Outfielder Adam Hyzdu joked that he won the National League player of the week award Monday because nobody else had a good week.
But he wasn’t about to give back the engraved watch that comes with the accomplishment.
“Any award that is given for performance is an honor,” Hyzdu said. “I treat it as such.”
Hyzdu won the award after hitting a grand slam Friday and following that with a seven-RBI game Saturday. That performance included a pair of three-run homers.
For the week, Hyzdu was 10 for 17 with six runs scored, three homers and 11 RBI.
How did the Cincinnati native feel about getting the good news while he was preparing to play in his hometown ballpark?
“Pretty gnarly,” Hyzdu said.
Hyzdu is the second Pirates player to win the award this season. Craig Wilson won it June 17.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was batting .195 in July before the game last night. He also was in a 4-for-20 skid.
Still, manager Lloyd McClendon penciled Ramirez’s name into the fourth spot of the batting order.
“Who else am I going to put there?” McClendon said.
Ramirez entered the game with 35 RBI and a .220 average with runners in scoring position. He finished last year with 112 RBI and a .379 average with runners in scoring position.
“He’s still our best option,” McClendon said. “He hasn’t done it yet, but I have full confidence that he will.”
McClendon doesn’t believe in constant change to his order.
“Somebody has to keep their head on about them around here, and I choose to keep mine,” he said. “I’ll let (the media) fly off the handle and decide who goes where every time the wind blows.”
McClendon was in no mood to rehash Sunday’s game in which the Pirates were involved in two bench-clearing confrontations with the St. Louis Cardinals.
This included a seemingly heated argument between McClendon and Cardinals manager Tony La Russa.
McClendon, though, said the Pirates behaved appropriately.
“All along I’ve said that I want my players to take on my attitude,” he said. “When you’re between the lines, you play hard, you play the game the right way and you don’t apologize for anything. I’m proud of the way they are going about their business.”
NO SIXTH SENSE
McClendon said too much was read into his comments that he would consider going to a six-man pitching rotation down the stretch.
“I will consider anything that will make us a better team,” he said.
As for immediate plans of adding another starter, McClendon has none.
“When I was asked the question (about a six-man rotation), I had nobody in mind,” he said. “I was just answering the question.”