Hawpe named NL Player of the Week

Hawpe named NL Player of the Week

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mid-month, Brad Hawpe found himself a touch under the weather. A week later, he'd beaten the bug and then picked up his bat to club anything that got in his way.

The Rockies outfielder hit .520 (13-for-25) and drove in 10 runs during the week that ended Sept. 23, and because of his efforts, Hawpe earned the National League Player of the Week Award.

Hawpe had battled a virus for several days, and as a result, was hitting just 3-for-30 leading into that week, so he was pleasantly surprised when the offensive outburst finally arrived. When the dust had cleared, Hawpe had an NL-best .600 on-base percentage for the week. His 10 RBIs tied for the lead as well.

"It's another beautiful swing," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said last week. "He hits balls and they carry like nobody's business. It's dead air out there, it's late and people that have played here know how hard it is to bust one."

No one could've chosen a better time for the light to click on with Hawpe: with his help, the Rockies managed to pull within 1 1/2 games of the Padres -- they actually swept San Diego in three games -- in the NL Wild Card race, pending the outcome of Monday night's Padres game.

Hawpe collected multiple hits in five of the seven games he played last week, highlighted with a four-hit contest against the Padres. All told, he banged out 13 total hits, amassed 24 bases and hit three homers.

His three-RBI game on Sept. 20 against the Dodgers put him over the 100-RBI mark for the first time in his four-year career, but it was probably the home runs he'd be best remembered for.

On Friday, the 28-year-old hit the first long ball pitcher Joe Thatcher had allowed all season (253 batters), a dramatic 14th-inning win in the series opener against San Diego.

"Hitting is contagious, but I don't know if that can happen if you don't have a lot of good hitters," said Hawpe, who was eager to share credit with his teammates. "We've got guys that can flat-out hit."

Earlier that same week, he crushed another game-winning homer, this time to down the Dodgers.

This is the second time this season Hawpe has been named NL Player of the Week (also for the week ending June 3).

Other nominees this last week included Hawpe's teammates Matt Holliday (.400, four homers, nine RBIs) and Jeff Francis (2-0, 1.84 ERA, 18 strikeouts); Atlanta's Chuck James (1-0, 0.00 ERA); Florida's Dan Uggla (.355, two homers, four RBIs); Moises Alou (.414, five RBIs), Paul Lo Duca (.455, six RBIs) and David Wright (.452, five doubles, seven RBIs) of the Mets; Philadelphia's Ryan Howard (.348, four homers, 10 RBIs) and Chase Utley (.344, two triples, three RBIs).

Dawn Klemish is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.