Welcome to the awards.
I give you my apologies for skipping last week’s awards. I was on vacation and managed to cross Milwaukee and Pittsburgh off my list of cities I have been to and PNC Park and Miller Park off my list of parks where I have seen a game. Next week we will start the two-part season recap.
All stats are for Monday, Sept. 23 through Sunday, Sept. 29. 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
Tommy Milone’s 12th win of the season came in a game in which he was torched for five runs in five and a third at Anaheim. The Oakland offense picked up the slack for Milone, scoring seven of its 10 runs off opposing starter Garrett Richards. The A’s bullpen held the Halos scoreless for the final three and two thirds, preserving Milone’s win.
Richards aided in making Derek Holland’s Saturday a little easier to swallow. Holland was smacked around for four runs in four and two thirds but Richards was torched for six runs in his four and a third and Holland escaped with a no-decision.
Chris Tillman went five innings, allowing five runs. He avoided the loss. Also avoiding the loss was Felix Doubront, who didn’t start the game, but entered in the fourth inning with a five-run lead. He gave up five runs in an inning and two thirds.
Bad luck division
Charlie Morton held the Cubs scoreless for seven innings, allowing only three hits, walking one, striking out five. A combination of the offense scoring only one run to that point and Mark Melancon allowing a run resulted in a no-decision for Morton.
It took all of four batters for Kevin Gausman and Brian Matusz to erase the lead they inherited from Orioles starter Tillman. Tillman had pitched seven frames, holding the Blue Jays to one run on five hits. He struck out nine and walked only one.
Tyler Thornburg threw seven frames for the Brewers, yielding two runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out eight. The Milwaukee offense scored only two runs in Atlanta that day and Thornburg wound up with the no-decision.
Tyson Ross and Wade Miley combined for 14 innings, allowing one run on seven hits and four walks, striking out 13 between them. Neither got the win. Miley was in position for the win until David Hernandez blew the hold.
Wes Littleton Award
Please hold the applause
Jose Veras retired one Minnesota batter and allowed a walk and a pair of doubles, which turned a three-run lead into a one-run lead before he was lifted for Joaquin Benoit. It was credited to him as his eighth hold of the year.
For his first career hold, Kevin Siegrist started the eighth inning with a three -un lead. He faced two batters. He retired Scott Hairston and allowed a single to Denard Span before giving way to Carlos Martinez. He was never given the opportunity to blow the save.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Four batters hit for varying degrees of power, driving in some runs but doing various amounts of little else, leading to total contributions that were to varying degrees less than their RBI totals. Jedd Gyorko led all of baseball with 10 RBI. He hit .241/.313/.586 in 32 plate appearances. Brandon Moss drove in eight runs and went .211/.286/.737 in 21 PA. Will Middlebrooks drove in seven and ended up with a .174/.174/.478 line in 23 PA. And Howie Kendrick plated six while giving the Angels a .240/.269/.560 line in 26 PA.
Billy Butler drove in five Royals in 29 PA. He drew one walk and five of his seven hits were singles, giving him a .250/.276/.393 line.
J.J. Hardy collected nine hits in 28 PA, but only one of those went for extra bases and that one was a double. He also failed to reach base safely in any way other than those nine hits, leading to a .321/.321/.357 line.
A.J. Pierzynski went .286/.310/.357 in 29 PA.
Elvis Andrus posted a Perfect Sanchez, going eight for 28 with no walks or extra base hits for a .286/.286/.286 line.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Hunter Pence managed only four hits in 24 PA, but two of the four were home runs and he walked three times for a .190/.320/.476 line.
Joey Votto is severely lacking in the slugging department, but getting on base is good. Votto made his way on base via hit three times in 24 PA and via walk eight times. .188/.458/.188 is odd to look at but effective.
Mike Trout went .222/.385/.389 with six walks and a homer in his 24 PA.
Brett Lawrie threw up a .240/.406/.320 line in 30 PA.
Steve Balboni Award
Mark Trumbo struck out in half of his 26 PA. This led to his .167/.222/.167 line.
Brian Dozier, Anthony Gose, Emilio Bonifacio and Justin Maxwell all lack the secondary skills to make up for poor contact rates. Dozier and Gose struck out 11 times in 31 and 29 PAs respectively. Bonifacio and Maxwell struck out 10 times each in 27 and 25 PA. These four batted .179/.281/.286, .214/.241/.321, .192/.222/.231, and .125/.160/.208.
Josh Willingham went down on strikes nine times in 20 PA. People who really love round numbers will love .100/.100/.100, but those who like effective hitters will cringe and run in terror.
Among others who struck out in excess and didn’t find much success at the plate as a result were Giancarlo Stanton, Chris Parmelee, Darin Ruf, Curtis Granderson, Ryan Zimmerman, Adam Jones, Paul Goldschmidt and Jesus Guzman.
Three true outcomes
Trout hit one home run, walked six times, and struck out nine times in 24 PA.
Pence went two-three-eight in the TTO categories in 24 PA.
Carlos Gomez went three-two-eight in 23 PA.
Chris Davis had a very Chris Davis week, going two-four-six in 22 PA.
Alfonso Soriano went homerless, but seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 24 PA gets you a mention here.
Andrus did not homer or walk and he struck out only three times in 28 PA
Jose Altuve produced a rare zero-two-zero in 26 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Jason Kipnis went .435/.519/.609 with seven singles, two doubles, a triple and three walks in 27 PA.
NL: Chris Denorfia collected 13 hits in 34 PA. Nine of the 13 were singles, two were doubles, one was a triple and one was a home run. He also walked four times for a .433/.500/.667 line.