Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, August sixth through Sunday, August 12th. 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 archaic practice that must stop
Good luck division
Zach Britton was shelled for seven runs in five innings on eight hits and two walks. He allowed home runs to Kyle Seager and Miguel Olivo. But Lucas Luetge blew the save for the Mariners and Britton was off the hook for the loss.
Travis Blackley and Francisco Liriano combined to allow 11 runs in eight and a third on 13 hits and four walks. Blackley was in line for the win but Jordan Norberto gave up the lead (Matt Thornton would subsequently return the favor to the Athletics) and neither starter would see a decision.
Felix Hernandez and Ervin Santana each avoided the loss despite struggling. They allowed five runs each. Santana’s came in six and a third; Hernandez in seven. The bullpens combined to allow only one run in four frames.
Bad luck division
Mat Latos put in a very nice day at the office, allowing only one run on three hits to the Brewers in seven frames. He struck out eight and walked only one. But Jonathan Broxton blew the save and Latos got a no-decision.
When Clayton Richard threw a shutout against the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija took the loss. Samardzija had tossed seven innings, allowed only one run on four hits and two walks against the Padres and posted a game score of 69.
Kyle Lohse shut down the Phillies for seven innings, allowing only one run on four hits and two walks, striking out seven along the way. But Roy Halladay looked how you expect Roy Halladay to look through the years and Lohse was denied the victory.
Mark Rogers experienced one of the quintessential moments in the life of a 2012 Brewers starter. He pitched a good game, allowing only one run to the Astros in seven innings of work. But John Axford blew the save by somehow allowing Houston to score two runs while only recording one out in the ninth. Rogers tallied a 73 game score. When you are a Brewers starter this season, even when you might give the team a good showing, there is a strong possibility that you will not see the win because the bullpen is preposterously bad.
Travis Wood also fell victim to a faulty bullpen. He tossed seven one-run innings for the Cubs and left a lead for James Russell, who squandered it. Wood struck out eight Reds, walking only one but walked away with a no-decision.
Wes Littleton Award
In recording his 21st save of the season, J.J. Putz retired Clint Barmes, Jordy Mercer, and Garrett Jones. Jones has some power in his bat, but a whole lot of swing and miss and needed runners on base to have a shot at the three run lead the Diamondbacks were possessing. Barmes and Mercer are simply overmatched and dealing with OBPs under .250.
Please hold the applause
Jonathan Broxton was terrible facing the Cubs. He entered with a three run lead and then nearly squandered it before being mercifully pulled from the game. He started off walking Brett Jackson, who has missed almost everything he has swung at in his time as a professional baseball player and who you will hear about in the hitter category below, and not in the good categories. Jackson scored on a Welington Castillo double. Then after an out on a foul ball by Luis Valbuena, David DeJesus drove in Castillo on another double. DeJesus advanced to third on a Darwin Barney grounder and Aroldis Chapman took the ball, finishing off the terrible Cubs. Broxton damaged Cincinnati’s chances of winning the game but he still got the hold.
Alex Hinshaw was credited with a hold for his work on Tuesday. He entered the game at Petco Park with one out, a runner on second base, and a three run lead. He walked a batter and struck out a batter. He was then was pulled from the game so that Brad Brach could come in a strike out another batter, ending the inning.
Mike Gonzalez entered the game against the Astros tasked with keeping a three run lead. He faced Brett Wallace, which has seemed to be a challenge for Major League pitchers this season. Wallace was followed by marginal bats J.D. Martinez (since optioned to Oklahoma City) and Ben Francisco. If it had gone farther than those three, this being the Astros, he would have had to deal with Chris Snyder and the pitcher’s spot in the order. The game was not in jeopardy at any point.
Matt Belisle achieved one of my favorite statistical oddities in recording a loss and a hold in Sunday’s tilt in San Francisco when he left with the lead intact but ducks on the pond that eventually came around to score under the watch of Rafael Betancourt. Those runs were the deciding factor in the game.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Ben Sheets held the Phillies to one run on seven hits and a walk. His only run came on a solo home run. Sheets didn’t strike out a single batter out of 29 faced.
