06/02/2003 9:49 PM ET
DeJean named Player of the Week
Brewers' closer saves all four wins
MILWAUKEE -- Coming off a week of good, fundamental baseball, the Brewers and closer Mike DeJean got some great news.
DeJean saved all four Brewers wins last week and posted a 0.00 ERA to earn National League Pepsi Player of the Week honors for the week of May 26 - June 1. It was not only the first time DeJean had won the award, it was the first time he had ever heard his name mentioned as a finalist.
"It's quite an honor," DeJean, 32, said from New York, where the Brewers enjoyed an off day on Monday after a cross-country flight from Los Angeles. "I don't know if I've ever even thought about it."
He appeared in four of Milwaukee's six games and pitched four innings. DeJean closed out each Brewers win as Milwaukee won consecutive series on the road against the Padres and Dodgers. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out four batters.
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
"Those are the ups and downs of a closer, I guess," DeJean said. "It's feast or famine -- one week you feel like you're out there every day and then the next week you don't get in there at all."
It was an excellent week for the Brewers. Twice they found themselves scoreless and down to their final out at San Diego, only to rally for a pair of victories. Then the team traveled north to Los Angeles to face a Dodgers club that had swept the Brewers at Miller Park just four days earlier. Richie Sexson hit a pair of go-ahead homers as the Brewers won another series, 2-1.
The Brewers are 22-34 overall but have won nine of their last 15 games. The road trip continues this week with three games against the Mets before Interleague Play opens with a three-game series at Miller Park against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.
"We had some unbelievable two-out hitting in San Diego, and then we were able to take two out of three in L.A.," DeJean said. "Morale is awesome right now. It makes the plane ride much more fun."
The award might make DeJean's right ribs feel better, too. Through the wear and tear of the early part of the 2003 season, he has said several times that he doesn't quite feel 100 percent.
DeJean credits the trainers for keeping him in pitching shape. He credits pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Billy Castro for helping him keep his mechanics in check through a nagging rib injury. And he and credits manager Ned Yost for having the faith to stick with him in save situations.
"It's not arm problems or anything like that," DeJean said. "It's aches and pains, your back is tight, your ribs are sore. It's a big effort on everybody's part to stay healthy. You have to have guys you trust to get you through it."
Two former Brewers were also up for the weekly award: the Mets' Jeromy Burnitz batted .435 with two homers and seven RBIs, and the Rockies' Ronnie Belliard hit .452 and scored nine runs. Also nominated were the Astros' Lance Berkman (.355 average, three homers, nine RBIs) and Wade Miller (1-0, 1.00 ERA), Albert Pujols of the Cardinals (.500, five RBIs), Aramis Ramirez of the Pirates (.500, three RBIs) and Kevin Brown of the Dodgers (1-0, 0.00 ERA).
DeJean will receive a Tourneau luxury Swiss timepiece for his effort.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com based in Milwaukee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.