September 14, 2020 – Michael Conforto Makes a Clutch, Leaping Catch to Claim Play of the Week
Starting pitcher Alec Mills of the Chicago Cubs, who tossed the second no-hitter of the 2020 season yesterday, has been chosen the National League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet, and infielder Jeimer Candelario of the Detroit Tigers has been named the American League Player of the Week presented by Chevrolet.
The announcements were made earlier today on MLB Network. Mills earned his first career NL Player of the Week Award and is the second Cubs hurler to claim weekly honors this season, joining his All-Star rotation-mate Kyle Hendricks (July 27th). The last time the Cubs had a pair of pitchers receive weekly awards within the same season was 2016, when Hendricks, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta all claimed NL Player of the Week during their World Series-winning campaign.
Candelario also earned his first career AL Player of the Week Award, and is the first Tigers winner since his former teammate Nick Castellanos for the period ending August 19, 2018.
Alec Mills, Chicago Cubs (@amills37)
- Tossed his first career no-hitter yesterday afternoon against the Milwaukee Brewers, yielding three walks while tallying five strikeouts. The performance was the first no-hitter by a Cubs pitcher since Arrieta in April 2016, while his five strikeouts were the fewest in an individual no-hitter since Dallas Braden’s perfect game in 2010.
- Mills’ 15 career Major League starts represented the third-fewest before a pitcher’s first career no-hitter in franchise history, trailing only Burt Hooton in 1972 (fourth career start) and Sam Jones in 1955 (12th career start).
- The outing was the second no-hitter in the Majors this season, joining Lucas Giolito’s performance on August 25th, and it marks the first time in history that the Cubs and White Sox have had a no-hitter in the same season.
- In the first start of his award-winning week on Tuesday, fired 6.0 scoreless innings with six punchouts while allowing four hits and three walks.
Jeimer Candelario, Detroit Tigers (@jeimer_candelario)
- Batted .423 (11-for-26) with eight runs scored, four doubles, three home runs, nine RBI, four walks and a .923 slugging percentage over eight games played.
- Reached base in six of seven plate appearances during Thursday’s doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals. Belted a homer in each end of the twin bill, becoming the first Tigers player to do so since Leonys Martin on April 25, 2018.
- In Tuesday’s contest against the Brewers, connected for his fifth home run of the season to go along with a career-high matching four RBI. The round-tripper marked his third consecutive game at Comerica Park with a homer, joining his teammate Jonathan Schoop as the only Detroit players to do so this season.
- Since the calendar flipped to September, the 26-year-old is slashing .383/.473/.681 with 11 runs scored, five doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI across 14 games.
Other noteworthy NL performances last week included rookie starting pitcher Ian Anderson (1-0, 0.90 ERA, 13 SO, 10.0 IP), All-Star outfielder Adam Duvall (8 R, 7 H, 5 HR, 12 RBI) and All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman (.464, 4 2B, 3 HR, 13 RBI) of the Atlanta Braves; rookie third baseman Alec Bohm (.452, 6 R, 14 H, 4 2B) of the Philadelphia Phillies; All-Star outfielder Jeff McNeil (.476, 10 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI) of the New York Mets;
Third baseman Brian Anderson (.500, 4 R, 12 H, 6 RBI) and rookie starting pitcher Sixto Sánchez (2-0, 0.69 ERA, 10 SO, 13.0 IP) of the Miami Marlins; All-Star outfielder Wil Myers (.381, 5 R, 5 XBH, 9 RBI) of the San Diego Padres; starter Corbin Burnes (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 0 BB) and All-Star starter Brandon Woodruff (0.00 ERA, 12 SO, 0 BB, 7.0 IP) of the Brewers; and All-Star starter Trevor Bauer (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 10 SO, 0 BB) of the Cincinnati Reds.
Other noteworthy AL performances for the week included rookie third baseman Bobby Dalbec (.412, 7 H, 3 HR, 6 RBI) and All-Star third baseman Rafael Devers (.520, 13 H, 5 XBH, 7 RBI) of the Boston Red Sox; third baseman Maikel Franco (.433, 3 R, 13 H, 11 RBI), All-Star reliever Greg Holland (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 SV, 7 SO), starter Brad Keller (1-1, 2.30 ERA, 1 CG SHO, 15.2 IP), All-Star infielder Whit Merrifield (.414, 7 R, 12 H, 7 RBI) and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (9 R, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 6 SB) of the Kansas City Royals;
All-Star starting pitcher Lance Lynn (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 16 SO, 14.0 IP) of the Texas Rangers; starter Chris Bassitt (2-0, 0.69 ERA, 12 SO, 2 BB) and first baseman Matt Olson (5 R, 7 H, 3 HR, 12 RBI) of the Oakland A’s; first baseman Jared Walsh (.409, 6 R, 4 HR, 9 RBI) of the Los Angeles Angels; and All-Star starter John Means (1-0, 1.50 ERA, 9 SO, 12.0 IP) of the Baltimore Orioles.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Clutch, Leaping Catch by Michael Conforto of the New York Mets September 9th vs. BAL – Watch It Here
All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto of the New York Mets earned his first career Play of the Week honor and is the third different Mets winner since the inception of the award in 2019, joining his teammates Marcus Stroman (August 5, 2019) and J.D. Davis (August 16, 2019).
The Mets are now the third Club in the Majors with three different Play of the Week recipients, joining the Atlanta Braves (Ronald Acuña Jr., Charlie Culberson, Nick Markakis, Adam Duvall) and Baltimore Orioles (Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Steve Wilkerson).
With the Mets holding a one-run lead and the bases loaded with two outs in the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday’s contest against the Baltimore Orioles, Conforto ranged back to deep right field to cover 78 feet and make a leaping catch with his back to the infield.
Additional Play of the Week candidates included Harrison Bader’s diving catch in center field; Daz Cameron’s lunging catch on the warning track during his first week of Major League action; Luis Guillorme’s diving stop and throw to retire the runner at first; and Victor Reyes’ diving catch in shallow left-center field.