Odorizzi, Thor nab Player of Week honors

May 7th, 2019

For the first time in more than a year, it is a pair of pitchers who will be taking home each league's Player of the Week Awards presented by W.B. Mason.

Jake Odorizzi has been recognized as the American League Player of the Week for the first time in his career after shutting down two of the AL's most dangerous lineups, while the Mets' Noah Syndergaard notched his third career National League Player of the Week Award, and his first since the week of May 22, 2016.

Odorizzi dominated during a pair of wins, striking out a combined 15 batters over 13 scoreless innings. He tossed seven innings of four-hit ball vs. the Astros on April 29, and six innings of two-hit ball against the Yankees on Saturday.

"Very nice honor and well deserved," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "I don’t know if he could throw the ball any better than he has this week. He’s had some starts before that that were also very good. I think he’s feeling good about what he’s doing, about the way he’s preparing with his feel for all of his different pitches."

"I think when you give [the award] to a pitcher, there’s a little more than just a pitcher going into it," Odorizzi said. "I’ve got eight guys behind me that are doing a heck of a job keeping guys from taking extra bases, creating outs, that sort of thing so I feel like it’s more of a team accomplishment me getting it, so I owe a lot to the guys behind me."

Odorizzi is the first Twins pitcher to be named AL Player of the Week since Francisco Liriano earned the honor the week ending May 8, 2011, following his no-hitter against the White Sox. The last Twins player to receive the award was Eduardo Escobar, who won last season, in the week ending June 11, 2018.

After a slow start to the season, Syndergaard showed why he is still one of the game’s best hurlers by throwing a four-hit shutout against the Reds on Thursday. He struck out a season-high 10 batters and walked just one in his second victory of 2019.

Syndergaard was impressive not only on the mound, but also at the plate, hitting his sixth career home run off of Reds starter Tyler Mahle. The solo shot from the Mets flamethrower ended up being the game’s only run in a 1-0 victory.

It marked the first time that a pitcher had tossed a shutout and clubbed a homer in a 1-0 game since Bob Welch accomplished the feat in 1983.

The last Mets player to be named NL Player of the Week was also a pitcher -- Jacob deGrom, who took home the honor the week of June 18, 2017.

Odorizzi and Syndergaard are the first pitching duo to take home POTW honors in the same week since Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer did it on April 15, 2018.