Holliday's bat earns weekly NL honor
Slugger hit .480 in six games, drove in 10 runs for Rockies
After struggling for the first week of the season, Matt Holliday was quick to regain his hitting stroke. And as the outfielder's bat came alive, so did his defending National League champion Colorado Rockies.
The 28-year-old Holliday hit just .182 (4-for-22) with a solo home run during the season's first six games. During that span, the Rockies stumbled to a 1-5 record.
Since then, Holliday's bat has caught fire, earning him NL Player of the Week honors on Monday, for the period ending April 13. The Rockies outfielder put together a monstrous offensive showing last week, leading the NL with a .480 (12-for-25) batting average and 10 RBIs. The Colorado cleanup hitter also launched two home runs, while posting a slugging percentage of .880 to go along with a gaudy .519 on-base percentage. Not surprisingly, the Rockies improved their play over the last week, posting a 4-2 record.
The turnaround for the Rockies might have been in their April 7 tilt against the Braves. After losing five straight games, Colorado was trailing Atlanta, 1-0, in the eighth inning when Holliday stepped to the plate. The 2007 NL Championship Series MVP then blasted a two-run home run to give the Rockies the lead, as they beat the Braves, 2-1.
"As long as I've been here, I've never seen a ball hit that hard and not go but two rows deep," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said last Monday. "That ball was hammered."
As Colorado went on to sweep Atlanta in three games, Holliday hit .462 (6-for-13) during the series, with a double, triple and a home run, while cashing in six RBIs.
Holliday's strong play continued into Sunday, when he smashed a three-run home run that helped the Rockies in their 13-5 win over the Diamondbacks.
But Holliday would refuse to take credit for Colorado's recent success, instead noting that there is still room for the team to improve.
"We have confidence that we have a good team," Holliday said Sunday. "We have to start getting big hits and making big pitches, do the things that allowed us to win a bunch of games last year.
"Last year is over, but we've gotta start doing the things we did last year to help us win games."
With Monday's honor, Holliday has now been named Player of the Week five times in his career.
Among the other nominees this week were St. Louis' Albert Pujols (.417, three homers, seven RBIs), Houston's Lance Berkman (.391, three homers, seven RBIs), Arizona's Justin Upton (.476, two home runs, eight RBIs) and Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (2-0, 0.64 ERA, nine strikeouts).
David Singh is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.