Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the games starting Monday, Sept. 19 and ending Sunday, Sept. 25. If you are a new reader, reference 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
Because Brian Matusz was demolished by the Boston lineup for six runs in less than two frames and Chris Jakubauskas allowed another five, John Lackey’s eight-run, four-and-a-third effort went unnoticed by the official scorer.
Bad luck division
Ricky Romero went nine innings, allowing only two runs on six hits and no walks. He got a no-decision as the Jays scored only two in regulation and then another after Romero was out of the game in the 10th.
Wes Littleton Award
Brian Wilson was brought in with two men on and two out in the ninth to protect a four run lead. In times like this, you simply must bring in your “proven closer” to face such fearsome juggernauts as James Loney and Aaron Miles. Wilson allowed the two inherited runs as Loney singled. Then he got the save as Miles was retired to end the game. It was both an unimpressive performance and not really the threat that the word save would have you believe.
Please hold the applause
Daniel Bard got the loss and the hold against the Orioles with some help from Jonathan Papelbon. Bard left the contest with the lead but runners inherited by Papelbon scored and put the Red Sox behind for good.
Jason Motte got two outs but was charged with two runs. He started with a three run lead to protect and started off the inning by allowing a Carlos Ruiz double. He added to it by yielding a Jimmy Rollins triple to score Ruiz and a Shane Victorino RBI groundout that plated Rollins. He then had to be lifted as Chase Utley approached the batter’s box and the lead was down to one run.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Brandon McCarthy was denied the win by a Grant Balfour blown save, but he should be grateful for the luck that put him in position for the win in the first place as he struck out only one of the 27 Rangers he faced in seven innings of one-run baseball. Only six hits fell in play.
Joe Carter Award
Vladimir Guerrero drove in six runs while posting a punchless .242/.250/.303 line. It feels especially sad watching him be as bad as he has been this season.
Delmon Young also drove in six. At least he could say that he smacked a home run in the process. On the other hand he had fewer total bases than the broken down designated hitter that hit under .250 and whose only extra-base hits were a pair of doubles. .143/.194/.250 is just terrible. His line with the Tigers is down to .258/.280/.413, or exactly as bad as you would expect him to be.
If I wasn’t already busy feeling sorry for Vlad, Ichiro Suzuki would make for an almost equally appealing sympathy target. Ichiro is batting .273/.311/.338 this season and put up a .290/.281/.419 this week. To his credit he hit a pair of doubles and a triple, but he also grounded into a double play and went the week without walking in 32 PA.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Mike Stanton struck out in almost a third of his at-bats this week, which explains how he only hit one single. To his credit he also added a pair of doubles, a pair of missiles into the seats, and four walks.
Prince Fielder went .200/.360/.450 for the Brewers.
And Andrew McCutchen had a nice week despite a terrible batting average. All three hits he collected were for extra bases, one being a triple and the other two doubles. He also walked nine times in 25 PA and went 2-for-2 on the base paths.
Steve Balboni Award
In case you were curious, yes Adam Dunn is still striking out and not hitting for power. Nine strikeouts in 21 at-bats and a .095/.296/.190 line are not helping.
I’m not one who was overly excited about the Mariners trading for Trayvon Robinson. I still don’t think that the Dodgers should have given him away for some organizational soldiers, but I see a lot of weeks like this one in Robinson’s future. He fanned 12 times in 27 PA and posted a .115/.148/.115 line.
David Wright whiffed in half of his 20 at-bats and went .100/.217/.150.
Three true outcomes
Ryan Ludwick hit one home run, walked twice, and struck out seven times in 16 PA.
Mark Trumbo in a nutshell: two home runs, no walks, nine strikeouts in 29 PA.
Derrek Lee went 2-2-10 in 28 PA.
McCutchen is missing a category but his work in the other two makes his inclusion compulsory. 0-9-7 in 25 PA.
Juan Pierre went 0-1-0 in 24 PA.
Ben Revere went 0-0-2 in 38 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Jacoby Ellsbury collected 13 hits on the week in 35 PA. Four of those hits were home runs. He posted a .382/.400/.765. I still don’t buy him as an MVP candidate, but this week was the continuation of a very good year.
NL: Brandon Phillips went .478/.571/.826 in 28 PA with two doubles, two home runs, five walks. He was also 3-for-4 on the bases.
Next week we start on the season wrap. I will likely break it into two pieces with the pitching awards coming first and the hitting awards the week after.