Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the games starting Monday, Aug. 8 and ending Sunday, Aug. 14. 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
Homer Bailey and Jason Hammel only managed to get through a total of seven frames and yielded 11 runs on 10 hits and two walks. They gave up two homers each and struck out the same number. Neither got the loss, though the right unit got the win as the Rockies bullpen threw five innings and only gave up one run.
Jordan Lyles and Jason Marquis in the start where he didn’t pitch on a broken leg were each pummeled. They allowed seven runs each in a combined nine innings on 21 hits. Lyles was in line for the win until Wilton Lopez coughed up his sixth lead of the season. Neither got the loss.
With Darren Oliver’s help, Matt Harrison was bombed for six runs in five and a third. Oliver was on the mound for two of the six as he inherited them from Harrison. With the help of everybody on the Rangers that was not named Darren Oliver, Harrison escaped without the loss. The lineup shelled Rich Harden and the Oakland pen and Harrison was scot-free.
Bad luck division
Don’t fault Jhoulys Chacin for the Rockies’ loss. He threw eight innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out nine. His teammates scored all of one run in support of his efforts.
In a matchup of two admittedly bad lineups, six pitchers combined to allow zero runs in 18 innings and walked away with no win. This group was led by Astros starter Bud Norris, who threw seven shutout innings, striking out eight.
Luke Hochevar and Jeremy Hellickson combined to throw 14 and a third innings, allowing two runs on 11 hits and five walks, striking out 14. Casey Kotchman won the game for the Rays long after the starters had gone to ice their shoulders and elbows.
Then Glen Perkins in the same matchup the next day, the third time in the series turns it around and receives a victory despite blowing the lead instead of handing it to somebody else.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
The Phillies’ eighth inning demonstrates the point of this award nicely. Michael Stutes started the inning with a 4-1 lead. He started off by allowing a Matt Kemp single, then a steal that advanced Kemp to second base. An Aaron Miles single then plated Kemp and Miles advanced to second himself on an error by Stutes. After the harmless James Loney flied out, Stutes was lifted for Brad Lidge, who proceeded to walk Rod Barajas. Then came pinch hitter Juan Rivera who singled home Miles. Dee Gordon then grounded into a fielder’s choice. Lidge advanced the runners to second and third with a wild pitch. And Lidge then escaped the inning grasping a one-run lead when Tony Gwynn Jr attempted to bunt himself on base. Both Stutes and Lidge received a hold. Neither really helped the Phillies in their attempt to win the game and turned a three-run lead into a one-run lead.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
In his first win of the season, Chien-Ming Wang struck out one of the 21 Cubs he faced in six scoreless innings. It is to his credit that he induced 12 groundball outs, but that is a lot of balls in play with only one hit against.
Joe Carter Award
Adam Lind drove in six runs on the week. This was in spite of batting only .154/.148/.346.
Alex Gonzalez also plated six. He smacked two home runs but did nothing else with the stick. .207/.207/.414.
Jonathan Lucroy posted a perfect Sanchez line of .316/.316/.316 in 19 PA.
Andy Dirks went .292/.320/.375 in 25 PA.
Emilio Bonifacio has been great for fantasy owners who need steals, but his .280/.308/.320 line this week didn’t help the Fish.
Kosuke Fukudome’s one plus skill is plate discipline, so when he goes a week without a walk, chances are he isn’t going to help Cleveland much. .280/.308/.360 in 26 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Joey Votto has the secondary skills to overcome a bad BABIP week. Of his five hits on the week, two were home runs and one was a double. He also chipped in seven walks, which took his line to .238/.429/.571 in 28 PA.
Pablo Sandoval went .238/.333/.524 for the Giants.
Jose Bautista only collected four hits and of those, only one was a home run. But his walk rate still made him a productive player at .235/.409/.412.
Josh Willingham gave the White Elephants a nice week. .217/.357/.565 in 26 PA.
John Buck had one of the more extreme lines you will see this week at .188/.350/.563 in 20 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Mark Reynolds did nothing but strike out this week, fanning 12 times in 26 PA and ending up at .038/.038/.038.
Chris Iannetta has good weeks and he has bad weeks. This was a bad week with eight strikeouts and a .118/.250/.176 line.
Three true outcomes
There are reasons why Buck had the week he had. He accumulated two home runs, walked four times, and struck out eight times in 20 PA.
Jay Bruce was a crazy TTO hitter this week. 5-2-9 in 27 PA.
Jayson Werth went 1-3-10 in 24 PA.
Curtis Granderson was 5-5-6 in 27 PA.
Chase Utley went 0-0-0 in 27 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Did we ever figure out what happened during the half season where David Ortiz looked like Big Great Grand Papi? He looked absolutely finished. He looked like 2011 Adam Dunn with a bat that looked slower than a Molina family footrace. This week he only struck out twice in 26 PA, walked four times, homered three times, and ended up at .500/.577/.955 for the Red Sox.
NL: I’m calling it a draw between two corner outfielders. I mentioned Jay Bruce earlier. Those five home runs were engine driving his .440/.481/1.120 week. Fellow young corner outfielder Justin Upton drove three doubles, three home runs, stole two bases, and walked once in 28 PA for a .481/.517/.926 week.