Braves' Jim Johnson named National League Player of the Week

Relief pitcher Jim Johnson of the Atlanta Braves has been named the National League Player of the Week for the week ending July 31st. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

Johnson was tied for the Major League lead in saves last week, converting each of his four save opportunities while not allowing a run over his 4.0 innings pitched (0.00 ERA). The right-hander held opponents to just one hit and issued only two walks last week while retiring five of the 14 batters he faced by way of strikeout.

On Tuesday, Johnson notched his third save of the season with a perfect ninth inning, preserving a 2-0 victory at Minnesota. The 33-year-old induced a groundball out from Twins outfielder Max Kepler and got designated hitter Kennys Vargas to fly out to center before fanning outfielder Eddie Rosario to end the game. Johnson was equally efficient in Wednesday's outing, setting the Twins down in order on a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to earn the save in a 9-7 victory. It marked the first time this season that the veteran had converted consecutive save opportunities. The Johnson City, New York native continued his streak by earning his fifth save of the season in Friday's 2-1 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies. He converted his sixth opportunity of the year in Sunday's 2-1 win over the Phillies, punctuating his weekly performance by fanning catcher Carlos Ruiz to end the game. This is the first career Player of the Week honor for the 2012 American League All-Star, who has played in parts of 11 Major League seasons. Johnson, who posted back-toback 50-save seasons in 2012 (51) and 2013 (50), becomes the first reliever to be named NL Player of the Week since Miami's Steve Cishek was named for the week of July 21-27, 2014.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Cincinnati's Jay Bruce (4 HR, 7 RBI, .762 SLG); Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez (.301, HR, 8 RBI, .577 SLG); Miami's Martin Prado (.346, 9 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .692 SLG); Neil Walker (.545, 12 H, HR, 5 RBI, .818 SLG) of the New York Mets; Milwaukee's Chase Anderson (2-0, 1.80 ERA, 12 SO, 10.0 IP); and Pittsburgh's Gerrit Cole (1-0, 1.00 ERA, CG, 6 SO, 9.0 IP).

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Jim Johnson will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.