No-hitter. Dominant hit streak. Four homers in four days.
As we approach the quarter-mark of the season, three players remind us that they're only heating up.
Major League Baseball recognized last week's top performers on Monday by announcing Mariners left-hander James Paxton and Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor as the American League co-Players of the Week and the Reds' Scooter Gennett as the National League Player of the Week, presented by W.B. Mason.
• All-time Players of the Week
Paxton threw a no-hitter on just 99 pitches while striking out seven Blue Jays, accomplishing the feat in his homeland. Showing no signs of fatigue, he threw as hard as 100 mph in the ninth inning. "The Big Maple" became the first Canadian to pitch a no-hitter in his home country, joining Dick Fowler of the 1945 Phillies as the only Canadians to do it. Coming weeks after a bald eagle famously landed on him during a pregame ceremony in Minneapolis, it is the third time Paxton has earned the weekly honor.
"It doesn't get much cooler than that," Paxton said. "When you can get your name put next to a guy like Randy Johnson, at any time, it's pretty cool. I'm honored to have gotten my third one and be right next to him with three of those awards."
This was one of the few times a no-hitter performance didn't receive sole possession for Player of the Week honors, simply because another AL athlete put up video-game numbers in the same span.
Lindor went on a massive tear this past week, slashing .600/.652/1.400 with four homers, eight runs, five RBIs and four doubles to win back-to-back AL Player of the Week honors -- and his second overall. The Indians shortstop extended his hit streak to a career-high 14 games, surpassing last year's 13. With numbers like that, Paxton is in good company.
While most of the buzz was around his new teammate Matt Harvey, Gennett quietly put together an incredible week. The Reds second baseman homered for the fourth time in as many days on Friday, going 4-for-5 with two runs and three RBIs against the Dodgers. It was the first time in his career that he homered in more than two consecutive games. In five games last week, Gennett slashed .591/.591/1.227, with 10 RBIs, seven runs and two doubles.
The 28-year-old's performance helped lead the Reds to a season-high six-game winning streak, while earning him his second career NL Player of the Week honor.
"It's just baseball, man," Gennett. "So I just try to stay level and realize that I'm not always doing to do good. And when you're slumping or doing bad, you just realize you're going to come out of it. Keep it simple."