Each week we choose our Players of the Week on the mound and at the plate. Check back each Friday to see who the hottest players in Major League Baseball were over the past week. Check out our past MLB Players of the Week, and find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/EastbayBaseball
The pennant races are down to just a couple of weeks left in the season, and that means players are stepping up. This is the time of the year that separates the good from the great. Both of this week’s players have separated themselves into the latter category many times before, however, this week they each put forth impressive efforts.
Carlos Zambrano of the Chicago Cubs has had an up-and-down career to say the least. At times, it has been a struggle for him to set aside his anger issues and focus on his pitching, but this week was definitely a week that is evidence of his incredible capability to pitch. During his two starts over the past week, Zambrano allowed only one run, which equates to a 0.61 ERA, dropping his season ERA to 3.75. In the last week, Zambrano picked up wins against the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. Against the Brewers he struck out nine in a near complete game shutout, finishing with 8 2/3 innings to his name. Against the Cardinals, Zambrano didn’t rack up as many strikeouts, but seemed to dominate the big bats of St. Louis anyhow. Carlos also went 3-for-6 from the plate this week to help his own cause.
Unfortunately for Cubs fans, Zambrano has been persistent in his choice to retire when his contract concludes after the 2012 season, and this week he reiterated those feelings. If the Venezuelan right-hander does hang up his cleats at the age of just over 31, the game will definitely be missing out on one of the better pitchers it has seen over the last 10 years.
In the batter’s box, there might not be player in the league that has been so dominant in the last month, however this week it’s unquestionable that Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies has been the most productive bat in the game. Tulowitzki has led the Rockies right into the pennant race mix in the National League. Over the last week, he went 9-for-24 to push his season average to .325. Most of the season he has been overshadowed in the Rockies offense by Carlos Gonzalez, but this past week’s five home runs and 13 RBIs have him shining even brighter than his teammate. With six of his nine hits for extra bases, his slugging percentage of 1.042 this week lifted the Rockies passed the NL West Division rivals the San Diego Padres once, and helped Colorado sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks as well.
Tuowitzki will lead the Colorado Rockies into Los Angeles to take on another division rival, the Dodgers, over the weekend.
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