Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, July 29 through Sunday, Aug. 4. 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
Randall Delgado got the win in Friday’s start against the Red Sox. He allowed six runs in six innings, punctuated by two-run homers by David Ortiz and Stephen Drew. Opposing starter Jon Lester managed to find his way into a no-decision in the game despite getting torched for six runs in four and a third. The loss went to Red Sox reliever Pedro Beato, who allowed all of one run in his inning and a third in the form of a Cody Ross solo shot.
Jorge de la Rosa and Brandon Beachy combined to allow 15 runs in eight and two thirds innings of work on 18 hits and three walks. De la Rosa was in line for the loss until Jordan Walden blew the save. I just want to point out that this game was in Atlanta and not at Coors Field.
C.J. Wilson was shelled for six runs in four innings on 11 hits and three walks. By the close of the seventh inning, both bullpens had already blown leads and Wilson was safe from any and all blame that takes the form of a loss.
Ryan Dempster was torched by the Mariners lineup for seven runs in six innings of work. He allowed nine hits and five walks. He was saved from the loss by Steven Wright and by his teammates’ ability to make the Mariners very fallible bullpen look foolish.
Bad luck division
Cole Hamels cruised for eight innings, holding the Giants scoreless on seven hits, walking one, striking out five. But Jonathan Papelbon allowed five batters to reach base on his way to blowing the save. Hamels got the no-decision. The win went to Matt Cain, who was in line for the tough luck loss until Papelbon got involved after having gone eight innings himself, allowing the Phillies to score one run on six hits and two walks, striking out seven.
David Price went nine innings, allowed one run on five hits, walked none, struck out five. He took a no-decision. The opposing starter, Tim Lincecum, held the Rays to one run in seven frames on six hits and a walk, striking out five. Neither starter went home with the win.
Felix Hernandez pitched seven frames, allowing one run to the Red Sox in the Dempster game listed above. He allowed six hits and two walks, striking out eight. He was denied the easy win by the Mariners’ bullpen, which allowed seven runs in an inning and a third.
Hiroki Kuroda tossed a brilliant seven innings, holding the Dodgers scoreless, allowing only five hits and one walk, striking out eight. But Kuroda was matched up against Clayton Kershaw, who shut out the Yankees for eight innings, allowing only five hits, walking none, striking out five. Neither starter ended up with the win.
Jered Weaver pitched seven innings, holding the Rangers to one run on five hits and a walk, striking out six. He was all set for the win until Ernesto Frieri tossed a pair of meatballs that got launched over the fence by A.J. Pierzynski and Geovany Soto.
Jeff Samardzija shut out the Brewers for seven innings, allowing only three hits, walking two, striking out seven. He walked away with no-decision as the Cubs scored zero runs off Kyle Lohse and the Brewers’ bullpen that day.
A.J. Burnett held the Cardinals to one run in seven frames, allowing three hits and three walks, striking out nine. His 73 game score wasn’t enough for the victory as the Pirates waited until the 11th inning to score their second run.
Bryan Shaw faced one batter, throwing three pitches. Coincidentally, those three pitches ended an inning that was immediately followed by the White Sox giving Cleveland a lead and Shaw walked away with the win.
Wes Littleton Award
With a three-run lead in tow, Chris Perez retired Dayan Viciedo, pinch-hitter Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Aza. He allowed a hit to Gordon Beckham. If he had allowed another batter to reach base, he would have faced the struggling Alexei Ramirez.
Please hold the applause
Donnie Veal was credited with the hold and the loss with some help from Matt Lindstrom. Veal entered and exited with the lead intact. The second of the two base runners he bequeathed to Lindstrom was the one that put Cleveland ahead to stay, giving him the loss.
