Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek and starting pitcher Jose Fernandez have been named National League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending July 28th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
Cishek led the Majors with five saves, converting all of his opportunities, while posting a 0.00 ERA over 5.0 innings pitched with five strikeouts. Each of his saves last week came in games in which he entered with no more than a two-run lead. In Monday's series-opener at Colorado, the 27-year-old fanned two in a perfect ninth inning to seal a 3-1 victory for the Marlins. He worked scoreless frames in both Tuesday's and Wednesday's matchup between the Clubs, earning his 19th and 20th saves of the season as the Marlins completed a three-game sweep. On Friday, Cishek worked his way out of a two-out jam to preserve a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a three-game set at Marlins Park. The Massachusetts native converted a careerbest 17th consecutive save opportunity in Sunday's series finale, tossing a scoreless ninth in relief of starter Jose Fernandez to earn the save in a 3-2 win. Cishek's 17 straight converted opportunities represent the third-longest active streak among Major League closers, trailing All-Stars Craig Kimbrel (21) and Greg Holland (20). Since the streak began on June 8th, his 17 saves are the most in the Majors. This is his first career weekly award.
Fernandez went 2-0 in two starts last week, posting a 2.40 ERA (four earned runs in 15.0 innings pitched) and leading the Majors with 21 strikeouts while ranking first in the N.L. in innings pitched. The 20-year-old, who became the youngest Cuban-born All-Star in Major League history after tossing a perfect inning with two strikeouts at the 2013 Midsummer Classic, tossed 7.0 innings with eight strikeouts in Tuesday's 4-2 win at Colorado to earn his sixth victory of the season. On Sunday, making his first career start against the Pirates, the rookie right-hander fanned a career-high 13 across a career-best-tying 8.0 innings of work (also July 1st) on the way to a 3-2 win. The 13 strikeouts marked a franchise record for a rookie pitcher as Fernandez improved to 7-5 on the season. His 124 strikeouts are currently tied for the most among Major League rookies. This is his first weekly award.
Other noteworthy performances last week included the pair's Marlins teammate Giancarlo Stanton (.478, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 1.087 SLG, .600 OBP, 7 R, 5 2B); Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez (.522, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 12 H, .913 SLG, .520 OBP); Cincinnati's Devin Mesoraco (.357, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .643 SLG) and Bronson Arroyo (1-1, 1.88 ERA, 7 SO, 14.1 IP); San Francisco's Hunter Pence (.481, 13 H, 2 2B, .500 OBP); Nate Schierholtz (.409, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 4 2B, 1.000 SLG, .480 OBP) of the Chicago Cubs; and San Diego's Tyson Ross (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 13 SO, 14.0 IP).
In recognition of their National League Player of the Week Award, Steve Cishek and Jose Fernandez will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.