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FanGraphs Weekly Awards: 4/7/08

Every week, probably on Monday nights, we’ll be recounting the past week’s top players in terms of WPA and a number of the top plays of the week. I’ll also include whatever else I feel like recapping. Onto the Awards!

Batter of the Week:

Kosuke Fukudome led all players with .95 wins. He’s batting .421 on the season with a 1.279 OPS and couldn’t be off to a better start. His biggest play of the week was on opening day when he hit a three-run home run off Eric Gagne in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game.

Pitcher of the Week:

Felix Hernandez threw 15 shutout innings to start the season but failed to pick up a win. He struck out 9 and walked 5 in his two starts. He almost bested Fukudome’s WPA total with .92 wins.

Worst of the Week:

Brandon Lyon blew two saves this week giving him a WPA of -1.09 wins. Two of the six most valuable WPA plays were off of Lyon. He’s currently allowed 6 hits, 2 home runs, and 4 earned runs in 3 innings of work.

The 3 Biggest Hits:

#1: (.667 wins) – You guessed it, Edwin Encarnacion‘s walk-off, three-run, home run takes top honors this week. We covered it when it happened and even have the great video of Jeff Brantley saying how “not clutch” Encarnacion is right before he knocks the ball out of the park. Classic.

#2: (.630 wins) – Josh Hamilton‘s two-run, home run off of closer J.J. Putz put the Rangers up 5-4 and denied Felix Hernandez his first win of the season.

#3: (.550 wins) – Mark Reynold hit a two-run, home run off of Rockies closer Matt Corpas, which put the Diamondbacks in the lead 2-1. Brandon Lyon managed to blow the save opportunity, but the Diamondbacks eventually went on to win the game 5-2.

The 3 Biggest Outs:

#1: (-.288 wins) – On opening day, Rafael Betancourt got Jim Thome to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded and the game tied in the bottom of the 8th. His team, the White Sox, went on to lose to the Indians 10-8.

#2: (-.253 wins) – With the a runner on third and one out, Joakim Soria struck out Edgar Renteria in the bottom of the 9th. Soria’s team, the Royals, were up 5-4 against the Tigers and won the game on the very next play. This was just the start of the Tigers’ current six game losing streak.

#3: (-.221 wins) – In a game where the Twins grounded into 4 double plays, Joe Mauer‘s game ending double play with a runner on 1st with one out was the most costly.