Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the games starting Monday, July 4 and ending Sunday, July 10. If you are a new reader, reference 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
Francisco Liriano was fortunate to avoid the loss after yielding five runs in four and a third on six hits and four walks. Wade Davis and Juan Cruz let him off the hook though, allowing the Twins to score the tally and the lefty received a no-decision.
Anibal Sanchez gave up five in four frames. Most of the damage came courtesy of home runs by John Mayberry Jr and Jimmy Rollins. But thanks to David Herndon and Drew Carpenter, Sanchez sneaked out with a no-decision.
Mitch Atkins and Kyle Weiland allowed 12 runs in five and two thirds. Neither can blame the atmosphere of the game as the two bullpens combined to allow two runs in 11 and a third and the loss went to Jeremy Guthrie, who came in for Atkins and threw three and a third, allowing only one run.
Bad luck division
Justin Verlander was his usual effective self, allowing one run in seven and two thirds on seven his and two walks, striking out eight batters representing the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Murrieta, Menifee, and Canyon Lake. But Verlander got the loss as Dan Haren allowed only two Tigers to reach base safely, striking out nine in a complete game shutout.
Ricky Nolasco had a rough Independence Day, throwing seven solid innings against Philly, allowing one run on six hits and two walks, striking out four. But Vance Worley, Michael Stutes, and Antonio Bastardo combined to shut out the Fish and Nolasco took the loss.
Carlos Villanueva’s six scoreless innings went for naught as Frank Francisco and Luis Perez blew the four run lead while recording one Cleveland out between the two of them. Villanueva struck out seven and walked two.
Aaron Crow and Sergio Santos traded blown saves. First Crow turned a 3-2 Royals lead into a 4-3 White Sox lead by allowing a two-run home run to the decaying Adam Dunn. That took the win away from Royals starter Jeff Francis. Then Santos allowed an Eric Hosmer leadoff home run the next inning, taking away the win that would have gone to Jesse Crain. Then Crow came back the next half inning and proceeded to put A.J. Pierzynski on base to lead off before sending him to third base on a wild pitch. Afterwards, Crow walked Juan Pierre and finished off the game by balking home Pierzynski. Santos was the winner.
In the King Felix gem mentioned above, Brandon League came in to close the game out in the ninth inning, but squandered the opportunity, blowing the lead. The Mariners lineup then picked him up and handed him an undeserved win.
Wes Littleton Award
Jonathan Papelbon entered the game up by three, allowed a Corey Patterson single, a Jose Bautista two run home run, struck out Adam Lind, then it went single, fly out, walk, and single with Edwin Encarnacion out at the plate to end the game. Final tally: two runs on four hits and a walk. Also, one save.
Please hold the applause
Ernesto Frieri faced three batters, retired one, hit the second with a pitch. He then allowed a two-run home run before being lifted to prevent further damage to the Padres’ cause. He got credit for the hold.
Joe Patterson got the hold and the loss in the same game while facing the Brewers. Sean Marshall did the same for the Cubs against the Pirates. He received help from Carlos Marmol, who allowed two base runners inherited from Marshall to score.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Rajai Davis plated six runners in 27 at-bats. But he hit a very empty .296/.296/.407 along the way.
Adam Dunn drove in five thanks to a pair of home runs, but his overall line of .111/.200/.333 betrays the fact that those two home runs were almost the entire extent of his positive contributions to the White Sox in 30 plate appearances.
Jason Bay was very similar to Dunn with five RBIs and a .148/.207/.370 line.
Ben Revere posted a true Sanchez by going .290/.290/.290 in 31 PA. He added onto it by going one for three on the bases.
Jeff Francoeur collected eight hits in 27 PA. But with only one of the hits going for extra bases and no walks, his .308/.286/.423 line sets him firmly in Sanchez territory.
Elsewhere, Nyjer Morgan went .308/.308/.385 for the Brewers.
Edwin Encarnacion went .296/.296/.333 in 27 PA.
I mentioned Rajai Davis in the Carter section, but his .296/.296/.407 works here as well.
Andy Dirks posted a .294/.294/.353 line for the Tigers.
Gordon Beckham went .280/.280/.360 in 25 PA.
Michael Brantley didn’t help Cleveland much by going .281/.303/.344 in 34 PA.
And Roger Bernadina tossed up a .281/.303/.344 for the Nats.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Danny Espinosa hardly blew the league away, but despite a batting average that lingered at .240, he was productive with a double, a home run, five walks, and three steals with no times caught. His final line was 240/.387/.400 in 30 PA.
All-star snub Andrew McCutchen hit .222/.333/.611 in 21 PA.
He is missing some OBP, but Hosmer’s .222/.300/.519 is still nice to see. I also really needed an excuse to say that I don’t blame him for the bad decisions of his manager.
Steve Balboni Award
Dunn had yet another rough week, as I have already mentioned. 13 strikeouts in 27 at bats and a .111/.200/.333 line is tough to deal with if you are trying to build a lineup that will score some runs.
Oakland’s Scott Sizemore had an identical week to Dunn. He had the same numbers exactly.
Sizemore’s teammate, Chris Carter had a horrific week, fanning nine times in 14 at bats. .000/.125/.000 is off-the-charts Balboni territory.
The Mariners offense has enough problems without Carlos Peguero striking out nine times in 15 at bats and going .133/.125/.133.
Three true outcomes
Dan Uggla finally had a good week for Atlanta, going .320/.433/.800. The three true outcomes played a key role, with him going yard three times, walking five times, and striking out seven in 25 PA.
Curtis Granderson went 3-2-7 in 25 PA.
David Ortiz went 2-7-5 in 31 PA.
Rickie Weeks went 2-5-6 in 33 PA.
And he is missing the home runs, but Nate McLouth’s 0-6-7 in 26 PA is something.
Ryan Theriot went 0-0-1 in 27 PA.
And Alcides Escobar went 0-1-1 in 24 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Jacoby Ellsbury was out of his mind this week, raising his ops by 49 points in five days. His 14 hits in 33 PA is impressive enough. But three of those hits were doubles, two went for three bases, and two went over the fence. He also walked three times, struck out only once, and was 2-0 on the bases with a final line of .467/.515/.900
NL: I am calling this one a tie between NL central rivals. Joey Votto was an OBP tour de force, going .448/.515/.586 in 33 PA for the Reds while Matt Holliday slugged his way to a .357/.419/.852 line in 33 PA for the Cards.
The plan next week is to document any egregious pitching games, ignore the small sample size hitting awards for the week and to give a midseason update for all hitting and pitching cumulatives.