Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, July 1 through Sunday, July 7. 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
Zack Greinke got his sixth win in Denver, where he allowed five runs in five innings. The Rockies smacked Greinke around for six hits and drew seven walks off him. But despite his 32 game score, Greinke was victorious as far as the official scorer was concerned.
Luis Mendoza made it through only four innings, allowing four runs. Ten of the 21 Cleveland batters he faced became base runners either by way of walk or hit. He walked twice as many as he struck out. But he did not absorb the loss as Corey Kluber, the opposing starter, allowed four runs in five and a third and Luke Hochevar was awesome in relief, holding the Indians scoreless for two more innings before giving way to Tim Collins, who subsequently allowed two runs and took the loss himself.
A.J. Griffin avoided the loss despite getting shelled for seven runs in five and a third on 10 hits and a walk. The Cubs peppered the Oakland righty but lost it late in the game with a James Russell blown save.
Bad luck division
Stephen Strasburg went seven innings, holding the Brewers scoreless, allowing only three hits, walking four, striking out eight, posting a game score of 75. He took a no-decision as Wily Peralta and four Milwaukee relievers shut out the Nationals.
Two solo home runs were all the scoring Felix Hernandez allowed the Rangers to do. But he wasn’t the winner of the game as Derek Holland also allowed two runs and the Mariners had to wait until extra innings to score more runs and win the game.
Ian Kennedy and Dillon Gee each went seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks. Kennedy struck out eight. Gee fanned seven. They dueled to a draw in a game that was decided in the 15th inning.
Chad Gaudin pitched seven innings for the Giants, holding the Dodgers to one run on four hits and a walk, striking out nine. But they were facing Clayton Kershaw and the Giants scored only one run in the game.
In the Guthrie game on Wednesday, Will Smith blew the save by allowing two inherited runs to score in the seventh inning. Eric Hosmer turned around in the next half inning and made Smith a winner by homering off of Rich Hill.
Drew Storen allowed home runs to Yuniesky Betancourt and Carlos Gomez, squandering the Nationals’ lead. He walked away with the win as the Nationals scored later to retake a lead that was better protected by Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano.
Chaz Roe was given a high leverage assignment in the Mets/Diamondbacks extra innings marathon. He failed to protect a one-run lead when he allowed a Kirk Nieuwenhuis solo shot. The Snakes came back in the next inning to score another run and Roe was a winner.
Wes Littleton Award
When Uehara tallied his fifth save of the season, he was protecting a three-run lead and entered at the start of the inning with no runners on base. He retired Kyle Blanks, Jesus Guzman and Nick Hundley. Had one of them reached base, the Padres would have had Alexi Amarista and Pedro Ciriaco. The final four batters in the Padres lineup in the game, played with the DH, all sported sub-.300 OBPs to go with sub-.400 slugging percentages. The Padres did not pinch hit for any of them at any point in the game.
I would poke fun at Jesse Chavez for getting the save in a game where the final score was 10-4, but he threw four innings. The only run the Royals scored after he entered was an inherited one. It was an 8-3 game with nobody out and runners on first and second when Chavez was called upon in the sixth. He did good work and his WPA was higher than A.J. Griffin, who got the win.
Please hold the applause
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Coco Crisp drove in six runs in 25 plate appearances this week. That happened despite the fact that he hit .167/.192/.167.
Bryce Harper also plated six runs. He went .200/.313/.320 in 30 PA.
Carlos Beltran went .300/.333/.300 in 21 PA.
Leonys Martin gave the Rangers seven hits in 22 PA. Only one of the seven went for extra bases and he didn’t reach base by any other method, leading to a .318/.318/.409 line.
Ryan Doumit ended the week with a .292/.292/.333 in 24 PA.
Zoilo Almonte tossed up a .280/.308/.320 line in 26 PA this week.
Juan Lagares went .278/.316/.389 in 19 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
John Buck had a good week despite a lack of singles, going .235/.409/.412 in 21 PA. One of his four hits was a homer and he walked four times.
Edwin Encarnacion walked in six of his 16 PA and hit a triple, going .200/.500/.400.
Gregor Blanco went .200/.400/.333 in 20 PA.
All three hits that Matt Wieters gave the Orioles this week were extra base hits and he ended the week at .214/.313/.571.
Similarly, A.J. Pollock went .222/.333/.500. Of his four hits, three were doubles and the other was a triple.
Matt Holliday went .231/.375/.615 in 16 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Mark Reynolds had a nightmare of a week, striking out in 10 of his 21 PA, going .000/.136/.000.
Adam Lind struck out nine times in 21 PA for the Blue Jays and subsequently batted .100/.143/.200.
B.J. Upton fanned eight times in 20 PA and posted a .150/.150/.150 line.
Brett Gardner struck out nine times in 27 PA, which is a lot for somebody with his usual batting approach. He ended the week with a .115/.148/.192 line.
Ronny Cedeno collected 15 PA for the Astros this week and went .071/.133/.071, striking out seven times.
Mark Trumbo whiffed in seven of his 22 PA, going 190/.182/.381 for the Halos.
Among other batters who struck out too often this week for their own good were Chris Davis, Brandon Moss, Jay Bruce, Logan Forsythe, Jhonny Peralta, Prince Fielder, Wil Myers, Giancarlo Stanton and Nick Franklin.
Three true outcomes
Fielder homered twice, walked three times, and struck out 10 times in 34 PA.
Chris Carter posted a TTO line of two-two-nine in 20 PA.
Miguel Cabrera went three-five-five in 29 PA.
Josh Hamilton went two-three-seven in 25 PA.
Colby Rasmus went two-three-six in 27 PA.
Robinson Cano is missing the strikeouts, but I would feel remiss if I didn’t include his three-six-one in 30 PA.
Ben Revere posted a zero-zero-one in 26 PA.
Norichika Aoki went zero-zero-two in 33 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: West Division third basemen Adrian Beltre and Kyle Seager led the American League in OPS this week. Beltre went .478/.520/1.087 in 25 PA with two doubles and four home runs to go with five singles and two walks. Seager went .545/.607/.909 with eight singles, two doubles, two home runs, and three walks in 25 PA.
NL: Brian McCann posted a .600/.600/.880 line for Atlanta He produced 15 hits in 25 PA. Only a third of those hits went for extra bases and he didn’t walk, but if you have that much BABIP good fortune, you can thrive with any level of secondary skill.