THT Awards

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

John Danks escaped with a no decision despite allowing five runs. The opposing starter, Scott Baker yielded four runs in 4.2 innings. He also received no decision.

John Lackey got the W when he allowed five in seven innings. A bad outing by Scott Kazmir and a blown save by Kevin Jepsen played a big part in his lucky win.

Francisco Liriano walked away with neither credit nor blame when he was charged with five runs in five innings against the White Sox.

Edinson Volquez was the beneficiary of an Aaron Heilman blown save when he was shelled for five runs on six hits and three walks in 4.2. The Heilman disaster let him off the hook.

Brad Bergesen gave a poor performance, but surprisingly he was better than Cliff Lee. Bergesen got the win.

Phil Humber was fortunate to get away from the game with a no decision after having allowed five runs in five and two thirds.

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.

Kevin Millwood threw eight innings, allowing only one run. He was outdueled by Luke French, who combined with Brandon League to shut out the Birds.

Randy Wells had a very similar story when his Cub teammates were shut out by Jon Garland and a pair of San Diego relievers.

Vulture Award

Mental Health and the CBA
A particular bit of language in the latest CBA could have negative consequences for some players.

Mark Melancon’s first career win came in the same game as his first career blown save.

J.J. Putz also received a blown save and win in the same game. His blown save spared Bryan Bullington a loss when he had allowed six runs in five frames.

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.

Mike Wuertz got the hold despite being charged with three runs in one third of an inning of work.

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

Livan Hernandez struck out only one of the 29 Atlanta batters he faced in seven innings where he allowed only two runs on nine hits.

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.

Sanchez Award

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.

The anti-TTO

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.

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John, any chance you’ll include exceptions to the “Any sufficiently advanced defense is indistinguishable from pitching” award? It seems* guys like Livan Hernandez and Mark Buehrle show up more often than you’d expect, also considering the Nats and White Sox defenses can hardly be called advanced.

*I haven’t actually searched the archives for multiple award winners (although I’m sure Livan has been featured before.) It would be interesting to see multiple award winners, if you’ve kept the records.

John Barten
John Barten

Sadly I haven’t kept a detailed record of who has won.

Yeah. It is true that a couple of guys show up from time to time. It may just be a symptom of low strikeout rates in general. When you’re on that trend, your good games will tend to show up in the category. Buehrle’s K rate has declined to the point where he is striking out less than four per nine and he only has two games where he has struck out more than four batters. Livan is just under five per nine.