THT Awards

Welcome to the awards.

All stats are for Monday, April 22 through Sunday, April 28. 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

Max Scherzer was knocked around by the Royals for five runs in five frames on seven hits and three walks. He was credited with the win as his Detroit teammates pounded Wade Davis to the tune of seven runs in three and two thirds.

Thanks to a Dane de la Rosa blown save, Derek Holland managed to avoid the loss after getting shelled for six runs in five and two thirds on six hits and four walks, striking out seven.

Josh Stinson gave up four home runs to the Blue Jays. He was punished with five runs in five and two thirds and is back in the minors as I write this. He did not receive the loss thanks to Brandon Morrow and Aaron Loup.

Tyler Chatwood escaped with a no-decision thanks to Craig Kimbrel’s blown save. Chatwood had yielded five runs in six innings on nine hits and three walks, striking out three.

Barry Zito and Eric Stults combined to allow 11 runs in seven and two thirds on 10 hits and two walks. Neither took the loss.

Miguel Gonzalez and Bartolo Colon combined to yield nine runs in 11 and a third on 16 hits and two walks, striking out seven. They each avoided the loss as six different relievers allowed runs.

Bad luck division

Mike Leake threw seven innings, yielding two runs on eight hits and two walks. He took a no-decision as the Reds lineup waited until the 12th inning to score its third run off Travis Wood and the Cubs.

Patrick Corbin allowed only two runs in seven and a third on six hits and no walks, striking out seven Giants. He was denied the win when J.J. Putz blew the save.

Homer Bailey allowed one run in seven innings on five hits. He struck out six, walked none, and took the loss as Jordan Zimmermann shut out the Reds.

Ian Kennedy and Madison Bumgarner combined to allow only two runs in 13 and a third, yielding only nine hits, walking three, striking out 11. Neither got the win.

Justin Verlander’s impending victory was denied when Bruce Rondon allowed a run for what we all agreed earlier in the season would be termed a blown hold. Verlander yielded only one run in seven innings on eight hits and one walk.

How an Ace Performance Impacts Reliever Workloads
Bullpenning has its advantages, but it's great when an elite starter eats up a bunch of innings, too.

Jeremy Hefner and Hyun-Jin Ryu combined to allow two runs on six hits and six walks, striking out 12 in their 14 innings of work. Neither received credit for the win.

Tim Lincecum went seven innings, allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out nine. He took the loss as the Giants could manage only one run against Andrew Cashner and a quartet of San Diego relievers.

Jake Westbrook went six innings and allowed no runs. He allowed only six base runners and only one of those base runners touched second base. He struck out six and walked none. All six hits against him were singles. And he got the no-decision because Joe Kelly blew the hold and ended up taking the loss when Trevor Rosenthal allowed both of the runners inherited from Kelly to score.

Jason Vargas held the Mariners to two runs on Sunday, posting a 67 game score but still ending up with the loss. Hisashi Iwakuma held the Angels scoreless and posted a game score of 72 in only six innings, having struck out eight and walked none. He also did not get the win.

Kyle Lohse went seven innings, allowing only two solo home runs to the Dodgers. He had no chance for the win, as Clayton Kershaw was brilliant, throwing the first eight innings of a shutout, striking out 12 Brewers and walking none.

Vulture Award

Carlos Marmol blew his second save of the season by allowing an inherited runner to score on a single by Joey Votto, the first batter Marmol was brought in to retire with two on and one out. Darwin Barney hit a solo home run and the Cubs added another run for good measure in the next half inning to hand Marmol his second victory of the season.

Wes Littleton Award

In protecting a three-run lead, the three batters retired by Addison Reed for the save were Matt Joyce, Kelly Johnson, and Jose Molina.

Aroldis Chapman’s fifth save of the season came in a game where he was charged with defending a three-run lead. The three batters he retired were Kurt Suzuki, Jhonatan Solano, and Denard Span.

Please hold the applause

J.P. Howell walked the first two batters he faced and retired only one. He was charged with a run as one of the two base runners he bequeathed to Ronald Belisario came around to score. Howell received a hold for his work.

Tim Collins entered the game with a four-run lead, two on and two out and Michael Brantley at bat. He retired Brantley and picked up the hold in a game where the final score was nine to zero and where he contributed a 0.03 WPA.

Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching

In a reverse of the low BABIP games I usually highlight here, Phil Hughes struck out nine of the 26 Blue Jays he faced and still wound up with seven hits against him for a .428 BABIP against.

In the more traditional context, Kevin Correia struck out two of the 30 Rangers he faced and managed to tiptoe his way through eight scoreless innings for the win, seeing only six hits fall safely in play for a .222 BABIP.

