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Ohtani, Taillon named Players of the Week

@DKramer_
April 9, 2018

A pair of impressive pitching performances over the weekend manifested into perhaps the most discussed storylines of last week's slate of baseball. And for their efforts, the two who were twirling among this season's early gems -- the Angels' Shohei Ohtani and the Pirates' Jameson Taillon -- were recognized on

A pair of impressive pitching performances over the weekend manifested into perhaps the most discussed storylines of last week's slate of baseball. And for their efforts, the two who were twirling among this season's early gems -- the Angels' Shohei Ohtani and the Pirates' Jameson Taillon -- were recognized on Monday as the American League and National League Players of the Week presented by W.B. Mason, respectively.

Ohtani, the two-way Japanese phenom who is not only living up to his lofty hype but exceeding it, also belted a homer in each of his three games in the Angels' lineup this past week. The left-handed-hitting, right-handed-pitching slugger is hitting .389/.421/.889.

Making his Angel Stadium debut on Sunday against the A's, against whom he earned a win on April 1, Ohtani took a perfect game into the seventh inning and finished with just one hit allowed and 12 strikeouts, which tied the D-backs' Patrick Corbin for a Major League high this season, over seven scoreless innings. Ohtani's Game Score of 90 tied for the seventh-highest Game Score for a pitcher making his second MLB start. More > 

Taillon on Saturday pitched his first career shutout in the Pirates' 5-0 win over the Reds. Over the course of throwing 110 pitches, the right-hander struck out seven and gave up just one hit while also driving in the game's first run. It was the Bucs' first individual one-hitter since A.J. Burnett tossed a shutout against the Cubs in July 2012.

For a Pirates rotation that is seeking long-term longevity and the ability to go deep in games, Taillon's performance offered the club some early-season reassurance.

"He was sharp. He was focused. He was committed, man," Bucs manager Clint Hurdle said. "He had thoughts way past the sixth inning. It played out well. Sharp. Crisp. On the attack."

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @dkramer_.