As if Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols needed any more reasons added to why he is widely considered one of the best in baseball, Pujols was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.
During his seventh time earning NL Player of the Week honors, Pujols led the NL with a .579 (11-for-19) average with a 1.105 slugging percentage, a .652 on-base percentage and 10 RBIs and was tied for the league lead with four doubles.
The 28-year-old posted four straight multi-hit and multi-RBI performances from Aug. 20-24, including consecutive three-hit and three-RBI games on Aug. 22-23 vs. Atlanta.
"He's an unbelievable hitter, and he's hot right now," said the Braves' Jo-Jo Reyes said after the Cardinals defeated the Braves, 6-3, on Aug. 23. "Everything you throw up there, he's hitting."
He is currently on an eight-game hitting streak and is batting .359 (151-for-421) with 28 home runs and 87 RBIs. His batting average ties him with the Braves' Chipper Jones for the NL lead.
"I respect Chipper Jones. He's a great hitter," Pujols said after the Braves game. "But I play to help my team win. Just because I've got Chipper on the other side and he's leading the league for the batting title. I play the game hard, no matter who is in town."
The Cardinals were 3-2 during the week and Pujols did everything that he could to keep the Cardinals in each game and each of their respective races for the playoffs. As of Monday, the Cardinals are 8 1/2 games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs and are 3 1/2 games back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card race.
Along with Pujols, teammates Yadier Molina and Skip Schumacher; the Giants' Pablo Sandoval, Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito; and the Brewers' CC Sabathia were among the nominees for this week's award.
Ronald P. Clark is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.