Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, September third through Sunday, September ninth. 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
Wade Miley was torched for five runs in five and a third. Bryan Shaw allowed an inherited runner to score after Miley was pulled but no other Padres touched home for the rest of the game. Jason Kubel, Justin Upton, and Aaron Hill took Padres starter Casey Kelly to the woodshed and Miley got the win.
Ian Kennedy and Ryan Vogelsong combined to allow 11 runs in nine frames on 16 hits and three walks. Amazingly this game did not happen in Phoenix but instead was held at the venue formerly known as Pac Bell Park. After Kennedy left the game, Brad Bergesen blew the lead and neither starter would receive a decision.
Stephen Strasburg was shelled for five runs on six hits and three walks in three innings in what appears to have been his final start of 2012 and he avoided the loss as somebody named A.J. Ramos blew the lead for the Marlins and took Strasburg off the hook.
Bad luck division
The only run Jeff Samardzija allowed on Monday was a solo home run. He tossed seven innings, striking out eight, walking only one. He got the loss because Ross Detwiler flummoxed Samardzija’s teammates and combined with Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard to shut out the North Siders.
Derek Holland held the Rays to one run in eight innings on two hits and two walks, striking out 11, but Jeremy Hellickson and the Rays bullpen held the Rangers to one run in game the Rays would go on to win in extra innings. Holland took a no-decision.
Clayton Kershaw threw seven brilliant innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks, striking out nine. But the Dodgers had trouble scoring runs against the Padres and Kershaw got a no-decision.
Nine Rockies pitchers held Atlanta to two runs in 18 innings (counting Matt Reynolds twice as he made an appearance in both games) on Wednesday and Thursday but none came away with a victory because the Braves shut out the Rockies in both games. One of the two games featured the infamous Jhoulys Chacin error that may be the most Astros thing to happen this year not featuring the Astros.
Yu Darvish posted a game score of 78, going eight innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks, striking out eight. Chris Archer went seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out 11. Neither got the win.
Jeremy Guthrie held the White Sox scoreless for eight frames, allowing only six hits, walking none, striking out four. But the Royals waited until the 10th inning to score and Guthrie received no decision.
Kameron Loe’s entrance into Tuesday’s game was well timed. He threw two pitches in facing his one and only batter of the game, Donnie Murphy, ending the sixth inning for the Brewers down by a run. The batter who pinch-hit for Loe in the following inning, Nyjer Morgan reached base and was one of the two runs that would score to make Loe a winner.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
Mitchell Boggs entered the game with a three run lead over the Mets with no outs and nobody on. He allowed Ruben Tejada to single, followed that up by giving up a two run home run to Daniel Murphy. After inducing a groundout from David Wright, he walked Ike Davis and was pulled from the game. After Sam Freeman relieved Boggs and allowed another hit, Jason Motte came in and mercifully ended the inning for the Cardinals. Boggs received a hold for his efforts.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Eric Stults missed out on a win by being opposite Kershaw’s brilliance, but he was probably fortunate to even appear to be in the running for the win as he allowed one run in six innings despite striking out only one of the 25 Dodgers he faced.
Joe Carter Award
This week I have a collection of batters who hit for some power and used that to drive in runs but did little else. Curtis Granderson drove in seven runs in 22 PA. He hit a home run and a double, took one for the team in the form of getting hit by a pitch and ended the week with a .238/.273/.429.
Similarly, Alex Rios drove in seven, smacked two homers and a double, and ended the week with a .227/.261/.545 line in 23 PA.
Michael Young and Brian McCann plated six runs each. Half of Young’s six hits were home runs and he failed to draw and walks. McCann went yard twice and smacked a double. He also did not induce a pitcher to give him a base on balls. Young ended the week at .222/.214/.556 in 28 PA. McCann went .294/.278/716 in 18 PA.
Jonathan Lucroy posted a very symmetrical .304/.304/.304 line in 23 PA.
Jeff Keppinger went .286/.318/.286 in 22 PA.
And Billy Butler accumulated eight hits in 29 PA but from that he only amassed 10 total bases and he only reached base nine times. That means a .286/.300/.393 line for Country Breakfast.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Geovany Soto posted a .227/.346/.455 line in 26 PA this week.
Fellow catcher Alex Avila went .214/.360/.500.
Matt Holliday gave the Cardinals a .200/.333/.400 line in 18 PA.
And finally, Josh Hamilton only collected six hits in 27 PA, but half of those hits were home runs and he walked twice. .240/.345/.600 is nice.
Steve Balboni Award
Nick Swisher had a week that was such a disaster it qualified him for EPA funding as a Superfund site. He struck out 10 times in 31 PA and went hitless. That is not a typo. He failed to record a single, a double, a triple, or a home run this week. .000/.156/.000 is so bad, there might be a few Red Sox fans out there who feel bad for the guy.
Chris Carter whiffed nine times in 17 PA, going .200/.294/.400 for the A’s.
Chris Nelson struck out nine times in 21 PA and predictably posted a .190/.190/.381 line.
And Jayson Nix went .143/.143/.143 for the Yankees, whiffing eight times in 14 PA.
Three true outcomes
It is hard to beat Giancarlo Stanton’s TTO week. Stanton smacked four home runs, walked twice, and struck out 13 times in 31 PA.
Mark Reynolds went five-four-10 in 28 PA.
Justin Morneau went two-six-six in 24 PA.
Chris Johnson went one-five-seven in 27 PA.
And Josh Hamilton posted a three-two-10 TTO line in 27 PA.
Darwin Barney did not homer or walk. He struck out only once in his 25 PA.
Yoenis Cespedes went zero-zero-two in 26 PA.
Starlin Castro went zero-one-two in 30 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Mark Reynolds did what Mark Reynolds does when Mark Reynolds has it going. He smacked five home runs and walked four times as you likely read above. To that he only added two singles, no doubles, and no triples. That was still enough to give him a .292/.393/.917 line.
Notably, his teammate Adam Jones was second in OPS for the American League with a .393/.414/.786 line featuring 11 hits, five going for extra bases.
NL: Between Reynolds, Jones, and the Nationals quartet of Adam LaRoche, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond, the top six in all of baseball this week in OPS played for teams based in what the US Government calls the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Through sheer mass of his hitting stats, I will give the MVP nod to LaRoche, who collected 12 hits, five of them home runs for a .444/.516/1.037 line in 31 PA.
Of LaRoche’s teammates, Harper went .360/.448/.840 in 28 PA, Zimmerman went .346/.414/.808 in 29 PA, and Desmond .407/.448/.741 in 29 PA. Harper and Zimmerman each smacked nine hits including three home runs each and both walked three times. Desmond rapped out 11 hits, two were homers. He also walked twice.