Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, July 30th through Sunday, August fifth. Please see the week one column for award definitions and explanations.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an arcane practice that must stop
Good luck division
Chris Tillman went five innings, gave up five runs on eight hits. He came away with the win. Three Oriole relievers combined to toss four innings with no runs allowed on three hits. They came away with no decisions, no holds, no saves.
Homer Bailey escaped with a no-decision despite being charged with six runs on nine hits and two walks in three and two thirds. Fellow starter Jason Marquis was shelled for seven runs and took the loss for Bailey.
C.J. Wilson and Ryan Dempster continued the very offensive Rangers/Angels series by combining to yield 16 runs on 19 hits, walking six, striking out 13. Four of the hits were home runs. They were charged with eight runs each and took no-decisions.
Zack Greinke and Philip Humber allowed six runs each. Greinke did it in seven frames, Humber in five and two thirds. Neither took the loss, which went to poor Hisanori Takahashi, who only faced one batter who went on to score on a two-run home run yielded by David Carpenter.
Derek Holland and Luke Hochevar each have an ERA over five so it was of little surprise when they combined to allow 11 runs on 12 hits and three walks. An Aaron Crow blown save ensured that neither of them would take the loss.
Bad luck division
Miguel Gonzalez and David Price each pitched brilliantly. Gonzalez went seven frames, allowing only two hits, walking four, fanning four. Price threw eight shutout innings, striking out five, walking three, yielding only two hits. Their game scores were 73 and 80 respectively.
Ricky Romero tossed seven innings, allowing only one run to the A’s on three hits and four walks, striking out five. But the Blue Jays offense was anemic and he exited after 99 pitches to a tie game. Romero‘s game score was a pretty good 68.
In case you weren’t aware Livan Hernandez was still employed by a baseball team to play baseball, he gives us a reminder, giving up three runs to blow the save against Houston, but watching as his teammates rally to give him an undeserved victory.
Wes Littleton Award
In what has to go down as one of the worst saves of all time, Jerome Williams entered the game in the bottom of the sixth with the Angels up 12-3. He proceeds to throw four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out one Rangers batter. He threw 14 more pitches than Ervin Santana did in starting the game and going five frames. But he got the save in a game that ended with a 15-8 final score because he reached the three-inning threshold and ended the game. It is my understanding that the pitcher has to pitch “effective” relief to get the save, but the definition of effective is at the mercy of the official scorer. You have to deal with a pretty broad definition of effective to want to give Williams a save for his efforts here.
Greg Holland’s first save of the season came in a game on Wednesday where he entered in the ninth inning protecting a three run lead. The first batter he faced was Carlos Santana, who admittedly is on a bit of a hot streak, having smoked the ball to the tune of a .296/.377/.685 in his last 61 PA. The next two up were Jose Lopez and the current version of Johnny Damon with a giant fork sticking out of his back. If they had reached base, the next two up would have been the non-existent dangers posed by Casey Kotchman and Jack Hannahan. But it was never going to come to that. Holland had a routine 1-2-3 inning as you would have expected.
Frank Francisco was brought on to relieve Bobby Parnell with one out in the ninth, a four run lead, and runners on first and second. He induced a double play grounder from John Baker, who ended the game with that at bat and drove home with a .296 slugging percentage.
Please hold the applause
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Nick Blackburn went eight innings, allowing only two runs on five hits. The five hits allowed stand in stark contrast to the mere two strikeouts he managed while facing 31 White Sox.
Joe Carter Award
Dan Uggla drove in seven runs in 28 plate appearances for Atlanta. This happened despite his batting .192/.276/.308.
Todd Frazier also plated seven. He did show some power as three of his four hits went for extra bases and two of them were homers. But when you only manage four hits in a week, you end up with ugly stat lines like Frazier’s .174/.208/.478.
In the same vein, only even more extreme, Nelson Cruz went .185/.281/.556. Three of his five hits were home runs and another was a double. He drove in six.
Josh Reddick collected six RBI and ended the week at .156/.176/.344.
Michael Young is looking kind of done this year after hitting very well in 2011. This week, he went .310/.290/.345 in 30 PA.
Asdrubal Cabrera smacked eight hits in 28 PA. But they were mostly singles and he didn’t reach base via walk all week, giving him a .286/.286/.357 line.
Harmon Killebrew Award
This week Stephen Drew did not get traded. He also only collected four hits. But most of those hits (three of them) went for extra bases. Drew also walked four times and ended the week with a perfectly acceptable .200/.333/.450 line.
Chris Carter really had a strange week. This hulking first baseman produced only four hits in 30 PA. On the other hand, one of those hits was a double. Another was a home runs. He also chipped in with nine walks. .190/.433/.381.
And finally, Todd Helton rode three doubles and five walks to a .231/.444/.462 week.
Steve Balboni Award
Ryan Howard was dominated this week, striking out 10 times in 23 PA and ending the week at .190/.261/.190.
Mark Trumbo fanned 11 times in 26 PA, going .130/.286/.261.
Alfonso Soriano went .208/.240/.292 with 10 K’s in 25 PA. No further comment.
Ben Francisco was terrible this week, striking out eight times in 17 PA and producing a pathetic .188/.235/.250 line.
Reddick struck out a league-leading 13 time in 33 PA this week, leading to his poor line listed above.
Three true outcomes
Mike Trout smacked three home runs, walked five times, and struck out 10 times in 35 PA.
Chase Headley posted a three-six-five TTO line in 30 PA.
I have already documented Chris Carter’s week. One-nine-eight in 30 PA.
Josh Willingham gave the Twins a one-five-seven in 26 PA.
Alejandro De Aza went zero-zero-two in 27 PA.
Derek Jeter went zero-zero-two in 25 PA.
Ichiro Suzuki posted a one-zero-zero in 28 PA.
Finally, Jose Reyes went zero-one-one in 36 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Albert Pujols had a classic Albert Pujols week, smacking 14 hits, five of the doubles, six home runs. He walked two times, struck out only thrice, and he stole a base. .424/.444/1.121 in 35 PA is pretty valuable.
NL: Buster Posey reached base via hit or walk 18 times in 30 PA. Three times he kept on trotting around the bases, not stopping to chat with the fielders as he had just smacked the ball over the fence. He ended the week at .500/.600/.958.