Starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers have been named National League Co-Players of the Week for July 17-19. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Fresh off of his first career All-Star Game start, Greinke was dominant on Sunday, tossing 8.0 scoreless innings and fanning 11 while allowing just three hits and one walk in a 5-0 win at Washington. With the 8.0 shutout frames, the right-handed hurler extended his scoreless innings streak to 43.2, marking the longest such streak by a Major League pitcher since Orel Hershiser's record of 59.0 consecutive shutout innings in 1988. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pitchers with streaks as long as Greinke's during the expansion era (since 1961) are Hershiser, Don Drysdale (58.0 innings in 1968) and Bob Gibson (47.0 innings in 1968). With his sixth consecutive scoreless outing (dating back to June 18th), Greinke joined Drysdale and Hershiser as the only pitchers in Major League history to not allow a run in six straight starts (Elias Sports Bureau). With the outing, he improved to 9-2 on the season with a Major League-best 1.30 ERA. This is his first career weekly honor in the NL after winning twice as a member of the Kansas City Royals (last: August 31, 2009).
Kershaw also dazzled in his first start following the Midsummer Classic. The reigning NL Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award winner tossed 8.0 scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing just three hits and no walks while recording a season-high 14 strikeouts en route to a 4-2 victory at Washington. The southpaw improved to 7-6 on the season with the outing, which was his second consecutive scoreless game with double-digit strikeouts. On July 8th, he fired a complete-game shutout with 13 strikeouts in a 5-0 win over Philadelphia. Kershaw's 174 strikeouts are the most in the Majors this year. This is his seventh career NL Player of the Week honor, having won most recently for June 1-7, 2015.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Greinke and Kershaw's Dodgers teammate Adrian Gonzalez (.636, 4 R, 7 H, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1.273 SLG); Jason Heyward (.778, 2 R, 7 H, 2 RBI, 2 SB, 1.273 SLG, .800 OBP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; and Cincinnati's Joey Votto (.583, 7 H, HR, 2 RBI, 1.000 SLG, .643 OBP).
In recognition of their National League Player of the Week Awards, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.