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Vazquez named NL Player of the Week

Vazquez named NL Player of the Week

ATLANTA -- With the stellar effort he produced against the Cardinals on Sunday afternoon, Javier Vazquez displayed precision that led Braves manager Bobby Cox to draw a comparison to some of Greg Maddux's masterpieces.

In addition, Vazquez also caught the attention of Major League Baseball, which announced Monday afternoon that he had been named the National League's Player of the Week.

In the 16 innings he completed during his two starts against the Astros and Cardinals last week, Vazquez allowed two runs, registered 17 strikeouts and issued just four walks. The 33-year-old right-hander's only other Player of the Week Award came last August, while he was pitching for the White Sox.

Vazquez had completed 15 consecutive scoreless innings before the Cardinals tagged him for a pair of runs during Sunday's ninth inning. Entering that inning, he had limited St. Louis to three hits and thrown just 79 pitches.

"It's one of the best games I've ever seen pitched through eight innings," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It reminded me of some of the [Greg] Maddux games, where he'd have 75 or 80 pitches going into the eighth or ninth inning. He had them off balance all day long. It's unfortunate that he didn't get the shutout, the way that he pitched."

With his 17 strikeouts last week, Vazquez secured the fifth 200-strikeout season of his career. The only other active pitchers to record five 200-strikeout seasons are Randy Johnson (13), Pedro Martinez (9), John Smoltz (5) and Johan Santana (5).

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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