Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, Aug. 19 through Sunday, Aug. 25. 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
Matt Garza allowed five runs in six and two thirds on eight hits and a walk. But Astros starter Lucas Harrell was pounded by the Rangers lineup for nine runs and Garza had a comfortable lead to work with.
Esmil Rogers was actually in line for the win despite allowing four runs in five innings until Neil Wagner blew the hold in the sixth. Ivan Nova allowed four run in six and a third and he did end up with the win.
Andrew Albers and Justin Verlander combined to yield 11 runs in 12 and two thirds on 19 hits and four walks, striking out 10. Albers was in line for the victory until Josh Roenicke blew the hold for the Twins.
Matt Cain and Jeff Locke combined to allow six runs in seven and a third. Neither took the loss, though Cain did take a liner off the elbow. I’ll let you be the judge of whether physical pain can substitute for the punishment of a weird statistic that was designed shortly after the Civil War when pitchers threw underhand.
Neither Edwin Jackson nor Edinson Volquez took the loss on Friday. Jackson was charged with six runs in six innings on 10 hits. Volquez never made it out of the first inning, allowing six hits on five hits and two walks. One of the hits was a crushing Nate Schierholtz three-run homer.
Bad luck division
Chris Tillman allowed one run on three hits and two walks, striking out nine Oakland batters in his eight innings. He took a very tough no-decision as the Orioles lineup could manage only one run against Jarrod Parker and Grant Balfour.
Earlier in the week. when Parker went the full nine innings, holding the Mariners to one run, it left Aaron Harang out in the cold. Harang allowed one run on five hits and a walk in seven innings and ended up getting a no-decision.
C.J. Wilson went seven and a third, allowing one run on four hits and three walks. But the one run that the Angels scored in the first inning was the only one they would score in the entire 14-inning game.
Jon Niese went seven innings, holding Atlanta to one run on five hits and three walks, striking out nine. The Mets ended up losing the game in the 10th, having scored only one run in three hours and five minutes of action.
In a bit of an embarrassment of a game, Andrew Cashner held the Cubs scoreless, allowing only two hits and a walk, striking out seven in seven innings. He took a no-decision because the Padres neglected to score any runs until the 13th inning.
Wes Littleton Award
Jose Veras took over for Drew Smyly with two out and none on in the eighth inning. With a three-run lead to guard, he retired Chris Colabello to end the eighth. After Miguel Cabrera smacked a three-run double for the Tigers, Veras returned to retire Trevor Plouffe, Clete Thomas and Wilkin Ramirez, valiantly getting the save in a game that ended with the Tigers up by six runs.
Please hold the applause
Joel Peralta allowed a solo home run and two singles, retiring two batters before getting lifted for Jake McGee, who retired Brian Roberts. McGee went on in the next inning to set down the middle of the Orioles lineup with the only damage being a double. He allowed no runs and stranded the two runners he inherited from Peralta. Both relievers went home with a hold.
Similarly, Luis Garcia entered the game in the eighth inning with a three-run lead. In order, the Rockies went walk, single, walk, strikeout, two-run single. Garcia left the game for Jacob Diekman, who struck out the two batters he faced to end the inning for the Phillies. Garcia and Diekman each got a hold.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
In one of our occasional looks at pitchers who had bad luck on balls in play in a particular game, Yu Darvish struck out 11 of the 28 White Sox he faced but they batted .385 against him on balls in play. One of those hits on a ball in play became a run when Adam Dunn smacked a home run and Yu ended up with no decision.
On the other side of things, Dallas Keuchel struck out two of the 27 Jays he faced. Despite this, only four hits safely found carefully manicured lawn. And despite three walks to go with the balls in play, no runs were tallied against him. Keuchel was in line for the win until Chia-Jen Lo blew the save in the ninth.
Joe Carter Award
Chris Nelson drove in five runs in 35 plate appearances. He also struck out 16 times and ended the week batting .147/.171/.294.
Wilin Rosario drove in seven in 23 PA. He smacked three home runs, but he made it on base safely only two other times, both by way of singles. .217/.217/.609 was his line.
Anthony Gose posted a perfect Sanchez, going .313/.313/.313 in 16 PA for the Jays.
Daniel Murphy went .280/.308/.280 in 26 PA.
Though he went three for three stealing bases, Alex Rios posted a very uninspiring .276/.300/.379 in 30 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Jayson Werth rode a pair of home runs and six walks to a .227/.393/.500 line in 28 PA.
Chase Utley walked eight times and posted a .227/.438/.364 line in 32 PA.
All of Matt Dominguez’s three hits went for extra bases and he walked four times to go .150/.320/.500 in 24 PA.
Ike Davis went .235/.381/.471 in 21 PA.
Edwin Encarnacion made it on base via hit only four times in 30 PA this week. Fortunately for Toronto, half of the four hits were home runs. He also drew seven walks, leading to .174/.367/.435 line.
Steve Balboni Award
Chris Carter struck out in 11 of his 20 PA this week, going .118/.250/.176.
I mentioned Chris Nelson earlier. His 16 strikeouts were four ahead of Dexter Fowler for the week’s lead in total Ks in the majors.
Speaking of Fowler, his .484 OPS was almost as bad as Nelson’s .466.
Dunn went .160/.192/.280 with 11 strikeouts in 26 PA.
Josh Willingham posted a .125/.240/.217 line with 10 strikeouts in 27 PA.
I didn’t expect to see Peter Bourjos striking out nine times in 21 PA. That likely played a part in his .143/.143/.238 line.
Justin Smoak went down on strikes nine times in 24 PA and went .091/.167/.091 overall.
Among others posting appalling contact rates and just as appalling results were Jay Bruce, Christian Yelich, Garrett Jones, Justin Maxwell, Casper Wells, Josh Reddick, Kyle Seager, and Yoenis Cespedes.
Three true outcomes
Shin-Soo Choo homered once, walked four times, and struck out nine times in 31 PA.
Giancarlo Stanton went two-five-eight in 30 PA.
Chris Davis went one-six-seven in 25 PA.
Carlos Santana went two-seven-five in 27 PA.
Similarly, Paul Goldschmidt went one-seven-four in 35 PA.
Werth’s two-six-six in 28 PA deserves mention here, as does Joey Votto’s two-six-six in 31 PA.
Donnie Murphy’s candidacy is hurt by the fact that he is missing the walks in his four-zero-11 in 34 PA, but his three hit by pitches count for this purpose as the less common fourth true outcome.
Daniel Murphy went zero-one-one in 26 PA.
In an odd anti-TTO bid, Brett Lawrie went one-one-zero.
Omar Infante went zero-zero-two in 26 PA.
Alexei Ramirez posted a zero-one-two in 27 PA.
With a .040/.111/.040, Michael Brantley’s ability to avoid strikeouts didn’t help him this week. He posted a zero-two-one in 26 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: American League East rivals Evan Longoria and Robinson Cano had a good week individually. Four of Longoria’s nine hits were home runs, leading the way in his .360/.385/.880 in 26 PA. Cano went more for volume of hits rather than over-the-fence power, collecting seven singles, three doubles, and two home runs for his .414/.414/.724 in 29 PA.
NL: Stanton posted a lot of round numbers, going .400/.500/.800 with 10 hits in 30 PA. Four of the 10 were doubles, two were home runs.