, which is partially explained by whiffing eight times in 25 PA.
Three true outcomes
Giancarlo Stanton smacked three home runs, walked four times, and struck out seven times in 31 PA.
Drew Stubbs went three-four-six in 26 PA.
Uggla posted a two-nine-six in his 28 PA.
Carlos Pena went two-four-nine in 27 PA.
Curtis Granderson: one-seven-six in 27 PA.
Carlos Lee went zero-one-zero in 25 PA.
Freddy Galvis posted a zero-zero-three in 31 PA.
Coco Crisp went zero-zero-two in 24 PA.
Alcides Escobar went zero-zero-three in 25 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Konerko went nuts this week, going .583/.615/1.125 in 26 PA. Half of his 14 hits went for extra bases. Four of those were doubles, the other three went over the fence.
It’s probably a good time to mention that my tease for this article is inaccurate. Konerko isn’t just going crazy this week. He came into the week batting .367/.453/.604. Even so, he raised his OPS from that level by 99 points with this preposterous week.
NL: Melky Cabrera’s stats weren’t as gaudy as Konerko’s, but .452/.500/.871 is pretty ridiculous. He also was three for three on the base paths. He’s now batting .369/.412/.556 on the season.