Lee wins NL Player of Week award
Slugger hit .423 with two homers, nine RBIs to spark Brewers
MILWAUKEE -- Now this is what the Brewers bargained for.
After hitting just .215 in the month of April with three home runs and 14 RBIs, new Brewers slugger Carlos Lee snapped out of the doldrums in a big way, earning National League Player of the Week honors for May 2-8.
The award, presented by Bank of America, was the third such honor for Lee in his career, earning the American League version in 1999 and again in 2000 with the White Sox. Lee hit .423 (11-for-26) with a league-best nine RBIs on the week, as well as two home runs, four doubles, six runs scored and a stolen base. He slugged .808 in the six-game stretch and amassed a .464 on-base percentage.
"I'm more excited that we've only lost two of the last ten, a lot more excited that you have a chance to win every day," Lee said. "This stuff comes and goes. It's a team effort, the guys in front of me are always on base, and that's why you get the RBIs. You get the award individually, but it's still a team effort."
The Brewers had a slew of options for the award, also garnering nominations from outfielder Brady Clark (.435, one home run, 3 RBIs) and reliever Derrick Turnbow (3-0, 2.25 ERA, one save), who has emerged as a dominating force out of the bullpen.
"I came in and I said, 'Nice going,' and he said, 'For what?'" Brewers manager Ned Yost said of breaking the news to Lee. "I said you got Player of the Week, and he goes, 'Me?'"
Lee entered Monday's game with Philadelphia carrying an eight-game hitting streak. He was the centerpiece of an offseason deal that brought the slugging left fielder to Milwaukee in exchange for outfielder Scott Podsednik and right-hander Luis Vizcaino on Dec. 13.
New to the National League, Lee's early-season struggles now appear to be over.
"I think there's an adjustment to learning how to hit in a dome," Yost said. "A dome can be a little confining. So he's getting settled in."
Lee shook off the notion that it had been a turning-point week.
"This is a game where you can do bad, you just try to maintain," he said. "You'll never figure this game out. You just do the little things, work hard and make sure you're ready for every day."
Lee entered Monday's game with a .258 batting average, five home runs and 24 RBIs, the latter mark good for a tie for sixth in the National League.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.