Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce and Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco have been named the National League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending September 9, 2012. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In six games last week, Bruce led Major Leaguers with a .500 (11-for-22) batting average and a 1.227 slugging percentage. The 25-year-old led the N.L. with a .542 on-base percentage and his four homers and 27 total bases were both tied for second. Bruce also tied for third in the league in hits and RBI (9), while scoring five runs. The left-handed-hitting slugger went 2-for-4 in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Houston, and extended his current hitting streak to nine games (dating back to August 31st). It also marked Bruce’s seventh consecutive contest with at least one RBI (dating back to September 2nd), and it was his fourth multi-hit effort of the week. On Saturday, the Beaumont, Texas native clubbed his 33rd homer of the season, surpassing his previous career best of 32 (2011). The 12th overall selection in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft drove in nine of Cincinnati’s 15 runs last week, including three consecutive two-RBI efforts in Cincy’s three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies from September 3rd-5th. This is the fifth career weekly award for Bruce and his second this season (also for the week ending April 29th). His five weekly honors are tied with Eric Davis for the most by a Red all-time.
Nolasco was a perfect 2-0 last week, ranking among Major League leaders with a 0.56 ERA. Nolasco threw the N.L.’s only complete-game shutout last week, and was tied for the league lead with 16.0 innings pitched while fanning 10. On Sunday, the California native notched his second shutout of the year, blanking the Washington Nationals en route to an 8-0 victory for Miami in the rubber match of a three-game set in the nation’s capital. Nolasco struck out six Washington hitters to win his 12th game of the season and his fourth in as many decisions. It was the second straight shutout of the Nats by Nolasco, as he also tossed a shutout in the August 28th meeting between the two clubs in Miami. On September 3rd, the 29-year-old recorded the win in a 7.0-inning, four-strikeout performance against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers. Nolasco allowed three runs (one earned) in the outing and did not walk a batter while throwing just 97 pitches in the 7-3 victory. This is his second career weekly award, having won previously for the week ending June 15, 2008.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Washington’s Adam LaRoche (.444, 5 HR, 8 RBI, 1.037 SLG); San Diego’s Chase Headley (.321, 4 HR, 13 RBI); and Atlanta’s Kris Medlen (2-0, 1.20 ERA, 15 SO, 15.0 IP).
In recognition of their National League Player of the Week Awards, Jay Bruce and Ricky Nolasco will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.