For the fourth time in his career, the Orioles’ Manny Machado is the winner of the American League Player of the Week award. This time he shares the honor with A’s pitcher Sean Manaea after he no-hit Boston on Saturday night.
Machado posted a slash line of .500/.560/1.273 (11-for-22) with seven runs scored, 11 hits, two doubles, five home runs and eight RBIs over six games through Sunday. It is his first POTW honor since last August.
“It is always an honor to receive this award for all the hard work we put in,” he said. “To get an award like this is always a good accomplishment.
Among the current AL league leaders, Machado ranks first in extra-base hits (15) and total bases (62). He is second in average (.356) and homers (8) and tied for second in hits (31). He is third in slugging (.713).
Last April, Machado hit .224/.343/.424 with four homers and 13 RBIs. So far this month he is batting .356/.434/.713 with eight homers and 17 RBIs.
But his latest award and strong plays come at a time when the team is 6-16 and already 11 1/2 games out of first place.
“You get the award, but the team is coming out with losses at the end of the day,” he said. “As much as you play to win and try to produce for your team, we’ve been coming up short. You know hopefully I can continue doing what I’m doing and we’ll start to win and get rolling.
“We are right around the corner as a team. Obviously it is not showing how it should be showing but I think we are just a little bit away Once we get rolling, I think we are going to be rolling quite a bit.”
Machado has been on a roll at-bat, dating to spring training when he hit .357. Over his past 15 games since April 6, he’s batting .417 (25-for-60) with eight homers and 17 RBIs. In his past five games he is 10-for-19 with five homers and eight RBIs.
The ball must look like a balloon to him about now?
“No it looks the same,” he said. “You just try to stay with your approach and keep the same work that you have been doing every day. Not try to change. The biggest key to it is stay with your approach and you’ll get the pitch you want. I think it is more mental than anything. Just trying to stick with it.”