Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, August 27th through Sunday, September second. 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
Derek Holland allowed five runs in six innings to the Rays and still found his way to a win. Adrian Beltre was the player most responsible for the win as he personally chased opposing starter David Price from the game with a double, a home run, and a 0.26 WPA.
Justin Verlander and Luis Mendoza combined to allow 14 runs in 10 and two thirds on 19 hits and four walks. Their game scores combined don’t reach 50. But neither starter took the loss. Mendoza was in line for the win before the Royals bullpen blew the save.
Brooks Raley was shelled for seven runs in four frames. The Brewers touched up the soft-tossing lefty for 10 hits. His game score was a paltry 14. But Francisco Rodriguez is still Francisco Rodriguez and Raley ended up with a no-decision.
James McDonald’s eight runs allowed in two and two thirds ensured that Yovani Gallardo would not receive the loss regardless of Gallardo’s seven runs allowed in four and two thirds. Gallardo was touched up for 11 hits. He walked four and struck out four.
Matt Cain struggled, allowing five runs in five innings on six hits and two walks. Most of the damage came on a three-run Alfonso Soriano home run. But Manny Corpas blew the lead and Cain did not see the loss added to his record.
Casey Kelly and Jeff Francis faced off at Coors Field with the predictable result being 15 runs being split between the two starters in nine and a third innings of work on 18 hits. Kelly was in line for the win until the Padres bullpen gave up four runs.
Chris Young avoided the loss despite yielding five runs in four and a third. He struck out only two of the 21 Phillies he faced, allowed two home runs, walked three, hit Kevin Fransden with a pitch, and wound up with a game score of 34, but did not walk away with the loss thanks to the Philadelphia bullpen.
Liam Hendriks was shelled for five runs in three and two thirds by the Royals. He escaped with a no decision because Luke Hochevar gave up eight while only recording five outs and posted a game score of 10.
Bad luck division
Hendriks held the Mariners to one run in a complete game effort at home. Hendriks had the misfortune of starting for the Twins on a day where the other team brought Felix Hernandez. Hernandez shut out the Twins and Hendriks got the loss.
Marco Estrada pitched a good game for the Brewers, going seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, striking out 10 Pirates. But he was denied the victory when Jim Henderson blew the lead.
Stephen Strasburg only made it through six innings, but they were scoreless innings where he allowed only two hits, walked one, and struck out nine. He failed to get the victory because Sean Burnett squandered the lead on a Daniel Descalso home run.
Octavio Dotel blew the lead by allowing inherited runners to score, thus taking away Doug Fister’s chance for a win and tacking runs onto Drew Smyly’s ERA. But the Tigers scored more runs off Jake Peavy and Matt Thornton and Dotel walked away with the victory.
Wes Littleton Award
Sergio Romo was brought in with two on and two out in the ninth inning with a four run lead and Justin Maxwell up to bat. He struck out Maxwell to end the game. Matt Dominguez was scheduled up after Maxwell found a way on base. Dominguez is a solid defensive player at third base and has a good batting line in Houston in a small sample size, but is a career .256/.323/.409 line hitter in 593 minor league games.
In the course of guarding a three run lead in the ninth against the Red Sox, Ernesto Frieri did not strike out Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, and David Ortiz. He faced Ryan Lavarnway, Mike Aviles, Pedro Ciriaco, and Scott Podsednik.
Of course that wasn’t even the least distinguished group of batters Frieri faced this week in a three run save situation. On Saturday, he retired Carlos Peguero, Eric Thames, and Justin Smoak in the process of recording his 17th save of the 2012 campaign.
Please hold the applause
Vicente Padilla faced one batter in the eighth inning with a four run lead and two runners on base. He induced Salvador Perez into a ground ball double play and was lifted for Andrew Bailey in the next inning.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Anibal Sanchez held the Royals to one run on seven hits in seven innings despite only striking out one of the 27 batters he faced.
Nate Eovaldi tossed seven frames for the Marlins. Only three balls found pasture against him despite the fact that he struck out only one of the 24 Mets he faced. Two of his three runs allowed came on an Ike Davis home run he yielded. The guy had nice luck on balls in play for the game. His FIP in the game was 5.11.
Joe Carter Award
Twins teammates Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer drove in six runs each. Mauer hit .391/.440/.652. Morneau hit .280/.276/.440. Morneau had the advantage of batting behind both Mauer and Josh Willingham, who batted .333/.458/.667 this week.
Adam LaRoche also plated six, batting a limp .238/.292/.381 in 23 PA.
Daniel Murphy tossed up a .318/.318/.318 in 22 PA. Murphy hasn’t given the Mets an extra base hit since August seventh and hasn’t walked since August 20th.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Jay Bruce rode a TTO-heavy approach to a .176/.333/.588 week.
Johnny Giavotella went .294/.294/.353 in 17 PA.
Manny Machado put up a .292/.308/.292 line.
Steve Balboni Award
Nick Swisher struck out 10 times in 27 PA and ended the week with a .167/.259/.292 line.
Eric Thames fanned 10 times in 23 PA, leading to a .087/.087/.217 line.
Gregor Blanco got dominated to the tune of nine whiffs in 14 PA and an ugly .143/.143/.143 line.
Things were difficult for Mark Trumbo with nine strikeouts in 25 PA and a .182/.269/.182 week.
Three true outcomes
Brett Jackson hit one home run, walked six times, and struck out 11 times in 27 PA.
Jay Bruce went yard twice, drew four walks, and struck out five times in 21 PA.
Freddie Freeman posted a one-six-eight TTO line in 20 PA.
Adam Dunn failed to homer, but five walks and eight strikeouts in 22 PA is notable.
Ryan Howard put up a two-four-nine in 26 PA.
Mark Reynolds went four-seven-five in 29 PA.
Pedro Alvarez went four-two-five in 26 PA.
Edwin Encarnacion went three-four-six in 29 PA.
Michael Young did not homer, did not walk, and only struck out twice in 25 PA.
Marco Scutaro also threw up a zero-zero-two TTO line. He did it in 29 PA.
Kevin Fransden went zero-one-two in 27 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Adrian Beltre won last week’s MVP award. He wins this week’s too after going .478/.520/1.043 in 25 PA with four doubles and three homers. In the two weeks combined, he has a .453/.473/1.075 line.
NL: Pedro Alvarez and Ryan Braun each smacked the ball around pretty well. Alvarez went .458/.500/1.042 in 26 PA. Braun collected 13 hits, seven of which went for extra bases. He walked three times, and went two for two on the bases while posting a .433/.485/.867 in 33 PA.