THT Awards

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.

Wei-Yin Chen allowed five runs in six and a third on seven hits and two walks. He escaped with a no-decision thanks to a David Robertson blown save.

John Lackey yielded four runs in six and a third to the Yankees. He was in line for the win until Craig Breslow blew the save.

Dallas Keuchel yielded six runs in five and two thirds to the Halos on 10 hits and two walks. He got the win despite his 32 game score because the Astros tallied eight runs off Jason Vargas.

Cole Hamels allowed four runs to the Nats on eight hits and three walks in six innings. He even threw two wild pitches. It was his eighth win of the season.

Yovani Gallardo avoided the loss to the Reds despite getting tattooed with five runs on seven hits and three walks.

Bad luck division

David Price held the Red Sox lineup to two runs in eight innings on three hits, walking none, striking out nine. The Rays got shut out and Price took the loss.

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.

Yu Darvish lasted seven innings, held the Pirates to one run, and took the loss. The Rangers were shut out by Gerrit Cole and two relievers.

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.

Jhoulys Chacin and Tim Lincecum combined to yield three runs in 15 innings on 11 hits and two walks, striking out eight. Neither received a decision in the game, which went into extra innings.

Zack Wheeler threw seven innings, holding the Nationals to one run in that time. The Mets were shut out and Wheeler had his fifth loss of the season.

Jose Quintana held the Tigers scoreless for seven frames, allowing only five hits, walking two, striking out six. The White Sox were shut out.

Matt Cain and Zack Greinke combined to throw 13 innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and three walks, striking out 10. Greinke was in line for the win until Kenley Jansen blew the save.

Hisashi Iwakuma and Adam Wainwright combined to allow one run on nine hits and four walks in 15 innings. They posted matching 70 game scores but each walked away with a no-decision.

Doug Fister took the loss despite holding the Royals to one run in seven and two thirds.

Because of a Drew Smyly blown hold, Max Scherzer was denied his 20th win of the season. Scherzer held the Royals to one run on five its, striking out 12.

Vulture Award

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.

With a three-run lead in tow, Fernando Rodney retired Brian Dozier, Oswaldo Arcia and Trevor Plouffe. All three ended the game with OBPs between .300 and .310.

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.

Rodney’s set-up was handled by Joel Peralta, who was also working with a three-un lead. He set down Clete Thomas, Alex Presley, and Josmil Pinto for his 37th hold of the season.

Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching

Chris Rusin struck out two of the 25 Pirates he faced. Despite all of those balls in play, only four resulted in the batter reaching safely and only two runs.

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.

Sanchez Award

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.

The anti-TTO

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.

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Comments

  1. Jim said...

    It’s nice you “loud voices”, and in the case of Brian Kenny, it’s a foghorn times 10.  What a grating voice he has to say nothing with, but I digress.

    Back to my point, if you don’t like the win, with what do you propose to replace it?  Yeah, it’s nice to find a problem, but before you just rail against it, it would be better for you to come up with a solution.  Otherwise it is just plain old bitching and everyone eventually gets tired of that!

    I do have to give you credit, though, for calling anything the Rockies have done this year as an atrocity.  Wish I had thought of that word first.

  2. Kyle said...

    @Jim: Replace the Win? Seriously? Is there some kind of stats shortage out there? After the win gets ditched, you’re going to feel a sense of loss and you just need to fill the void? Is that the problem?

    There are about 100 statistics out there that evaluate a pitcher. Spend 10 minutes on this very website and you’ll see some.

  3. Gyre said...

    ‘everyone eventually gets tired’
    that ship sailed with Columbus!

    If you want to fix some of the BS, get rid of this crap about the ‘runners on base belong to the previous pitcher’.  what GOOD is a pitcher that cannot prevent runs??  How can someone on the bench be rated for DIPS??  There is far more nonsense in the new “sabremetric” stats than the ancient sportswriters stats (and they’re pretty fat).

  4. John Barten said...

    Jim, I get that question a couple times per year and my answer is two parts. The first is that I don’t necessarily think you have to have a direct replacement for wins.

    The second response is that it depends on exactly how deep you want to go. If you must have something that measures what wins were designed to measure, then quality starts is still pretty bad but is better than win/loss. That’s a low bar to get over though and it works a lot better as a back of a cocktail napkin, quick and dirty kind of figure measuring how many successful starts a pitcher has had. You could average out a pitcher’s game score and that might have some kind of improvement.

    Beyond that, if you gave me a pitcher’s FIP, WAR, and games started, I would have a much better idea of how good a pitcher is than if you gave me his ERA and wins.

    When I dig into a pitcher to see how good he is, I tend to look at those things, I look at his k/bb, and his triple slash line against.

    Here’s the thing. I’ve been doing this article weekly for seven years now and pretty much every week I get between a dozen and two dozen (sometimes more) examples of pitchers results not matching how the pitcher actually performed when it comes to keeping runs off the board.That’s between a quarter and an eighth of all games. And then you have a vast, mushy middle that I don’t do anything with either way, where you get a pitcher that puts up reasonable performances that really do go either way. Six innings pitched, two runs against. Three runs against. Measuring those in wins and losses isn’t useful either.

    I don’t care what you think about Brian Kenny. I see how he can be grating to people that don’t agree with him. I don’t really watch him much myself because the format they have him constrained to accentuates everybody’s obnoxious side.

    Here’s the thing. If you want a killer critique of the Kill the Win sentiment, it’s that it’s unnecessary. The anti-win forces have already won in the places that really matter. Most teams, even the ones that aren’t thought of as sabermetrics friendly aren’t making roster decisions based on won/loss record. There are reasons Hawk Harrelson isn’t a GM in the 21st century.

  5. Jim said...

    You people are missing my point.  People shouldn’t complain about something without advancing a solution.  Especially those of you who write for the public.

    However, since you have no solutions, just complaints and various wimpily stated suggestions, but nothing you like that can be easily calculated in your head, then let me answer some of your points. 

    The trouble with quality starts is it also sucks (as you tried to allude).  If it was 2 earned runs per 6 innings, it would be good, but as it is now a 4.50 era is a quality start? – balderdash!

    The only thing I have against game score is that you start at 50.  This is because you want to get close to 100 and people in this day and age don’t understand low numbers, but numbers close to 1000 (the only reason for OPS) or 100, they understand.  A reflection on the education system, I presume.

    Yes, I do want a back of the envelope stat.  I do not think there is a thing wrong with the 1/4 to 1/8 of the games you refer to (which by the way is one helluva gap.  Be nice if you could come up with a true figure like 18.35%, or whatever).  However getting the win means the pitcher kept his team in the game whether it was 16-15 or 1-0.  There cannot be a scoring rule in baseball which covers everything, nice and neatly, which is where the win comes from.  Baseball results are a bell curve.

    As an aside, you took exception to way out saves last year, but that’s the rule, there, also.

    If by some stroke of the pen we could get rid of wins, and use something else that nobody can figure out in his head, but everybody accepts, then we would have to change the name of the Cy Young award and name it after the guy who was history’s best at the new statistic.  Hopefully, we have enough information to go back to 1871 to determine the all-time winner of this new statistic.

    Yes, that’s great you like to follow those other obscure stats for players, but they don’t really have meaning until after the season is over and you can say the pitcher did such and such.  During the season, they are too dynamic to mean much at one particular time.

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