Things John likes

So Blue Jays prospect Griffin Murphy has taken to growing an old-timey waxed mustache. I have long been a supporter of the reliever mustache concept and facial hair for players in general. Beyond that, this is even more contrived and silly than the beards of Sergio Romo and Brian Wilson. It also seems like he has put some thought and effort into it as opposed to whatever it is that Carlos Villanueva is doing with this handlebar and the unconnected full beard combo.

Joe Carter Award

Nick Markakis and Ben Zobrist each drove in seven runs. Markakis batted .233/.242/.333 in 31 plate appearances. Zobrist went .233/.250/.400 in 32 PA..

Seth Smith plated six runs and posted a .150/.292/.450 line for the Athletics.

Oswaldo Arcia went .227/.261/.500 and drove in six.

And Lance Berkman went .208/.296/.375 and somehow managed to collect five ribbies.

Sanchez Award

Alex Gonzalez singled five times in 16 PA. That was the extent of his positive contributions to the Brewers offense. He did not walk or smack any extra base hits or even lean in and get hit by a pitch. He ended the week at .313/.313/.313.

Denard Span went .290/.290/.355 in 31 PA, though he did go two for two on the base paths.

Victor Martinez and Justin Morneau posted similar lines this week, Martinez going .286/.273/.429 in 21 PA. Morneau went .286/.286/.476 in 21 PA.

Juan Pierre is still doing Juan Pierre things. .278/.278/.333 in 18 PA.

Harmon Killebrew Award

Josh Willingham singled only once all week. Unlike Gonzalez, he contributed by lacing a double and a pair of home runs. He also walked twice in his 19 PA and stole a base.

Half of Matt Joyce’s four hits were home runs and he walked four times, resulting in a tidy .222/.364/.556 line.

Paul Goldschmidt went .240/.387/.520 in 30 PA. He homered twice, walked five times, and stole a base.

Stephen Drew aided the Red Sox by posting a solid .222/.364/.444 line. Interestingly, he tripled twice.

Steve Balboni Award

Dan Uggla walked twice, doubled, and homered. And that still wasn’t enough to keep his batting line for the week from looking unsightly at .158/.238/.368 in 21 PA. The reason is that he struck out 11 times. He fanned in more than half of his plate appearances.

Welington Castillo was set down on strikes 10 times in 22 PA, leading to a .182/.182/.227 week.

Alejandro De Aza has been striking out a lot more than he ever has, fanning in a full 30 percent of his PA as opposed to career rate of 20.4 percent. This week, he whiffed nine times in 25 PA and posted a .217/.280/.261 line in 25 PA.

Mark Trumbo struck out 12 times in 28 PA and went .214/.267/.357.

Desmond Jennings went down on strikes nine times in 24 PA and ended the week at .182/.308/.364.

Among others who put up terrible lines while not being able to make consistent contact were Brandon Laird, Mike Trout, Carlos Pena, Rickie Weeks, Brett Gardner, Matt Weiters, Fernando Martinez, Freddie Freeman, Carlos Gonzalez, B.J. Upton, and Anthony Rizzo.

Three true outcomes

Chris Davis was a TTO hero this week with two home runs, four walks, and 10 strikeouts in 28 PA.

Adam Dunn went yard twice, walked six times, and struck out four times in 25 PA.

Nelson Cruz went two-five-six in 30 PA.

Jose Bautista went three-two-eight in 29 PA.

The anti-TTO

Brandon Phillips went zero-one-one in 29 PA.

Dustin Ackley also posted a zero-zero-one. He did it in 26 PA.

Elvis Andrus went zero-zero-two in 28 PA.

This week’s MVP

AL: Josh Donaldson was out of his mind this week. Donaldson reached base safely 12 times via hit and another seven times by way of base on balls. Seven of his 12 hits were doubles. He posted an R-rated .545/.633/.864 line in 29 PA. He posted a .864 slugging percentage without hitting a home run all week.

Nate McLouth also had a good week, going .545/.615/.818 in 26 PA. He also went four for four stealing bases.

NL: I’m calling three-way co-MVPs here with Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton, and Justin Upton doing quite well. Harper went .333/.481/.810 in 27 PA. Stanton gave the Fish a .364/.462/.818 25 PA. Upton went .333/.440/.810 in 24 PA.

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Dave Cornutt
Dave Cornutt

I watched Hughes’ start against Toronto.  At one point he gave up three consecutive hits on: a dribber down the third-base line that headed foul and then came back; a Texas Leaguer that dropped in behind the shortstop, and a grounder that found the hole in a peculiar shift.


A big YES! for the stache!  Another item for Things John Likes – the umpires invoking the slaughter rule in the 13-0 A’s-Red Sox game.  No sense torturing the fans any longer.


Thing I Liked: John clearly knows his mustaches. You wouldn’t believe how many people see a horseshoe mustache and call it a handlebar mustache.