Just one day after being named to the American League All-Star team, Indians ace C.C. Sabathia earned AL Player of the Week honors on Monday on the heels of two vintage performances. Sabathia, who hadn't won the award in his career, struck out 16 batters in 16 innings over two starts last week. He allowed two runs on nine hits in a complete-game victory over the A's on June 25, then surrendered three runs on six hits over seven innings against the Devil Rays. The 26-year-old lefty didn't walk a batter in either outing, keeping his impressive walk total at 17 in his 18 starts this season. Sabathia posted a 2.23 ERA in six starts during June, and over that span, he allowed just one home run and struck out 41 batters, second most in the AL. He is also the only pitcher in the Majors with 12 wins.
"Regardless of what kind of night he has and what kind of game it is, he gets himself under control and makes good pitches when he has to," Indians manager Eric Wedge said of Sabathia on Sunday. "It sounds like a broken record, but he's a true ace." Sabathia has already equaled his win total from a year ago, his 129 1/3 innings pitched lead the American League, his 116 strikeouts are third best in the league and his 3.20 ERA ranks him eighth. Sabathia's outstanding work from the mound has also led the Indians into first place in the AL Central. "When we're going through a tough stretch, he's the one out here to stop it," Wedge said. "And when we're going good, he's the one you want out there to keep it going. The entire ballpark has a different air about it now when you know C.C.'s pitching." Sabathia beat out pitchers Bobby Jenks (0.00 ERA, four games, four saves) of the Chicago White Sox and Kameron Loe (2-0, 2.08 ERA, 13 innings) of the Texas Rangers to win the weekly award. Next week, Sabathia will get a chance to return to his home in Vallejo, Calif., about 30 miles from San Francisco, the site of this year's All-Star Game. Sabathia has been an All-Star two times in his career, but he will get to enjoy his Player of the Week and All-Star status from the comforts of home.
Geremy Bass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.