Kelvin Herrera allowed doubles to Ryan Doumit and Trevor Plouffe to lead off the eighth. He struck out a batter and allowed a single before getting lifted for Aaron Crow, who ended the inning, stranding Herrera’s base runners. Both Herrera and Crown received a hold for their efforts.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
On Monday, John Danks and Zach McAllister gave up two runs each. Danks struck out three of the 25 batters he faced. McAllister struck out two of 27. Danks yielded only two hits. McAllister yielded five hits. Their BABIPs were .111 and .208 respectively.
Joe Carter Award
There are generally two ways you can get on this list. You can either do as Mark Trumbo did this week and hit for enough power to justify the RBIs or you can do what Bianchi did this week and not hit well in any way but still find your way into a high RBI total through “timing” what hits you do get to happen when you have runners in scoring position.
Three of Trumbo’s four hits this week were home runs. They also accounted for all eight of his ribbies. But his overall inability to reach base by any method not involving hitting the ball over the left field fence gave him a .138/.194/.448 line in 31 PA.
Bianchi generally failed as a hitter despite his seven runs batted in. He went .231/.259/.269 in 27 PA.
Aaron Hill produced seven hits for the Diamondbacks in 22 plate appearances. Unfortunately for the Snakes, only one of the seven went for extra bases and that was a double. Hill added to that by not drawing a walk, leading to a .318/.318/.362 line.
Wil Nieves took Hill’s week and cranked it up a notch by going .316/.316/.316 in 19 PA.
Alex Rios posted a ..292/.320/.333 line in 25 PA for the White Sox.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Jonathan Lucroy had a good week despite a poor batting average, as long as you ignore one ugly miscue. Four of his five hits were of the extra base variety and he walked four times against only one strikeout in 28 PA. He produced a .208/.345/.458 at the plate.
Fellow catcher Russell Martin went .235/.381/.412 in 19 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Trumbo struck out 13 times, most in baseball, explaining why his batting average and OBP were .138 and 194 respectively.
Evan Longoria struck out 12 times in 27 PA, leading to a .125/.222/.167 week.
Alfonso Soriano went down on strikes in eight of his 17 PA for the Yankees. He hit .188/.235/.250.
Jeff Mathis hacked his way to eight strikeouts in 19 PA and a .059/.158/.059 line.
Chris Carter struck out eight times in 21 PA and ended up at .100/.143/.100.
Among other notable players who struck out a lot and didn’t hit a whole lot were Nick Franklin, Cody Ransom, Dan Uggla, Carlos Gomez, Pedro Alvarez, Delmon Young, Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Villar, John Buck, and Todd Frazier.
Three true outcomes
Trumbo gets attention in three categories today. He smacked his three homers, walked twice, and struck out 13 times in his 31 PA.
Justin Upton put up a three-five-11 TTO line in 36 PA.
Carlos Gomez didn’t homer, but he walked seven times and struck out eight times in 25 PA.
Michael Saunders went three-five-eight in 28 PA.
Anthony Rizzo posted a three-five-eight in 34 PA.
It’s rare that a TTO line is dominated by walks, but I would feel remiss if I neglected to mention Mike Trout’s one-13-two in 31 PA.
Hunter Pence tossed up a zero-zero-two in 25 PA.
Adeiny Hechavarria went zero-zero-two in 26 PA.
Maicer Izturis gave the Blue Jays a zero-one-one in 24 PA.
Alex Gordon went zero-one-one with another one in the fourth true outcome category, hit by pitch in 30 PA.
Alexi Ramirez posted a zero-one-one in 29 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Trout posted a .500/.719/.833 in his 31 PA. He reached base 13 times via walk and nine more times by way of a hit.
NL: Justin Upton went .387/.472/.774 in 36 PA. Of his 31 at-bats, 11 ended as strikeouts. 12 ended as hits. You’re good enough at math to know that that ends up with eight pitches where he made contact and it became an out. His BABIP was .529. I don’t mean to distract from the fact that he did what he did, because .529 is within the first couple of standard deviations of what you would expect him to do in a small sample. But when I was looking at the week’s lines, that particular line with that particular strikeout rate jumped out at me.