The MLB season is a month old. One whole month. It’s been a great month for baseball, even in some arctic conditions. The season is well into it’s stride now, though the hot takes are still largely premature, and we are beginning to get a sense for which teams could over and under achieve.
While the judgements of a season shouldn’t be made after a month, we can look back on the last week and applaud/criticise/gasp. So, the fourth set of the Franchise Sports MLB Awards are here…
Pitcher of the Week
With the Dodgers blowing out the Giants in the first of a double-header on Saturday, Bruce Bochy turned to third baseman Pablo Sandoval. The Panda had played third base for most of the game but was on the mound for the ninth inning as Bochy looked to preserve his bullpen.
Sandoval touched 88 with his fastball as he pitched a perfect 11-pitch inning. The highlight, though, was when he shook off catcher Nick Hundley and threw a beautiful 70mph curveball to get a whiff from Chris Taylor.
Defensive Play of the Week
In a team with Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani, other players are easily forgotten about. Kole Calhoun made sure he was the centre of attention in Anaheim this week with a pair of stellar catches against the Yankees.
The first is probably the better catch of the two, but the second is pretty special, too, as Calhoun leaps at the wall to save a run.
Performance of the Week
To call this a comeback is underselling it. Seeing Venters back on a big-league mound was a touching moment. The world of sport appreciated what Venters has been through. Good luck, Jonny.
Nightmare of the Week
Clayton Kershaw is one of the greatest starting pitchers of all-time. So, when he started against the Miami Marlins this week, the Los Angeles Dodgers were expected to win comfortably. Las Vegas bookmakers had this as the most one-sided baseball game since 2006.
The future Hall of Famer walked six Marlins, allowing three earned runs. Normally, that’s no disaster. For Kershaw against this Marlins team, though, it most certainly was.