Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the period of Monday, Aug. 9 through Sunday, Aug. 15. All season stats are through the 15th. For award definitions, see this year’s primer.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an archaic practice that must stop
Good luck division
Bad luck division
Not many things have gone wrong for Ubaldo Jimenez this year, but on Tuesday he got the loss in a game in which he threw seven innings, allowing one run on four hits. Mike Pelfrey and a pair of relievers shut out the Rockies and handed Jimenez his third loss of the season.
This is familiar ground for Zack Greinke. Eight innings, one run, eight strikeouts, one walk, six hits, one no-decision. The fact that Jeff Weaver went eight innings with 11 strikeouts and one run and didn’t get the decision either likely isn’t of much comfort.
A.J. Burnett got the loss despite eight innings of one-run baseball because Bryan Bullington threw eight shutout innings against the Yankees. That still feels weird to say. Burnett did what you are supposed to do against the Royals. He held them to one run on four hits, striking out six.
I don’t know if this happens to Cole Hamels more than others, but I tend to remember him as being hit with this kind of loss more often than just about anybody else. On Friday, his eight-inning, one-run, eight-strikeout performance against the Mets was overshadowed by R.A. Dickey’s shutout.
Brett Anderson was on the wrong side of a dominating performance by Felix Hernandez. Anderson tossed seven frames, allowing one run, striking out seven, walking two. Nevertheless, His Royal Highness struck out 13 in eight scoreless to make Anderson the loser.
Edwin Jackson and Brian Matusz pitched well, throwing 12 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and 11 strikeouts. Matusz was in line for the win with Koji Uehara notably doing good work in relief. But Alfredo Simon blew the save via a solo home run off the bat of Paul Konerko.
In Jackson’s other start this week, he had his efforts spoiled by a J.J. Putz blown save. He was saddled with a no-decision despite striking out 11 in seven frames and yielding only one run on five hits.
Ross Ohlendorf and Brett Myers ended the day with matching no-decisions after 13 and two-thirds innings in which they combined to allow one run on 11 hits failed to settle things. Ohlendorf was in line for the victory, but Evan Meek destroyed that by getting hammered for four runs while retiring only one batter in the eighth.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
Hisanori Takahashi got the loss and the hold thanks to Manny Acosta, who allowed the base runners inherited from Takahashi to score. Acosta gets the blown save. Takahashi gets the hold because he still handed the lead to the next guy. But he also gets the loss because the go-behind* run was charged to him.
*Coining a new term here
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Alex Gonzalez drove in seven runs in 26 plate appearances. In other news, he hit .227/.308/.364 and lost a few ticks off of his OPS for the season.
Carlos Lee was really quite bad despite driving in six. .217/.250/.391 from a bad defensive corner outfielder is disgraceful, but it is something Houston fans have been used to in this season while the bottom has fallen out of Lee’s career.
At .294/.294/.353., Willie Bloomquist is who we thought he was. Actually with a .248/.283/.350 line overall, this was a better than average week for him. But as a Royals fan complaining about Willie Bloomquist, I am not exactly treading new ground here.
Denard Span is a hitter who actually does have value most weeks. This was an unusually bad week for his secondary skills as he ended at .280/.280/.360 with only two extra base hits and one walk in 25 at-bats.
Harmon Killebrew Award
It is on the low side of what I usually cite in this category, but Colby Rasmus’ .211/.375/.421 is worthy of acknowledgement.
Steve Balboni Award
Rookie Ike Davis really struggled this week, fanning nine times in 16 plate appearances on his way to an .067/.125/.133 line.
Fellow rookie Chris Carter went .000/.050/.000 with nine strikeouts in 20 PA. That’s right: no hits and one walk.
Three true outcomes
He is missing a category, but with no home runs, seven walks, and nine strikeouts in 24 PA, Pedro Alvarez had a mighty TTO week.
Rasmus went one-five-eight in 24 PA.
Jason Kubel went two-four-seven in 27 PA.
Making up for last week when I missed him, Felix Pie went one-zero-one in 28 PA.
Jose Lopez went zero-one-one in 25 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Bobby Abreu collected 11 hits and four walks in 25 PA. Five of the 11 hits went for extra bases and he ended the week at .524/.615/.952. Well done. I feel I should mention that even after all this years, I still try to insert a second “a” in Abreu between the e and the u.
NL: Mike Stanton went deep in three straight games and hit .583/.630/1.292 in 27 PA this week. He raised his OPS by 134 points.