THT Awards

Welcome to the awards.

All stats are for Monday, June 10 through Sunday, June 16. 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

Lance Lynn managed to get the win despite getting blasted for seven runs in five innings on the road in Miami. The Marlins smacked nine hits and walked three times. The Cardinals scored nine runs off Marlins starter Tom Koehler in four and two thirds.

Jordan Zimmermann and Scott Kazmir combined to allow 11 runs on 12 hits and five walks in seven and two thirds. Neither took the loss.

Alex Cobb started Monday’s 14-inning game for the Rays, yielding six runs to the Red Sox in four innings before getting pulled. In the remaining 10 innings of action, the Rays bullpen allowed four runs. All the best to Cobb as it looks like he’s going to okay after taking that liner off the head.

Thanks to R.A. Dickey’s continued struggles, Dylan Axelrod escaped with six runs allowed in four innings on eight hits and four walks, striking out only one but no loss.

Chien-Ming Wang and Jose Quintana combined to allow nine runs in 13 and two thirds on 16 hits and four walks, striking out eight. Neither took the loss.

Mat Latos and Jeff Samardzija combined to allow nine runs on 18 hits and five walks in 12 innings. Neither was given the loss in what ended up as a 14-inning game.

Kyle Kendrick and Juan Nicasio combined to allow 12 runs on 17 hits and four walks in 10 innings. Neither took the loss.

Bad luck division

Justin Verlander held the Royals scoreless for seven innings, allowing only three hits and two walks, striking out eight. He fell victim to a Jose Valverde blown save. The other starting pitcher in the game was James Shields, who is having an epic bad luck season. This time the Valverde implosion was the only thing keeping him from the loss. He held the Tigers to two runs in six innings on seven hits and two walks, striking out six. Both starters performed admirably. Verlander was let down by his bullpen. Shields was let down by the Kansas City lineup.

Jeremy Bonderman pitched eight scoreless for the Mariners against the Astros, giving up only three hits and two walks, striking out five. Tom Wilhelmsen blew the save. On the other side of this one was Jordan Lyles, who threw seven shutout for Houston, yielding only three hits and two walks, striking out 10 Seattle batters. Obviously neither pitcher took the win despite their matching 79 games scores.

Brandon League is awful right now and it cost Clayton Kershaw a win at home against the Diamondbacks. Kershaw held the Snakes to one runs in seven frames on six hits and two walks, striking out five. But League was able to retire only two batters and was charged with four runs.

In Kershaw’s second start of the week, he held the Pirates to one run in seven frames on three hits and three walks, striking out eight. This time it was Kenley Jansen who let Kershaw down, blowing the save.

The Incompleat Starting Pitcher
The end of the nine-inning start and how we got here.

Matt Harvey’s first loss of 2013 came at the hands of the Cardinals, who scored all of one run off the wunderkind. Harvey yielded five hits and one walk, striking out seven along the way. Seven scoreless innings from Adam Wainwright and another one from Trevor Rosenthal ensured the loss.

Chris Sale went eight innings, allowed two runs on five hits and one walk, struck out 14, and took the loss as the Astros held the White Sox to one run in the game.

P.J. Walters gave the Twins seven and a third, allowing two runs on six hits and one walk, striking out five Phillies along the way. He failed to record the win.

Zack Greinke went seven innings for the Dodgers, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks, striking out five. The Dodgers failed to score in time to get him the win that went to reliever Matt Guerrier.

Travis Wood went seven frames for the Cubs, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out four. He took the loss as the North Siders could manage only one run off Mike Leake and Aroldis Chapman.

Hiroki Kuroda and Jarrod Parker combined to allow four runs in 16 innings. Neither took the win.

Gio Gonzalez and Justin Masterson combined to allow two runs in 14 innings on five hits and eight walks, striking out 18. They each took a no-decision.

Matt Garza posted a game score of 74 at Citi Field. He was victimized by Carlos Marmol’s blown save, in which he allowed four runs and notably two home runs and recorded only one out—that on a sacrifice bunt.

Vulture Award

Brian Duensing blew the save, his second blown save of the season and was later redeemed when the Twins scored a run off Mike Adams and Antonio Bastardo. Duensing was granted his first win of the season.

Wes Littleton Award

In protecting a three-run lead at home against the Yankees, Grant Balfour retired the amazingly not on the disabled list yet Travis Hafner, the suddenly noticing it isn’t April anymore Vernon Wells, and the always Jayson Nix Jayson Nix.

With a three-un lead, Ernesto Frieri retired David Adams, Reid Brignac, and pinch hitter Hafner for his 15th save of the year.

Andrew Bailey nearly blew the save in Baltimore. He entered with a three-run lead and allowed a single and a home run. He allowed another single and escaped when Alexi Casilla got doubled off first base on a Ryan Flaherty fly ball for the third out.

Please hold the applause

In recording his fifth hold of the season and protecting a three-run lead, Marmol retired John Buck, Omar Quintanilla and Juan Lagares.

Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching

Clayton Richard held the Diamondbacks to one run on seven hits in eight innings despite striking out only one of the 28 batters he faced.

Doug Fister held the Royals to three runs in a complete game on Monday. He did this despite striking out only three of the 31 Royals he faced.

Joe Carter Award

Unbelievably, Brandon Phillips drove in 10 runs this week while batting a horrific .194/.242/.290 in 33 plate appearances. A runner was in scoring position for every one of his six hits. His one extra base hit was a grand slam. And he even had two opportunities to drive in a run on a ground out. It strange how often you come to bat with runners in scoring position when you bat immediately behind Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto, who are currently first and second place in the National League in OBP. Wait, strange isn’t the correct word. The word I’m looking for is obvious.

