Miami Marlins starter Jose Fernandez and Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija have been named National League Co-Players of the Week for the period ending August 26th. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.
In two starts last week, Fernandez went 2-0 and was tied for the Major League lead in strikeouts with 16 while walking only three. The 21-year-old rookie posted a 0.64 ERA (one earned run in 13.0 innings pitched), good for fifth-best among qualifying N.L. hurlers last week. On Monday, Fernandez earned his ninth win of the season in a 6.0-inning effort against the N.L. West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Santa Clara, Cuba native allowed just two runs (one earned) on four hits while fanning eight en route to a 6-2 victory at Marlins Park. On Saturday, the young right-hander tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing just four baserunners with eight strikeouts in a 3-0 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies. Fernandez improved to 10-5 in 25 starts this year while lowering his ERA to 2.30, representing the third-lowest mark in the Majors behind fellow 2013 All-Stars Clayton Kershaw (1.72) and Matt Harvey (2.27).
According to Elias, he joined Hideo Nomo and Jaime Garcia as just the third Major League pitcher in the last 25 seasons to have a double-digit wins total with an ERA under 2.50 in the first 25 starts of a rookie season. This is the second career weekly award for Fernandez, who won earlier this season for the week ending July 28th. Samardzija also posted a perfect 2-0 record last week while tying for the Major League lead in innings pitched (17.0).
The Cubs hurler had a 1.59 ERA (three earned runs in 17.0 innings pitched) across his outings and ranked among League leaders with 12 strikeouts while walking only two. On Monday, Samardzija tossed 9.0 innings of one-run ball to earn the complete-game victory in an 11-1 drubbing of the visiting Washington Nationals, scattering six hits and fanning five to earn his seventh win of the season. It was the third career complete-game performance of the 28-year-old's career and his second this season. In Saturday's outing, Samardzija held the San Diego Padres to two runs (both earned) over 8.0 innings of work to earn the win in a 3-2 decision at PETCO Park. The hard-throwing right-hander fanned seven Padres batters in the victory, giving him 175 strikeouts this season, good for fourth among Senior Circuit pitchers. The win marked Samardzija's 16th quality start this season. This is his first career weekly award.
Other noteworthy performances last week included Carlos Beltran (.419, 6 R, 13 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI, .774 SLG, .419 OBP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Colorado's Michael Cuddyer (.423, 6 R, 11 H, 3 2B, .464 OBP); Washington's Bryce Harper (.379, 6 R, 11 H, 4 2B, HR, 6 RBI, .486 OBP); Arizona's Martin Prado (.345, 6 R, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI, .621 SLG); and Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 4 SO, 4.0 IP).
In recognition of their National League Co-Player of the Week Awards, Jose Fernandez and Jeff Samardzija will each be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at MLB.com.