MIAMI -- Most players are glad to see the All-Star break come, because it gives them a chance to rest, relax and visit family for a few days. For Marlins opponents, however, it also gives them the hope that Florida shortstop Hanley Ramirez's bat will cool off with a break from game action.
Ramirez ended the first half on a tear and was named the Bank of America Presents the National League Player of the Week for July 2-8, 2007. He earned the honor by hitting .520 -- second in the NL -- with 12 hits, a 1.087 slugging percentage and three home runs in the past week. He also led the league in doubles (four), and had a .560 on-base percentage and six RBIs in that span.
No team was hurt by Ramirez more than the Dodgers, as the shortstop led the Marlins to wins in the first two games of their series in Los Angeles. Ramirez did it all in Friday's opener, drilling two home runs for his third career two-homer game, but his most important hit didn't even make it out of the infield.
With runners on first and third in a tie game in the 10th inning, the speedy Ramirez saw Dodgers third baseman Tony Abreu playing back and alertly laid a perfect bunt down the third-base line that went for an easy single that scored the go-ahead run.
"I think everybody in the ballpark was surprised," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "That's a move that maybe a 10- or 12-year veteran makes. I think it caught everybody by surprise. He had a great game today. That's one of the best games all year I've seen anybody play."
Ramirez led the Marlins to a victory the next night, going 4-for-4 with two doubles and two runs at Dodger Stadium.
It was an incredible week in what has been an amazing run of success for Ramirez in his short career. He hit .292 with 17 home runs and 51 steals in taking home NL Rookie of the Year honors last season, and he has built on those numbers this year. He has seen his average climb to .331 and has already knocked out 14 home runs and stolen 27 bases.
"It's no secret, he can play," Marlins starter Sergio Mitre said after Saturday's win. "He can run, throw and hit. As long as he keeps doing that, I don't think anybody can stop him. If he doesn't hit, he will help you in the infield. When he can put all the things together -- steal bases, play defense, hit -- he's pretty unreal."
The individual awards are starting to pile up for the Marlins. Florida now leads the NL with three Player of the Week winners this year. Miguel Cabrera took home the award in the season's opening week and the week of June 4.
Jeremy Anders is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.