Giving a Bone to O-Dog

Major League Baseball announced yesterday that Orlando Hudson of the Arizona Diamondbacks had won the National League Player of the Week award for last week. This was a well deserved honor as Hudson had nearly single-handedly kept the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League Western Divisional race. Fans at Chase Field have become accustomed to seeing Orlando flash his gold glove style of play making spectacular defensive moves but lately it has not just been his defense but also his offense.

Early in the season Orlando struggled a bit at the plate and didn’t appear to be adjusting well to National League pitching but as time wore on he definitely found his grove. During the last seven games O-Dog put up some monster numbers. He was among the league leaders in seven different offensive categories. During that stretch he hit an amazing .435 batting average and even more impressive was his .957 slugging average. During that time he accumulated 22 total bases including several multi-hit games. One of those games came in Chicago where he led the team with 6 RBI in the 15-4 drumming of the Cubs. In that game Hudson became the third Diamondback to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. One of those home runs happened to be his first career grand slam. No one from either team recognized that was the first grand slam Orlando had hit so when the Chicago fans threw the ball back onto the field, the players in the bullpen gave the ball to a fan in the stands. After some slick detective work by the Cubs and Diamondbacks organization the ball was retrieved two days later and given to Hudson.

O-Dog has been a leader on the Diamondbacks all season. His defense has allowed pitchers such as Brandon Webb to have great years as they don’t have to worry as much about the fielding behind them. But this unexpected offensive power that Hudson has been showing lately makes you wonder whether he is channeling the ghost of Troy Glaus. Whatever it is, he needs to continue doing the same thing to give the Diamondbacks an opportunity to stay in the play-off hunt.

A quick Carlos Quentin update. Last night during the first game against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field, Quentin entered the game when Shawn Green moved to first after Conor Jackson was hit by a Jason Schmidt pitch. In his first at bat, he was plugged in the back for the second time in his major league career leaving him 285 shy of the major league career record. He now has 2 hit by pitch in 17 major league games. If you combine his major league and minor league seasons, he has been hit 33 times in 2006 during the regular season. He has only been walked 3 times which leads you to believe that pitchers are saving their pitch count by just drilling him rather than throw 4 balls.

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