Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 11. 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
The Cubs shelled Kyle Kendrick on Tuesday. Kendrick gave up five runs on six hits, two of which were homers. Kendrick walked away with the win as the Phillies smacked Edwin Jackson around for seven runs in five innings.
Homer Bailey allowed five runs in five and a third to the Athletics. He got the win as Bartolo Colon failed to make it out of the third inning. The Reds bullpen held Oakland scoreless for the remaining four innings to preserve a close lead.
Jake Peavy and Ervin Santana combined to allow 12 runs in eight and two thirds on 19 hits, walking three, striking out two. Peavy was in line for the win until Drake Britton blew the hold in the sixth by allowing two more runs. The sum of the game scores was still a lowly 41.
Andre Rienzo was touched up for four runs in five and a third. He allowed seven hits, walked five, struck out five, and gave up two home runs. An Anthony Swarzak blown hold ensured that he wouldn’t take the loss.
Bad luck division
Corey Kluber held the Tigers scoreless for seven and a third, yielding six hits and a walk, striking out six. Chris Perez blew the save, costing Kluber the win. Anibal Sanchez, the opposing starter, threw seven and two thirds, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out 11. The win went to Al Alburquerque, who threw three pitches in the game.
Gio Gonzalez held Atlanta to two runs in seven frames on six hits and a walk, striking out five. He took the loss as the Nats could only manage one run against Julio Teheran and a trio of Braves relievers.
Ivan Nova pitched seven innings, allowing one run on eight hits and two walks, striking out seven along the way. Mariano Rivera blew the save and Nova took a no-decision in a game in which the Yankees eventually beat the Tigers in extra innings.
Brandon Workman took over after Steven Wright was pounded for three runs in the first inning for the Red Sox. Workman fared better only in that he lasted longe, giving up six runs to the Astros in four and two thirds. Workman was given the win as the Red Sox scored eight runs off Houston starter Jordan Lyles and another seven off Dallas Keuchel and Jose Cisnero.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
Kelvin Herrera pitched poorly to poor competition and got away with it. With a three-run lead, he walked Chris Colabello before striking out Chris Herrmann. He then walked Trevor Plouffe and struck out Oswaldo Arcia. Before inducing an inning-ending groundout from Clete Thomas, he advanced Colabello and Plouffe a base by throwing a wild pitch. He allowed two batters to reach base from among the bottom half of the Twins order and then moved them up a base. He allowed no runs and walked away with the hold, but fans who watched that display probably left the experience with less confidence in Herrera than they had at the start.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Hisashi Iwakuma took the loss because the only run R.A. Dickey allowed was a solo homer to Justin Smoak but he was lucky to limit the Blue Jays to two runs in his seven and two thirds given that he struck out two of the 28 Toronto batters he faced. Only four balls in play against Iwakuma became hits and he walked four.
Joe Carter Award
Jurickson Profar drove in six Rangers in 26 plate appearances. He had seven total bases and a .240/.269/.280 line.
Jose Iglesias posted a perfect Sanchez line of .333/.333/.333 in 24 PA.
If some of you would frown on giving the top spot to Iglesias because a good defensive shortstop who posts a .666 OPS is an asset, though not as much of one as one would expect if they knew only the average, I present to you Juan Uribe, who went .292/.292/.375 in 24 PA.
Also note that Yunel Escobar posted a .286/.286/.333 in 21 PA.
Chase Headley collected six hits in 22 PA. Only one of those six went for extra bases. That one was a double. He also drew only one walk, leading to a .286/.318/.333 line.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Marlon Byrd posted a .235/.350/.412 line in 20 PA. As you would expect, two of his four hits were extra base hits. What you would not expect is the fact that the thing propping up his OBP was not walks, of which he had one, but hit by pitches. He got plunked twice.
David Murphy had a similar but superior line to Byrd but a less entertaining factoid than getting beaned twice. He went .231/.444/.462 in 18 PA with all three of his hits ending up as doubles. He made his way on base three times via hit and five times by way of a base on balls.
Paul Goldschmidt produced two singles in 23 PA for the Snakes. He also homered once, walked a staggering seven times, and went three for four in his attempts to steal a base. He posted a .188/.435/.375 line, which is something you don’t run into very often, even in one-week samples.
Steve Balboni Award
Alfonso Soriano struck out 12 times in 31 PA, tied for highest in the majors this week. So despite the fact that half of his hits were home runs, he wasn’t able to maintain a batting average or walk rate sufficient enough to produce a presentable line. Instead he hit .143/.266/.357.
Arcia shared the strikeout lead with Soriano, going down on strikes 12 times in 30 PA. He ended up batting .233/.233/.600, an asset in slugging but a gaping chest wound in the Twins lineup’s ability to put runners on base.
Mike Napoli struck out 11 times in 27 PA and hit .130/.286/.174.
Adeiny Hechavarria doesn’t have the secondary skills to survive eight strikeouts in 22 PA. He didn’t survive that strikeout rate this week, going .182/.182/.273.
Usually I keep it to samples above about 15 or 20 PA or so, but I would feel remiss if I failed to mention that Austin Romine struck out seven times in 12 PA, 10 AB for a .100/.250/.100. That’s an abysmal contact rate.
In my weekly overrun list of those who went down on strikes a lot and ended up with the resultant terrible triple slash lines are Mark Trumbo, Roger Kieschnick, Darin Ruff, Colby Rasmus, Clete Thomas, Curtis Granderson, Giancarlo Stanton, Pedro Alvarez and Alex Avila.
Three true outcomes
As mentioned above, Soriano homered three times in his 31 PA. He also walked three times and struck out (as mentioned) 12 times.
Mike Trout homered twice, walked seven times, and struck out eight times in 27 PA.
Colabello posted a two-six-six TTO line in 25 PA.
Miguel Cabrera’s strikeouts are low for the category, but four-five-five in 33 PA gets you in.
Josh Reddick went five-two-five in 21 PA.
Justin Morneau went four-one-nine in 32 PA, which is a little thin on the walks, but with plenty of the homers and strikeouts.
Norichika Aoki posted a zero-zero-three TTO line in 27 PA.
Ed Lucas went zero-zero-three in 25 PA.
Jonathan Lucroy was another member of the zero-zero-three club. He did his in 29 PA.
And Juan Uribe is the last member of the crew, going zero-zero-three in 24 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Teammates Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera share the honor this week. Cabrera was his usual brilliant self, maybe more so by going .429/.515/.929. Half of his 12 hits were of the extra base variety. Jackson smacked 13 hits in 38 PA. Of those 13, five were singles, four were doubles, and two each of triples and home runs for a .371/.421/.771 line.
NL: I can’t decide the NL winner between Brandon Belt and Matt Holliday so I will let you decide for yourself. They each had 28 PA on the week. Holliday went .478/.586/.739 with nine singles, two homers, and five walks. Belt went .440/.500/.800 with six singles, three doubles, and two homers to go with three walks.