Every Monday here at FanSided we are going to bring you the best MLB performances – hitting and pitching – of the week. The past week brought some milestones to fruition, such as David Ortiz’s 400th homer run as a member of the Boston Red Sox and some to a close like Los Angeles Dodger’s pitcher Clayton Kershaw’s winning streak been brought to a close by the Milwaukee Brewers at 11 games. Here are the top hitting and pitching performances from the August 10 – August 16, 2014.
1. Jason Vargas, Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics, August 13
W (9-5) 9.0IP, 3H, 0ER, 4K
Vargas pitched a complete game shut out Wednesday against arguably the best team in baseball, the Oakland Athletics. Although the A’s haven’t seemingly been as powerful at the plate as their +162 run differential shows and have been in a slump, they still are a force in the American League. Vargas handed the A’s their third loss in a row Wednesday, handling their lineup flawlessly. Vargas needed only 97 pitches to shut down the A’s. He allowed only three hits to A’s hitters through nine innings. He walked two batters, struck out four and, as a “complete game shut out” would suggest, he went nine full innings, only needing 97 pitches to finish the game for the Royals as they defeated Athletics by a score of 3-0. The Royals maintained their newly acquired lead of a half a game over the Detroit Tigers in the A.L. Central with the win Wednesday.
2. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox at San Francisco Giants, August 11
W (10-2) 8.0IP, 4H, 2ER, 12K
The White Sox ace, 25-year old Chris Sale , pitched 8 full innings on Wednesday but that is not the impressive part of his performance. He did it while only allowing four hits, 2 walks and 2 runs as the White Sox defeated the San Francisco Giants by a score of 3-2. The really incredible part of his performance was that he fanned 12 of the Giants’ hitters and needed only 117 pitches to do it. Sale gave the fourth place A.L. Central White Sox their 57th win of the season bringing them closer to hitting the .500 mark. It was the Giants fifth straight loss pushing them back six full games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the N.L. West.
3. Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, August 14
W (14-4) 8.0IP, 3H, 0ER, 14K
In the Tigers’ 5-2 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday talented righty-hander Max Scherzer struck out 14 of the Pirates hitters over eight innings. He did not give up a run allowing only three hits on the night. He allowed just 2 walks and used 121 pitches to help lift the Tigers over the Pirates by a score of 5-2. Every win for the Tigers is crucial right now. Having spent most of the season in first place in the A.L. Central they are currently 1.5 games behind the first place Royals. The loss left the Pirates at 64-57 and 2.5 games behind the N.L. Central leading Milwaukee Brewers.
1. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros, August 16
3/5, 2HR, 6RBI, 2R
The best hitting performance comes to you straight from Fenway Park in Boston. David “Big Papi” Ortiz became the third player in Boston Red Sox history to hit 400 home runs while with the club. The other two players in this elite trio? Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. Ortiz had another hit on Saturday, a double, he ended the day having gone 3-5 with the two home runs, gathering in the process a whopping six RBI’s in the Red Sox 10-7 win over the Houston Astros.
2. Josh Donaldson & Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics at Kansas City Royals, August 12
Donaldson: 3/4, 2HR, 4RBI, 3R; Moss: 4/5, 2RBI
This top hitting performance may come as a surprise as the A’s have been slumping offensively for some time. How is it possible for two of them to have put up top hitting performances? Well, the Athletics may have lost five straight games but they did win one this week. Third baseman Josh Donaldson went three for four with two homers and two RBIs on Tuesday.
Brandon Moss went four for five at the plate on Tuesday also garnering two RBI on the night. Thanks to Donaldson and Moss the A’s got their only win of the week easily beating the Kansas City Royals 11-3. They A’s needed this offensive breakout as they are now trying to remain in a tie for the lead in the A.L. West with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
3. Chris Carter, Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins, August 12
2/4, 2HR, 5RBI, 2R
Houston Astros’ outfielder Chris Carter went deep twice Tuesday night when the Astros took on the Twins. He went two for four adding onto his home run total which is currently at 29 putting him in second in the A.L. after Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz and Chicago’s Jose Abreu who have 31 homers a piece. He collected five RBI on the night as the Astros defeated the Minnesota Twins by a score of 10-4.
So there you have it, the top pitching and hitting performances of the last week. Each week of the season brings the fans something incredible to see and to love. This week David Ortiz and Jason Vargas brought us two amazing accomplishments to wow and surprise us. What will happen over the course of this week? Please be sure to check back next Monday, and every Monday throughout the rest of the season to find out!