Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, June 24 through Sunday, June 30. 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
C.J. Wilson was shelled for five runs in five innings on seven hits and two walks. He was the beneficiary when Rick Porcello allowed seven runs in his four and a third. His 35 game score was enough for the win.
Trevor Bauer and Hector Santiago were each destroyed by the opposing batters Friday. Bauer failed to make it out of the first inning, yielding five runs on six hits, walking one, striking out none. The number of batters he retired was equal to the number he allowed to homer. Santiago was more effective, but still got smacked around by the Cleveland lineup for five runs in two and a third. Alas, this was the crazy 19-10 game and neither starting pitcher was left holding the bag. Instead that honor went to White Sox reliever Brian Omogrosso, who is back in the International League with Bauer at this moment.
In the second leg of Friday’s double header, after Bauer and Santiago stunk up the joint, Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana combined to allow 11 runs in 11 and two thirds on 15 hits and five walks, striking out six. Neither of those starters took the loss either.
Bad luck division
Roberto Hernandez, or the Artist Formerly Known as Fausto Carmona or the Player Formerly Known as Mousecop or whatever you choose to call him these days, has had a rough season, so it must have been a crushing disappointment to him when he posted a quality start, limiting the Blue Jays to three runs in eight innings, only to get the loss as R.A. Dickey shut out Hernandez’s teammates in St. Petersburg.
Matt Harvey’s opportunity to get the win went out the window as three consecutive Mets relievers were charged with a run in the eighth inning. All three runs scored on a Ryan Zimmerman double. Harvey had held the Nats lineup in check, allowing only one run in seven innings on three hits, walking none, striking out 11.
Matt Cain threw eight stellar innings for the Giants in Coors on Saturday, allowing only one run on three hits, striking out five, walking one. The Rockies held the Giants to one run in the game and Cain didn’t factor into the decision.
Wes Littleton Award
In guarding a three-run lead, Bobby Parnell retired Alejandro de Aza, Alexei Ramirez-and Alex Rios. Even though those are the one-two-three hitters for the White Sox, they ended the game with OBPs of .302, .308, and .335 respectively.
Please hold the applause
Robbie Ross was charged with two runs in an inning and two thirds on four hits and a walk. He allowed a two-run home run to Ichiro Suzuki. But it gets worse: He also allowed two inherited runs to score, charged to Rangers starter Justin Grimm. Yet he was credited with the hold as the Rangers scored two runs between the sixth and the seventh, maintaining the cushion that he needed.
A game that fills multiple categories
In Sunday’s game between the Royals and Twins, Ervin Santana allowed four runs in his six innings, walking four. Kevin Correia, the Twins starter, was pummeled by David Lough and the Kansas City offense for five runs in five frames. Tim Collins relieved Santana, allowing a single, a two-run home run, a walk, a fielder’s choice, and another walk before getting lifted for Aaron Crow, who allowed a runner inherited from Collins to score, blowing the save. Lough then homered in the next half inning, giving Crow the lead, which he maintained for the victory. So you had two ineffective starters, neither one of which was given the loss, a completely ineffective reliever who got the hold, and another reliever who got the blown save and the win. That’s a full day here at the awards.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Michael Brantley drove in six runs for Cleveland in his 26 PA. He struggled to avoid outs though, batting .280/.286/.440.
Jose Iglesias collected eight hits in 24 PA. Only one of the eight went for extra bases and that was a double. He also failed to get on base by any other means, resulting in an empty batting average and .333/.333/.375 line.
Eric Young went .308/.321/.346 in his 27 PA.
Kyle Blanks tossed up a .286/.286/.357 line in 28 PA.
And J.B. Shuck went .280/.296/.360 in 26 PA for the Astros.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Austin Jackson produced only three hits all week. On the other hand, one of those three was a double and another was a home run. He also chipped in seven walks and one hit by pitch, giving him a .143/.379/.333 line in 29 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Ryan Howard struck out nine times in 19 PA. He flailed his way to a .000/.053/.000 line.
John Buck went .158/.158/.316, punctuated by eight strikeouts in 19 PA.
Adam Lind fanned eight times as well. He ended the week at ..238/.227/.476 for the Blue Jays.
Among other notable batters who struggled to make contact and so struggled to post reasonable batting lines were Pablo Sandoval, Russell Martin, Jay Bruce, Andy Dirks, Pete Kozma, Yoenis Cespedes and Vernon Wells.
Three true outcomes
It seems like Chris Davis gets mentioned for something in the awards every week. This week, he gets a nod because he homered four times, walked twice, and struck out 10 times in 26 PA.
Clete Thomas went yard twice, drew four free passes, and struck out eight times in 28 PA.
Jayson Werth posted a one-four-11 TTO line in 26 PA.
Jose Bautista didn’t strike out as much as it usually takes to be included in this category, but I would feel remiss if I didn’t include his three-four-four in 31 PA.
Austin Jackson went one-seven-five in 28 PA.
And finally, Adam Dunn went one-six-six in 25 PA,
Shuck went zero-one-one in 26 PA.
Adam Jones posted a zero-zero-two in 28 PA. He has played in 41 games since he last drew a walk.
This week’s MVP
AL: Jason Kipnis beats out American League Central rival Miguel Cabrera for the honor this week. The Cleveland second baseman went .478/.606/1.043 in 31 PA with four doubles, three home runs, and eight walks. He was two for two on the base paths. Cabrera went yard more often with five home runs, but his line was .417/.440/1.125 in 25 PA. That is a big OBP gap to bridge.
NL: Buster Posey went .500/.560/1.182 in 25 PA. The Giants need that and more these days. I don’t imagine many people expected them to be 12 games worse than the Pirates on the first day of July.