Logan Forsythe batted .222/.250/.389 and plated six runs for the Padres in 19 PA.

Sanchez Award

Peter Bourjos collected seven hits in 21 PA. That was the sum total of his production at the plate as he ended the week at .333/.333/.333.

Similarly, Willie Bloomquist went .316/.316/.316 in 19 PA.

Omar Infante put up a .300/.300/.300 line in 20 PA.

Maicer Izturis went .308/.308/.385 in 26 PA.

Jayson Nix posted a limp .280/.280/.320 in 25 PA.

Ryan Sweeney is a career .281/.339/.381 hitter in 1,788 AB, so it is of no surprise that he tossed up .278/.316/.389 in 19 PA this week.

Given his career rates, it is a bit more surprising that Justin Morneau went .273/.304/.364 this week, but it is in line with his .288/.341/.379 line for the season, it isn’t a shocker.

Harmon Killebrew Award

All of Colby Rasmus’ four hits were home runs and he added four walks for a unique .222/.364/.889 line in 22 PA.

Lucas Duda managed only four hits in 22 PA, but because of three walks and the fact that two of the four hits were of the extra base variety, he posted a .211/.348/.421 line.

Nelson Cruz went .227/.346/.445 in 26 PA.

Jayson Werth overcame seven strikeouts in 21 at-bats and the fact that his name is misspelled to hit .238/.360/.476.

Lastly, Jhonny Peralta rode six walks to a .222/.417/.333 line in 24 PA.

Steve Balboni Award

Mark Reynolds struck out 11 times this week, most in baseball. He posted a .136/.174/.273 line in his 23 PA.

Chris McGuiness whiffed in 10 of his 23 PA and went .174/.174/.174.

Dan Uggla struck out eight times in 19 PA and posted a .125/.263/.125 line.

Adam LaRoche struck out eight times and gave the Nationals a limp .091/.167/.136 line in 24 PA.

Chris Carter led the Astros in strikeouts this week with nine in 22 PA. He ended the week at .190/.227/.429.

Stephen Drew’s .083/.115/.125 week can be traced back to nine Ks in 25 PA.

Finally, long time readers of the Awards will expect me to note Alfonso Soriano’s 10 strikeouts in 29 PA and his .143/.138/.143. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my loyal readers.

Among other notable batters who had poor weeks punctuated by alarming strikeout rates were Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Lorenzo Cain, Travis Hafner, Chase Headley, Josh Donaldson, Omar Quintanilla, J.D. Martinez and Kyle Blanks.

Three true outcomes

Ryan Zimmerman homered twice, walked three times, and struck out nine times in 26 PA.

Evan Longoria smacked four home runs, walked four times, and struck out eight times in 30 PA.

Rasmus was able to do what he did by his four-four-seven TTO line in 22 PA.

Chris Davis did what Chris Davis does, going three-three-eight in 29 PA for the Orioles.

He’s a little shy on the strikeouts, but Matt Joyce’s four-five-three is worth a mention.

Jose Bautista went three-two-eight in 27 PA.

Rounding out the group, Werth went one-four-seven in 25 PA.

The anti-TTO

Melky Cabrera did not homer or walk and he struck out only once in 27 PA.

Prince Fielder is a bit of a surprise with his zero-one-zero in 26 PA.

Nolan Arenado went zero-two-zero in 25 PA.

Darwin Barney and Ben Revere each went zero-zero-two . Barney did it in 31 PA while Revere had 28 PA.

Finally, Cody Ross went zero-zero-three in 27 PA.

This week’s MVP

AL: Joyce went .385/.500/.923 in 31 PA. Of his 10 hits, four were singles, two were doubles, and four went over the fence.

Also notable was Jason Kipnis, who posted a .524/.593/.762 in 25 PA.

NL: Buster Posey had a good week, even on a Buster Posey scale. The defending MVP collected 11 hits, including five doubles. His line was a sparkling .423/.464/.615.

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In your Good Luck Division, you only list 1 undeserving win.  Seems most weeks it’s never more than 2.  There may be others you’d consider “sketchy” (my son’s favorite word).  But if you assume at least 60-70% of wins earned by starting pitchers are deserving, even in an era of few complete games, I’d hate to see the category completely end.

John Barten
John Barten
That’s a good observation. The lowered offense of the last couple of years has thrown off the balance of the categories. There just aren’t as many really ugly pitching lines as there used to be. It’s always been the case that more of the ugly lines ended up with no-decisions than undeserving wins. There are more ways to get from A to B with that than with the wins. I won’t do away with the category. It will just continue to tilt more towards the unlucky pitchers and the guys that escaped without the loss than for guys that get… Read more »
John Barten
John Barten

I would be for it, but the concept of assigning a win is a broken, failed system that should end in general.

Oh they’re both misspelled. I haven’t gotten around to pointing out the absurdity of the typo playing shortstop for the Tigers yet.


Right, I’m not suggesting that you drop any categories.  I appreciate the insight on who’s doing better or worse than their traditional stats show.  Of course, I could just listen to Hawk Harrelson instead…


What are your thoughts on letting the official scorer award a “staff” win or something, instead of giving the Duensing’s of the world their spoils of victory?  Of course the scorer should be a regular reader of this column in order to maintain his certification.

Also, how is Jayson misspelled but not Jhonny?

John Barten
John Barten

Thanks. I think.