Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the period of Monday, Sept. 20 through Sunday, Sept. 26. All season stats are through the 26th. For award definitions, see this year’s primer.
This week’s proof that assigning wins and losses to a pitcher is an archaic practice that must stop
Good luck division
Jake Westbrook was paid no favors by Jason Motte, who allowed two runners inherited from Westbrook to score, turning a below average start into a disaster, but he still got the win with five runs charged to his name in five and a third innings of work. Oh, and Motte got the hold.
Bad luck division
For the second time this year, Felix Hernandez received the loss in a contest in which he allowed three or fewer runs and threw a complete game. This time he allowed one run, striking out five, and inducing 15 groundball outs. We will revisit this in the near future when I announce the yearly awards.
Gio Gonzalez got a no-decision when he started for Oakland, gave the A’s six shutout innings and the white elephant lineup finally scored in the seventh to give reliever Boof Bonser his first win since 2008. Tony Pena also had some poor luck, coming in and giving the White Sox a good performance in emergency relief when Gavin Floyd had to leave the game after only seven pitches. Pena matched Gonzalez with six shutout innings. He too received no-decision.
Chad Gaudin got his first win of the season after he blew the save against AL East rival Tampa. David Hernandez also pulled off the win/blown save combo. And Jose Veras did that with the help of the Mets. Tyler Clippard did this in getting his 11th win of the season on his 10th blown save.
Wes Littleton Award
Francisco Cordero’s 37th save of the year came when he entered in the ninth inning with the bases empty and no outs. He put down Carlos Gomez, who has a .290 OBP, Mat Gamel, who is just recently back from Nashville, and Jonathan Lucroy, who has a 74 OPS+ in this rookie year of his.
Please hold the applause
Justin Masterson got credit for a hold and a loss in the same game thanks in part to Tony Sipp, who allowed two base runners inherited from Masterson to score on his way to the blown save. And Arthur Rhodes gets his 25th hold and fourth loss against the Padres because Nick Masset was in there for reasons that defy any plausible explanation given that Aroldis Chapman relieved Masset after Masset had already blown the save.
Jose Veras received a hold when he entered protecting a three-run lead and the following proceeded to happen: single, strikeout, single, walk, walk (run scored). Another run was charged to him when Leo Nunez allowed and RBI groundout to Chris Carter.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
He was denied the win by Brad Ziegler’s blown save, but Brett Anderson was fortunate to be in position to get that win in the first place having struck out only one of the 25 White Sox batters he faced. He was dinged for only one run on six hits in six and two thirds.
Joe Carter Award
Stephen Drew slugged 1.000 and drew six walks in 24 plate appearances, driving in five and scoring six times. Torii Hunter drove in five and scored five times while collecting five total bases and reaching safely eight times in 26 PA.
Adam Jones has been a contributing factor in the Orioles’ disappointing season. While many anticipated some kind of breakout, or at least improvement, he has stagnated, hitting for power, but not advancing past the stage of “average major league outfielder.” This week, his impatience coupled with a lull in his power numbers to produce a .280/.280/.320 line.
Harmon Killebrew Award
It is fun to see new names in the Killebrew category. Danny Espinosa singled twice in 27 PA. Fortunately for the fans of the nation’s most demonized town, he also walked five times, homered twice, and tripled once for a nice .227/.370/.591 line.
Prince Fielder is an old friend here. His own .217/.400/.478 week featured a pair of bombs and seven free passes.
Steve Balboni Award
Chase Headley fanned 10 times in 22 PA, leading to a .200/.273/.200 week.
Three true outcomes
Adam Dunn homered twice, walked four times, and struck out 10 times in 24 PA.
Alex Rodriguez went four-five-six in 30 PA.
Albert Pujols was heavy in one category, but I will count it. Three-eight-four in 30 PA is worthy in my book.
And the previously mentioned Prince Fielder went two-seven-four in 30 PA.
Casey McGehee went zero-zero-two in 31 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Miguel Cabrera hit .391/.462/.913 in 26 PA. That is five singles, four home runs, and three walks.
NL: Pujols went .409/.581/.909. That is four singles, two doubles, three home runs, and eight walks. He also threw in a steal for good measure.