Matt Cain had exactly the opposite kind of luck as Sheets. Cain struck out seven Cardinals in five and two thirds. He fanned 25.9 percent of the batters he faced. But seven of the 18 balls that were hit into play found grass and Cain was chased out of the game having allowed five runs and he took the loss.
Joe Carter Award
Ichiro Suzuki drove in nine Yankees this week while collecting just eight total bases. He ended the week hitting .231/.259/.308. He had one more ribbie than Matt Weiters, who went .292/.370/.792 with six extra base hits.
Marco Scutaro went .265/.297/.412. He had nine RBI.
Chris Johnson was terrible, batting .188/.206/.375 but somehow managed eight RBI.
Miami is stuck with Carlos Lee for the rest of 2012. El Caballo had six RBI in 26 PA. He hit a limp .200/.222/.240 for the fish.
Hunter Pence also makes the list at .188/.188/.313 and six driven in.
It really was not my intention to list only players who were traded in midseason deals. It just worked out that way. As a show of good faith, here’s Paul Goldschmidt hitting .286/.267/.429 and plating six runs..
Dexter Fowler batted .318/.318/.364 in 22 PA.
Less objectionable but still a bit empty was Brandon Phillips’ .300/.313/.400. For a second baseman in 2012, that isn’t half bad. But it is not the level of contribution you expect when you see a .300 batting average.
Melky Cabrera went .286/.323/.357 in 30 PA.
Goldschmidt qualifies here too. At .286/.267/.429, he had eight hits and no walks. Bonus points to him for stealing two bases this week and going two for two in his attempts.
Jordan Pacheco had six hits in 22 PA, but that only resulted in a .286/.304/.333 line.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Before he went on the disabled list, Will Middlebrooks put up a .214/.389/.643. Two of his three hits were home runs and he walked three times in 17 PA.
Also performing well in a partial week was Chris Denorfia. In 16 PA, he had a single, a double, and a home run. He also walked three times against only one strikeout. He hit .231/.375/.538.
Angel Pagan went .231/.364/.462. Among his six hits were a double, a triple, and a home run. He walked six times in his 32 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Adam Dunn fanned 11 times in 25 PA, went .130/.192/.174, and generally looked like the 2011 version of the Big Donkey.
Drew Stubbs led the Major Leagues in strikeouts with 12 in 30 PA. He scuffled to the tune of .107/.167/.143.
Anthony Gose whiffed in a staggering 10 of 15 PA, ending the week with a predictably putrid .071/.133/.071 line.
It was the opposite of surprising when Brett Jackson spent this week going .063/.167/.063 with 11 K’s in 18 PA. He struck out 158 times in 467 PA this year with the Iowa Cubs. When you strike out in 33.8 percent of your at bats in Des Moines, good things are unlikely to happen when you graduate to the majors.
Chris Davis struck out in 11 of his 27 trips to the plate this week. He went .080/.148/.080.
Highlighting other names of players who struck out an excessive number of times and had the triple-slash lines to prove it are Hunter Pence, Austin Jackson, Alfonso Soriano, Justin Maxwell, Curtis Granderson, Jay Bruce, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach, and Bryce Harper.
Three true outcomes
Billy Butler was a good all-around TTO contributor this week with four home runs, two walks, and eight strikeouts in 29 PA.
Carlos Beltran homered three times, walked twice, and struck out eight times in 29 PA.
Buster Posey put up a three-eight-four in 27 PA.
Pagan’s one-six-six in 32 PA is worth inclusion.
Stephen Drew went one-five-five in 24 PA.
Miguel Montero failed to homer, but zero-five-six in 23 PA will get you mentioned as a footnote if nothing else.
Darwin Barney did not homer or walk and struck out only once in 29 PA.
Ben Revere went zero-one-two in 29 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Josh Hamilton might be pulling out his much-maligned tailspin. In June he hit .223/.318/.436. In July he went .177/.253/.354. This week he posted a .455/.538/.955 line in 26 PA.
NL: I am going to give co-MVP awards to Posey and Jon Jay. Posey has an argument based on positional value, slugging, and patience. The Giants best player went yard three times, walked eight times, and finished the week with a .421/.571/.895 line.
Jay has advantages in singles and steals. Jay collected 15 hits in 30 PA and was successful in two of his three stolen base attempts. He went .536/.581/.607.