Mariners' Walker tops players for Monday, Sept. 14; Dodgers' Kershaw regains Box-Toppers points lead for 3rd time in September

Mariners pitcher Taijuan Walker is Monday’s Box-Toppers Player of the Day and rises to eighth place among American League pitchers in Box-Toppers points.

Also Monday, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw regained the Box-Toppers season points lead, marking the fifth lead change this month between him and Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, a race for the lead coming down to the wire in the season’s final weeks.

Top 10 players

Here are the top 10 players in Box-Toppers points (BTP) for the 2015 season as of Sept. 14.  

Player Pos Team BTP
1 Kershaw, Clayton 2494 pi sp lad nl 22.7
2 Arrieta, Jake 2738 pi sp chi nl 22.1
3 deGrom, Jacob 3343 pi sp nym nl 20.4
4 Greinke, Zack 1871 pi sp lad nl 19.7
5 Hernandez, Felix 2064 pi sp sea al 19.4
6 Keuchel, Dallas 3050 pi sp hou al 19.4
7 Price, David 2593 pi sp tor al 19.1
8 Sale, Chris 2806 pi sp chi al 17.1
9 Bumgarner, Madison 2753 pi sp sf nl 17.0
10 Scherzer, Max 2588 pi sp dc nl 17.0
What are those numbers after players' names?

Player of the Day—Walker struck out seven over seven innings, allowing one run and four hits, in the 10-1 win over the Angels.

Walker earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day, giving him 13.7 for the season. He ranks 16th among all players and eighth among AL pitchers.

National League Player of the Day—Padres pitcher James Shields allowed one run over seven innings, striking out six and giving up four hits, in the 10-3 win over the Diamondbacks.

National League Batter of the Day—Jayson Werth of the Nationals hit two home runs and went 2-for-6, driving in five runs, in the 8-7 win over the Phillies.

American League Batter of the Day—Prince Fielder of the Rangers hit a two-run homer and went 2-for-4, scoring three times and driving in two runs, in the 5-3 win over the Astros.

Fielder earns 1.5 Box-Toppers points for being AL Batter of the Day, giving him 10.0 for the season. He becomes the 36th player (and sixth batter) this season with 10.0 or more Box-Toppers points. He ranks 36th among all players and fourth among AL batters.

Rankings—Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw regained the Box-Toppers season player rankings lead for the third time this month after earning Player of the Game honors Monday.

Lead changes

Here are the season’s lead changes among players in Box-Toppers points. Chart shows the date and the player’s Box-Toppers point (BTP) total when they took the lead.  

Date Player Team BTP
4/5 Adam Wainwright stl nl 2.0
4/6 Felix Hernandez sea al 2.0
4/13 Scott Kazmir oak al 3.7
4/18 Felix Hernandez sea al 4.0
6/26 Max Scherzer dc nl 14.0
7/9 Felix Hernandez sea al 14.4
7/12 Max Scherzer dc nl 15.0
7/24 Felix Hernandez sea al 15.4
7/26 Jacob deGrom nym nl 16.4
9/2 Clayton Kershaw lad nl 20.7
9/5 Jake Arrieta chi nl 21.1
9/8 Clayton Kershaw lad nl 21.7
9/11 Jake Arrieta chi nl 22.1
9/14 Clayton Kershaw lad nl 22.7

Kershaw (7IP 3H R 5K W in the 4-1 win over the Rockies) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 22.7 for the season. Kershaw passes Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta (22.1 Box-Toppers points) for the lead. Kershaw previously took the lead on Sept. 2 and Sept. 8, only holding it for three days each time when Arrieta passed him. Arrieta is slated to start Wednesday and could regain the lead.

Kershaw also rises to 13th place among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers record keeping began. Kershaw now has 156.3 career Box-Toppers points and passes two players on the “all-time” list—Mike Mussina (155.6) and Tim Hudson (156.0). (Mussina, who pitched for four seasons before Box-Toppers record keeping began in 1995, would likely have about 190 Box-Toppers points if his entire career were tracked, based on rough projections.) Kershaw trails 12th-place player John Smoltz (160.9). Passing Hudson, Kershaw rises to sixth place in Box-Toppers points among active players and third among active pitchers, behind CC Sabathia (179.0) and Felix Hernandez (162.7).

Kershaw also had a Box-Toppers game score Monday of 5.0, the same as NL Player of the Day James Shields of the Padres. But Shields won the tiebreaker because he had more strikeouts—six vs. five.

Notable—Two others who earned Player of the Game honors Monday achieved notable milestones:

  • Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia extended his lead in career Box-Toppers points among active pitchers. Sabathia (6.2IP 3H 0R 6K ND in the 4-1 win over the Rays) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 179.0 for his career. Sabathia ranks fifth among all players since 1995, when Box-Toppers record keeping began. He ranks second among all active players, behind Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees (187.0). Sabathia has 5.7 Box-Toppers points this season.
  • Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco rose to 16th place in Box-Toppers player rankings, seventh among AL pitchers. Carrasco (6IP 5H R 9K W in the 8-3 win over the Royals) earns 1.0 Box-Toppers point, giving him 16.0 for the season.

Debut—White Sox pitcher Dan Jennings made his Box-Toppers debut Monday, the first time in his career he earned Player of the Game honors. Jennings (2IP 0H 0R 3K W in the 8-7 win over the Athletics) made his Major League debut April 30, 2012, and was playing in his 160th career game. He is the 3,591st player to debut in Box-Toppers since record keeping began in 1995.

Scoring—Walker earns 2.0 Box-Toppers points for being Player of the Day and Shields earns 1.7 Box-Toppers points for being NL Player of the Day. Werth and Fielder each earn 1.5 Box-Toppers points for being their league’s Batter of the Day. All of Monday’s other Players of the Game (listed in the chart below) earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point.

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

Top player from each game

Listed from highest to lowest Box-Toppers game score

9/14 Score Team Player AB R H BI BB K IP H R ER BB K
MLB 8.0 Mariners Taijuan Walker (W,11-8) - - - - - - 7.0 4 1 1 0 7
7.2 `Yankees CC Sabathia - - - - - - 6.2 3 0 0 2 6
7.0 `Orioles Kevin Gausman - - - - - - 6.0 2 0 0 4 7
6.0 Indians Carlos Carrasco (W,13-10) - - - - - - 6.0 5 1 1 2 9
NL 5.0 Padres James Shields (W,12-6) - - - - - - 7.0 4 1 1 2 6
5.0 Dodgers Clayton Kershaw (W,14-6) - - - - - - 7.0 3 1 1 2 5
5.0 White Sox Dan Jennings (W,2-3) - - - - - - 2.0 0 0 0 0 3
BAT 3.0 Nationals Jayson Werth, LF 6 2 2 5 0 1 - - - - - -
BAT 3.0 Rangers Prince Fielder, DH 4 3 2 2 0 0 - - - - - -
2.1 Twins Tyler Duffey (W,3-1) - - - - - - 6.1 7 1 1 2 7
2.1 Giants George Kontos (MR) (W,3-2) - - - - - - 1.1 0 0 0 0 1
2.0 Mets Hansel Robles (MR) (W,4-2) - - - - - - 1.0 0 0 0 0 1
`Denotes that the pitcher had a no-decision in the game and did not pick up a win or a save.