Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for Monday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 15. 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
Jerome Williams was hammered for six runs in five innings on nine hits and a walk. He struck out only one Blue Jay that afternoon but he got the win because the Angels lineup used Mark Buehrle as a punching bag, tallying eight runs off the Toronto starter.
It took Jorge de la Rosa 65 pitches to get through two innings. He allowed four runs in the process, walked three against one strikeout. Opposing starter Ryan Vogelsong was shelled for five runs in his five innings, allowing eight hits, walking two, striking out none. Neither starter took the loss.
A.J. Burnett allowed five runs in six and a third to the Rangers on six hits and two walks. He got the win thanks to the Pirates putting up seven runs and the bullpen going two and two thirds scoreless.
The complete meltdown of Tyson Ross (six runs, didn’t get out of the first), meant Roy Halladay was able to escape without the loss despite getting manhandled by the Padres for five runs in four and a third.
Bad luck division
When nobody scores until the 12th, the starters are going to end up in this list. In Sunday’s insane Marlins/Mets game, those starters were Tom Koehler and Dillon Gee, who combined for 15 and a third scoreless, nine hits, two walks, and 13 strikeouts.
Bronson Arroyo opened the week for the Reds by allowing only two runs in seven innings on seven hits, walking none, striking out six. He took the loss as Travis Wood and two Cubs relievers held Arroyo’s teammates scoreless in the game.
In Yu’s second start of the week, he limited the White Elephants to one run in seven innings on four hits and one walk, striking out 10. The Rangers were shut out by Bartolo Colon and Grant Balfour. That’s right, the Rangers scored no runs in either of the Darvish starts this week.
So about the Mariano Rivera thing. Robertson blew the save. Then the Yankees scored to take back the lead. Rivera successfully protected the lead for the ninth. Normally this would result in Robertson getting the vulture win and Rivera getting the save. Our chief editor, Joe Distelheim alerted me to this article that explains why that didn’t happen here and theoretically why it should happen more often.
But here’s the thing: At the very least the official scorer should have the option to give the win to any pitcher, not just the ones that pitch after the blown save. But really, that’s the symptom, not the disease. The whole concept of awarding wins is ridiculous and inhibits the public’s perception of what generates wins and losses by acting as a red herring. So lets just Kill The Win.
In the de la Rosa/Vogelsong atrocity, Wilton Lopez blew the save by yielding two runs in his inning of work. When the Rockies scored a run off Sergio Romo, Lopez became the winning pitcher. Actually it had to wait until Rex Brothers successfully retired the Giants, but you know what I am trying to say.
Smyly blew the save and watched as the Tigers scored another run in the eighth to give him his sixth win of the season.
Wes Littleton Award
Joshua Zeid’s first save occurred when he came in to relieve the struggling Kevin Chapman. Chapman left the game in the eighth up four runs with runners on first and second and two outs. Zeid retired Raul Ibanez to end the inning. In the next inning, the Astros tacked on another run. Zeid retired Justin Smoak, Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley to get the save in a game that ended with a five-run margin.
Please hold the applause
Cody Allen faced three Royals on Monday. He allowed a double to Alcides Escobar followed by a home run to Alex Gordon. By the time he retired Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Rzepczynski was sufficiently warmed up to take over. Allen was credited with a hold.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Ian Desmond and Evan Gattis drove in seven runs each this week. Desmond collected eight hits but only one was an extra base hit. He ended up with a .286/.300/.321 line in 29 PA. Gattis smacked three doubles and a home run but only one single and he failed to reach base by any way other than a hit, giving him an unsightly .167/.167/.367 line in 30 PA.
Daric Barton collected six hits in 20 PA. All six were singles. He also didn’t walk at all, leading to a .316/.300/.316 line.
Alex Rios went .300/.323/.333 in 31 PA for the Rangers.
Plouffe gave the Twins a .296/.310/.333 line in 28 PA.
Desmond certainly fits here with his .286/.300/.321.
Jason Kipnis posted a .286/.333/.333 line in 23 PA.
And Jarrod Dyson went .278/.316/.333 in 19 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Shin-Soo Choo used four walks, a stolen base, and three extra base hits (out of four total hits) to produce value despite a low batting average. His line was .211/.360/.474 in 23 PA.
Buster Posey went .211/.375/.368 in 24 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Adam Dunn struck out in 12 of his 23 PA this week and hit .100/.217/.100 as a result.
Emilio Bonifacio doesn’t have the secondary skills at the plate to get away with striking out 11 times in 29 PA. He posted a .192/.276/.269.
Chris Carter has been a regular in this space this season. This week he went down on strikes 10 times in 21 PA and struggled, going .211/.286/.316.
Arcia also struck out 10 times. He hit .167/.167/.417 in 24 PA.
Among other notables who struck out a lot and didn’t give their respective teams much in the way or production were Justin Ruggiano, Manny Machado, Gattis, Jordan Schafer, Austin Jackson, Russell Martin, Matt Weiters, and David Freese.
Three true outcomes
Giancarlo Stanton homered three times, walked three times, and struck out 10 times in 28 PA.
Alfonso Soriano posted a two-three-nine TTO line in 30 PA.
Chris Davis surprised nobody when he went two-three-nine in 29 PA.
Cody Asche went one-five-nine in 25 PA.
Alex Rodriguez looked a lot like vintage Alex Rodriguez in his .273/.407/.636 and he looked a lot like vintage Alex Rodriguez in his two-five-six in 27 PA.
Mike Trout failed to homer, but zero-11-nine in 33 PA gets my attention.
Mike Napoli is to be commended for his one-six-six in 21 PA.
Martin Prado didn’t homer, walked once, and struck out once in 26 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Josh Donaldson helped Oakland to five wins this week, including a sweep of the Rangers, to put the A’s six and a half games up in the division. Donaldson posted a .444/.615/.833 line in 25 PA, highlighted by two home runs and seven walks.
NL: Across the bay, Hunter Pence went insane, launching six home runs and blasted baseballs at a .448/.469/1.103 clip.