Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher A.J. Burnett has been named the National League Player of the Week for the period ending August 5th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Burnett was a perfect 2-0 during the week, notching his 13th and 14th wins of the season. The veteran right-hander led the Majors with 17.2 innings pitched and tied for the Major League lead in wins. Burnett’s 15 strikeouts were the second-most by an N.L. hurler, while his 1.02 ERA ranked eighth among qualifying N.L. starters. On Tuesday, July 31st the Little Rock, Arkansas native posted a one-hit, complete-game shutout in a 5-0 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Burnett took a no-hitter into the eighth frame before Cubs pinch-hitter Adrian Cardenas singled to right field on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. The 35-year-old fanned eight batters in the outing while walking just two on the way to his first complete-game shutout since 2006 and his sixth victory over the Cubs in seven career starts (6-0, 2.78 ERA). The one-hit shutout also marked Burnett’s lowest-hit game since his May 12, 2001 no-hitter at San Diego. He followed his complete-game effort with an 8.2-inning gem on Sunday, allowing just two runs on three hits in his 20th start of the season, to give the Bucs a 6-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Burnett threw 102 pitches (64 strikes) before giving way to closer Joel Hanrahan in the ninth inning for the one-out save. The win was Burnett’s fourth consecutive victory and the 13th in his last 14 decisions. With a 14-3 record, Burnett is tied for the Major League lead in wins. This is A.J.’s fourth career weekly award and his first since the week ending April 17, 2005.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche (.478, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1.043 SLG, .520 OBP); Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes (.429, 15 H, 7 R, 3 SB, .444 OBP), who currently has a 24-game hitting streak; San Diego Padres rookie Yonder Alonso (.393, 11 H, 6 2B, HR, .714 SLG); San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera (.345, 10 H, HR, 5 RBI), catcher Buster Posey (.500, 3 HR, 9 RBI, .958 SLG, .600 OBP) and starter Tim Lincecum (2-0, 1.38 ERA, 10 SO, 13.0 IP); New York Mets shortstop Ronny Cedeño (.583, HR, 10 RBI, 1.083 SLG); St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday (.400, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .840 SLG); Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson (.381, 3 HR, 10 HR, .857 SLG); and Colorado Rockies infielder Jordan Pacheco (.455, 7 2B, 4 RBI, .773).
In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, A.J. Burnett will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.