Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the games starting Monday, July 18 and ending Sunday, July 24. 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
It gets worse as in Wakefield’s other start this week he allowed seven runs in six and a third on 10 hits and a walk to the Mariners’ limp offense yet he received the win. He is now 6-3 with an ERA over 5.00.
Brett Cecil allowed five runs in seven innings to the Mariners and escaped with a no-decision. I would combine his line with that of Michael Pineda who was charged with five runs in six and a third, but I would rather point out the inept Aaron Laffey and Jeff Gray, who each allowed a runner inherited from Pineda to score.
The Yankees scored 17 runs against Trevor Cahill and the A’s. This explains how Phil Hughes could fail to make it out of the fifth inning, getting charged with seven runs on nine hits and four walks and still not wind up with the loss. Hector Noesi and Luis Ayala were charged with no runs in the remaining four and two thirds (though Noesi allowed one run charged to Hughes).
Bad luck division
Bruce Chen and John Danks combined to allow one run in 15 frames in nine hits, striking out 10, walking two. Neither starter got the win as the White Sox bullpen couldn’t maintain the one-run lead and the game went into extra innings.
Chris Narveson gave the Brewers a nice start by throwing seven scoreless, which was then wasted by Francisco Rodriguez who allowed two Diamondback runs. The Brewers wound up winning the game but Narveson did not get credit for that victory.
Wes Littleton Award
Holding a three-run lead, the three batters Drew Storen retired to record his 25th save were Jason Michaels, who ended the game batting .210/.245/.314, Chris Johnson .243/.283/.385, and Carlos Corporan at .197/.215/.276.
Please hold the applause
Pedro Beato entered the game with nobody on and nobody out in the seventh inning protecting a one-run lead. He proceeded to give up a single to John Buck, induce a fly out, advance the pinch runner to second on a wild pitch, then walk the next two batters to load the bases before he was mercifully pulled. The run that scored to tie the game was charged to him.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Travis Snider drove in six runs in 27 PA. He went 3-for-26 with a double, a home run, no walks, and a caught stealing. .115/.111/.269 is really awful.
Mark Trumbo went .278/.263/.389 in 19 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Todd Helton only gave the Rockies four hits in 22 plate appearances, but three of the four went for extra bases and the first baseman walked five times, leading to an impressive .235/.423/.529 line.
Eric Hinske went .222/.364/.500 in 22 PA.
Drew Stubbs went .222/.364/.556. He was 2-for-2 on the base paths, walked three times, and one of his two home runs was of a particularly high leverage condition.
Caution: this might be the first positive thing you have heard about Torii Hunter since the spring. The right fielder hit for a low average this week, but walks and power made it a productive seven days. .190/.346/.571.
Curtis Granderson has been much better than Torii Hunter, so it isn’t that much of a surprise to see him post a .182/.387/.455 line.
Steve Balboni Award
I mentioned Travis Snider earlier in reference to his RBI’s. Now I prod him for his strikeout rate. Snider fanned 10 times in his 27 plate appearances, which was a primary factor in his awful line.
Ryan Howard whiffed nine times in 21 PA, leading to a .200/.238/.400 week.
Three true outcomes
Granderson popped two home runs, walked five times, and struck out 12 times in 27 PA.
Evan Longoria went 2-8-8 in 32 PA.
Daniel Descalso was missing a true outcome, but 0-6-5 in only 19 PA is worth noting.
Rookie Mike Moustakas went 0-0-1 in 26 PA. That is kind of a cheat though because he sneaked in a HBP, which I consider the forgotten fourth true outcome.
This week’s MVP
AL: I feel no shame in saying I really did not see the Jacoby Ellsbury breakout coming before the season. I really did not expect to see him slug more than 100 points higher than his previous career average. This week the surprise power hitter went .462/.483/.846 with three home runs, two walks, and only one strikeout in 28 PA.
NL: Justin Upton has taken a step forward this year as well. The difference is that it was expected that he would improve. .519/.552/1.000 in 29 PA with five doubles, a triple, two home runs, and two walks is the week’s most impressive line.