Welcome to the awards.
All stats are for the period of Monday, Aug. 16 through Sunday, Aug. 22. All season stats are through the 22nd. 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
Bad luck division
Dan Hudson threw seven scoreless innings against Carlos Gonzalez and the Rockies, but the Phoenix lineup failed to score any runs off of Jhoulys Chacin and a pair of Denver relievers and Hudson walked away with nothing to show for his work other than a better ERA than when he got up in the morning.
Jon Niese and Wandy Rodriguez combined to hold the Mets and Astros lineups to two runs total in 14 innings of work, striking out 11, walking three. They were each highly effective. Neither received the win, which ended up going to Pedro Feliciano, who recorded one out before being removed.
Wes Littleton Award
In the best traditions of Wes Littleton, Sergio Mitre entered the Yankees’ beatdown of Detroit with a nine-run lead to protect. Because of the three-inning rule, he got the save after allowing three runs on six hits.
Please hold the applause
When Octavio Dotel allowed a walk and a walk off single to Atlanta, he allowed two runs inherited from Hong-Chih Kuo. He also gave Kuo the loss along with a hold. And he also demonstrated why ERA is a horrible way to judge relievers given that none of the runs were charged to him.
Ernesto Frieri got the Padres out of a jam in the seventh. He then got them into a jam in the eighth by giving up a single, advancing that runner on a wild pitch, then scoring that runner on a double, then allowing two more runs on a Blake DeWitt home run. He got the hold with some assistance from the San Diego offense, which tallied two runs in the top of the eighth while Frieri was sitting in the dugout.
Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching
Joe Carter Award
Carlos Lee drove in five runs in 27 at bats. He failed to hit for average or draw walks so his .222/.250/.407 line didn’t help the Astros as much as his RBI total would lead you to believe.
Melky Cabrera drove in five and he was terrible, collecting only four hits in 24 at bats for a .167/.231/.250 line.
Freddy Sanchez only saw 16 plate appearances this week and he rapped out five hits in that time. He failed to walk and all of his hits were singles. This award isn’t partially named after him for nothing. .313/.313/.313 is a perfect Sanchez Award line.
Staying on the West Coast, Franklin Gutierrez hit .308/.308/.346 for the Mariners.
Like Sanchez, Felix Pie had a very symmetrical line, going .292/.292/.292.
Placido Polanco is the kind of hitter that is always in danger of falling into Sanchez contention when his BABIP fails him like it did this week, going .304/.320/.348.
Harmon Killebrew Award
Raul Ibanez flashed some secondary skills this week, throwing out one double, one triple, one home run, and three walks in 24 plate appearances for a .238/.333/.524 week.
Pat Burrell, whom the Phillies were replacing when they signed Ibanez as a free agent, had an almost identical week, going .238/.333/.571 for the Giants. The only difference in his line was that he substituted the triple for an extra home run.
Steve Balboni Award
Adam Dunn had a bad week, fanning 11 times in 23 PA to go .056/.261/.056.
Elsewhere it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that Koyie Hill is overmatched when he is required to play every day. He also K’d 11 times in 23 PA. .087/.087/.087 is brutal.
Three true outcomes
Robinson Cano had a very well rounded TTO week, collecting four home runs, five walks, and five strikeouts in 28 PA.
Wilson Betemit has been a nice little surprise for the Royals since getting called up. His four-five-seven in 26 week is something this KC fan can live with.
Mentioned in the Sanchez category, Polanco posted a zero-one-one week in 24 PA.
This week’s MVP
AL: Miguel Cabrera has a solid case for the season’s MVP given his current .341/.435/.645 line. This week was one of the better in a season filled with good weeks. In his 28 PA, he launched five home runs, walked five times, and generally was a wrecking crew with a .348/.483/.913 line.
NL: What alien has taken up residence in Omar Infante’s body? A .422/.485/.900 week brings his season line up to .349/.381/.458.