Mookie Betts Makes Game-Ending Diving Catch to Claim Play of the Week
Starting pitcher Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox, who tossed the 20th no-hitter in franchise history on Wednesday, has been chosen the American League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet, and All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves has been named the National League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet. The announcements were made earlier today on MLB Network.
Rodón earned his first career AL Player of the Week Award and is the second White Sox winner this season, following his rookie teammate Yermín Mercedes (April 5th), who began the 2021 campaign in historic fashion. This is the earliest that a pair of White Sox teammates have brought home weekly honors since Carlos Quentin (April 3rd) and Paul Konerko (April 10th) in 2011. Acuña claimed his third career weekly award, most recently winning in 2019 for the period ending April 14th. Ronald is the first Braves winner since his All-Star teammate Marcell Ozuna won a pair in September 2020.
- Tossed his first career no-hitter on Wednesday night against the Cleveland Indians, hitting one batter while tallying seven punchouts and not surrendering a walk. The White Sox’ 20 no-hitters rank second in Major League history behind only the Los Angeles Dodgers (26).
- Became the sixth pitcher in MLB history to miss out on a perfect game because of a hit batsman, joining Hooks Wiltse (1908), Lew Burdette (1960), Kevin Brown (1997), Max Scherzer (2015) and Joe Musgrove, who did so during his historic no-hitter earlier this season.
- According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the third overall selection in the 2014 MLB Draft joined Justin Verlander, Josh Beckett and Phillip Humber as the only top-three Draft picks to throw a no-hitter since the Draft began in 1965.
- Over his first two starts of the 2021 campaign, permitted just two hits over 14.0 scoreless innings. Became the first pitcher in American League history to win his first two starts of a season while allowing two hits-or-fewer.
- Posted a slash line of .385/.515/.846 with 13 runs scored, 10 hits, one double, a triple, three home runs, eight RBI, seven walks and a stolen base across seven games played.
- Clubbed his Major League-leading seventh home run of the campaign on Thursday against the Miami Marlins. The round-tripper was his 14th extra-base hit on the season, which matched Hall of Famer Hank Aaron (1959) for the most through the team’s first 13 games in franchise history.
- Tallied 20 runs across Atlanta’s first 15 games of the season, the most in Club history and the most in Baseball since Alex Rodriguez also notched 20 runs through the New York Yankees’ first 15 games in 2007.
- Enters play today having logged at least one run in each of his previous 10 games dating back to April 9th, establishing a new career best. Became the third Braves player since 2010 to post a streak of at least 10 such games, joining Martín Prado (11, 2010) and his All-Star teammate Freddie Freeman (10, 2017).
Other noteworthy AL performances for the week included All-Star starting pitcher Shane Bieber (2-0, 1.59 ERA, 17.0 IP, 24 SO) of the Indians; All-Star outfielder Mitch Haniger (.429, 7 R, 12 H, 8 RBI) of the Seattle Mariners; All-Star backstop Salvador Pérez (.393, 5 R, 11 H, 3 HR) of the Kansas City Royals; starter Kyle Gibson (1-0, 0.60 ERA, 15.0 IP, 8 H) of the Texas Rangers; third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (.400, 10 H, 2 2B, 2 HR) of the Toronto Blue Jays; and starter Tyler Glasnow (2-0, 0.71 ERA, 21 SO, 4 H) of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Other noteworthy NL performances last week included All-Star starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (2-0, 0.64 ERA, 14.0 IP, 1 BB) of the New York Mets; second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. (.450, 5 R, 9 H, 4 XBH), All-Star outfielder Adam Duvall (7 R, 8 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI) and relief pitcher Yimi García (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 SV, 5 SO) of the Marlins; All-Star starter Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.69 ERA, 16 SO, 3 BB) of the Dodgers; backstop Carson Kelly (.333, 4 R, 3 HR, 5 RBI) of the Arizona Diamondbacks; All-Star first baseman Joey Votto (.435, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 HR) of the Cincinnati Reds; All-Start starter Aaron Nola (1-1, 1.93 ERA, 17 SO, 1 BB) of the Philadelphia Phillies; All-Star starter Yu Darvish (1-1, 1.29 ERA, 15 SO, 4 H) of the San Diego Padres; and All-Star catcher Willson Contreras (.368, 7 H, 4 HR, 5 RBI) of the Chicago Cubs.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Game-Ending Diving Catch by Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers
April 17th at SD – Watch It Here
All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers earned his second career Play of the Week award, previously winning for the period ending August 2, 2020. Mookie is the fourth Major Leaguer to earn multiple Play of the Week awards since it was introduced in 2019, joining Lorenzo Cain, Jonathan Davis and Victor Robles. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s thrilling contest against the rival Padres, Betts fully extended to making a clutch diving catch on Tommy Pham’s line drive and seal the Dodgers’ 2-0 victory. Additional Play of the Week candidates included Marcus Stroman’s behind-the-back play in Colorado; Alex Verdugo’s diving catch to take away an extra-base hit and seal Boston’s victory; Adam Eaton’s home-run robbing catch at Fenway Park; and José Abreu’s impressive play in the ninth inning which helped preserve Carlos Rodón’s no-hitter.
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