Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Jason Kubel and Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster have been named co-winners of the National League Player of the Week for the period ending June 10th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In five games last week, Kubel was tied for the Major League lead with 12 RBI while hitting .409 (9-for-22), good for sixth-best among NL hitters. The former Minnesota Twin, who signed with Arizona in the offseason, ranked among NL leaders with an .818 slugging percentage and 18 total bases while hitting a pair of homers with five runs scored on the week. On June 5th, Kubel fell just a double short of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with five RBI in a 10-0 victory over the visiting Colorado Rockies. The five RBI were one shy of Kubel's career high and are the most by a D-backs player in a single game this season. The 30-year-old stayed hot into this weekend's Interleague series with the Oakland Athletics, collecting three RBI on a double and a home run in a 9-8 D-backs victory in Friday's series opener at Chase Field. The California native went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI in an 8-3 win on Saturday, and in Sunday's matchup, the lefthanded-hitting slugger drove in the eventual game-winning run with a line-drive single in the fifth inning of a 4-3 victory over the A's. Kubel was a combined 6-for-13 with seven RBI in the three-game sweep of Oakland. This marks his second career weekly award, the previous coming for the week ending October 5, 2009, while with the Twins.
Cubs hurler Ryan Dempster was a perfect 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and nine strikeouts in a Major League-high 15.0 innings pitched last week. On June 5th, the Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada native tossed 7.0 shutout innings to earn his first win of the 2012 campaign in a 10-0 victory at Milwaukee. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed just three hits on the day and had a perfect game through 5.0 innings before allowing a lead-off single in the sixth inning. The win snapped an 18-game winless streak for Dempster dating back to 2011. Despite a 2.90 ERA over his first nine starts of this season, Dempster had an 0-3 record until Tuesday's decision. On Sunday, Dempster scattered four hits over 8.0 shutout innings to earn back-to-back victories for the first time since August 11, 2011. The third round pick in the 1995 First-Year Player Draft (by the Texas Rangers) fanned six and walked just one in an 8-2 win at Minnesota. This is the second career weekly award for the 35-year-old after winning for the period ending July 8, 2001 as a member of the Florida Marlins.
Other noteworthy performances from last week included Dempster's Cubs teammate Alfonso Soriano (.357, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 7 R); Washington Nationals reliever Tyler Clippard (0.00 ERA, 4 SV); Chad Billingsley (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 11 SO, 14.0 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Bourn (.500, 13 H, .536 OBP).
In recognition of their National League Player of the Week Awards, Jason Kubel and Ryan Dempster will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.