This week's superlatives include a perfect game and an MVP.
Each week Athlon Sports looks back at the previous week's best baseball players in the American and National Leagues and recaps the most outstanding pitching performances. Here are last week's — June 11-17 — standouts.
NL Pitcher of the Week
Matt Cain, San Francisco
The Giants have won Cain’s last eight starts, but none came in as dramatic fashion as his perfect game last week. The righthander retired all 27 Astros he faced, striking out 14. It was the first perfecto in Giants history and tied Sandy Koufax’s record for 14 Ks in a perfect game. Cain, who leads the National League with a 0.85 WHIP, needed 125 pitches to complete the game. In three June starts, Cain has a 0.38 ERA and 0.63 WHIP.
NL Player of the Week
Ryan Braun, Milwaukee
It was a tough road trip for the Brewers last week — losing four of six games — but not for Braun. The Brewers’ leftfielder had at least one hit in every game and added four homers and seven RBIs. The reigning MVP had three multi-hit games and slugged .793.
AL Pitcher of the Week
Colby Lewis, Texas
The Rangers’ ace dominated in two starts last week with wins over Arizona and in-state rival Houston. Lewis tossed nine innings allowing just four hits with the lone run coming off a solo homer to defeat the Diamondbacks. He followed that effort with seven strong innings of three-hit ball over the Astros. For the week, Lewis struck out 17 in 16 innings while allowing only nine baserunners.
AL Player of the Week
Brandon Moss, Oakland
The Oakland rightfielder had eight extra-base hits over six games — all wins for the A’s. Moss, who found National League West pitching to his liking, delivered five home runs in a four-game span against Colorado and San Diego. For the week he batted .348 with five homers, 10 RBIs and a 1.530 OPS.