Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki and Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks have been named National League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending August 7th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
On Sunday, Ichiro became the 30th player in Major League history to record 3,000 hits, tying Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente for 29th on the all-time hits list. The 42-year-old's milestone came on a triple in the seventh inning of the Marlins' 10-7 victory at Colorado. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, seven of the last 10 players to reach the 3,000-hit plateau have had their momentous hit go for at least two bases (Rickey Henderson and Rafael Palmeiro both hit doubles; Paul Molitor tripled; and Wade Boggs, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez homered). Ichiro became the first player from Japan to record 3,000 hits in the Majors, and he joined Rod Carew, Clemente and Palmeiro as the only foreign-born players to accomplish the feat. The 10-time All-Star also collected 1,278 hits while playing professionally in Japan prior to making his Major League debut in 2001. This is his fifth career Player of the Week honor and first in the NL, having won most recently for the week ending September 23, 2012.
In two starts last week, Hendricks went 2-0 with a 0.55 ERA (1 ER/16.1 IP) and nine strikeouts. The 26-year-old was tied for the Major League lead in wins and innings pitched last week, while his ERA ranked fifth among qualifying NL pitchers. On Monday, Hendricks tossed his third career complete game and second career shutout in a 5-0 win over the Marlins. He threw a career-high 123 pitches in the outing, improving his record to 10-7 on the season. On Sunday, the California native capped the week with a 7.1-inning performance, allowing just one run and three hits in a 3-1 win at Oakland. He held the A's scoreless into the eighth inning of the contest before permitting a solo home run to Marcus Semien. Hendricks' 2.17 ERA (32 ER/133.0 IP) is currently the second-lowest ERA among qualifying Major League pitchers this season. This is the Dartmouth product's first career weekly award.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Milwaukee's Ryan Braun (.316, 6 H, 4 HR, 10 RBI, .947 SLG); Cincinnati's Brandon Phillips (.500, 12 H, 2 HR, 8 RBI, .833 SLG, .520 OBP); Kenley Jansen (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 8 SO, 3.0 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Washington's Tanner Roark (2-0, 2.03 ERA, 11 SO, 13.1 IP).
In recognition of their National League Co-Player of the Week Awards, Ichiro Suzuki and Kyle Hendricks will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.